Hello internet! Long time no see. I would offer an excuse, if I had one, but I don’t, other than the fact that I had a post half- written in November (now null and void of course) that I never quite finished, and lost all momentum with this blogging malarkey. However, inspiration seizes me at the most inopportune and unexpected moments, and so here I am, typing this post.
I am sure that if you asked my friends, they would say that it was entirely predictable that at some point I, being Eleanor, would get my hands on an instant camera. It is no secret that I genuinely believe that I was born in the wrong era, although as I say that I wonder whether no-matter which year I was born in I would have had a fascination with the past. Its nostalgia.
I am, however, still a product of my generation. I have a photo album containing pictures from my year 6 prom (2006). The next images in it were printed in 2014, and all have an Instagram filter on them. I’m amongst the younger millennials (I think), and we have grown up with digital cameras. I do own one old- fashioned Barbie camera from approximately the year 2000, with film still in it that I’m sure will be very amusing to see when I finally get it developed. However, my first ‘grown up’ camera was a digital. By the time I was 12, most mobile phones had a camera. There are pictures that I haven’t even seen since I took them when I was 15. You get my point.
Instant cameras have recently experienced a renaissance that, if I’m honest, I have been immune to until now. Perhaps it’s because I was busy doing my degree when the Instax mini 8 hit the main stream. Perhaps it was the price that put me off (whilst the cameras are relatively affordable, instant photography is an expensive hobby at around 60p a shot). I wasn’t massively interested in the instant camera thing until just before Christmas 2017.
And then suddenly, I became a bit obsessed.
I did my research. I looked at Polaroids, at instant printers, at ordering my prints online directly from my phone, which I did in 2014 as I mentioned above. I was annoyed with myself and my generation for not treasuring our pictures like my parents do, for living behind and through our smartphone screens. I felt like often, I wasn’t taking photographs for ME anymore, but for Instagram. I was determined that I wanted to not only print and keep and LOOK AT my pictures, but also that I wanted to think more carefully about the moments I was capturing, and for them to be MINE. To be special. Unique. I wanted that nostalgic experience.
In the end, I spent my Christmas money last year on the Instax mini 70, in rose gold. I decided that Instax was the way forward, because they really are the market leaders at the moment; the credit-card sized film is easy to get hold of, the cameras have good reviews, they’re fun and easy to use. I didn’t go for the 8 or 9 since they are slightly lower in terms of spec, and to be honest I preferred the classier looking 70 as opposed to the bulkier, pastel coloured models.
As you may have gathered, I’m rather chuffed with my choice. I’m thoroughly enjoying using the camera whenever I go somewhere that I want to remember, both to take photos of my friends and family, and the odd selfie (still a millennial!) with the little mirror that sits near the lens. The settings take some getting used to, and I’m still learning as I go and photograph in different environments. I am by no means a professional, and by no means was I expecting professional quality images from my camera, so if that’s what you’re after I’d suggest looking elsewhere. If you’re looking, though, for a fun camera that takes decent- quality portraits (when you use the right setting) and offers the nostalgic experience of waiting for your photo to develop, I’d highly recommend the Instax Mini 70. Now, I’m off to scrapbook my latest shots!
PS: In the interest of maintaining my unique, ‘not for the internet’ thing, I’m choosing not to post up-close images of my photos. To see the quality of the shots, there are plenty of professional photography bloggers out there on the internet!