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FUJIFILM House of Photography
8-9 Long Acre
Convent Garden

Opening hours
Monday - Wednesday: 11am - 7pm
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0203 486 4610

Instax Hacks

17 January 2022

Instax Hacks

There are so many reasons to keep your instax camera handy, or pick one up if you haven’t already. The gratification is immediate, the photos offer a retro look – and they’re physical, making them perfect for scrapbooking, keepsakes or maybe a wall collage full of memories.

When you’re snapping away, there are a few things to keep in mind to capture the best results. Without further ado, some instant hacks for your instax.

Super selfies

Don’t just document the good times going on around you. Capture yourself in those moments, too. You can’t stay behind the camera forever, no matter how much fun it is. Besides, we all love a shameless selfie from time to time!

Thankfully, there’s no selfie stick to consider and great photos are just an arm’s length away. With the instax mini 11, the front of the lens pulls out for close focusing of 30-50cm – and the instax SQ1 does the same with a simple twist. Both cameras even feature a small mirror. With the instax WIDE 300, a handy lens attachment allows for focusing from 40cm, so you can snap self-portraits on film twice the size of instax mini.

Looking flash

Certain instax cameras do all the hard work with flash and exposure, freeing your mind to focus on the frame. You can manipulate exposure to capture a high- or low-key effect, but even that’s as easy as the push of a button in most cases.

For instax cameras with more control, like the mini 70 or the mini LiPlay, deciding when to use flash can be tricky at first. Naturally, you’ll only ever really need to consider it in darker environments.

Here, the camera may produce a well-exposed image without additional light, but it will rely on a slow shutter speed to do so – the result may be blurred moving objects. This can make for some really interesting and unusual photos, but to freeze action, it’s time to add flash power.

When you do, it’s worth considering that the camera will only correctly expose anything within its flash range, which goes up to a very decent 2.7m with the mini 70.

So, which option you choose depends on your subject and your intention. For large, dark scenes with little movement, ditch the flash. To capture lightning-fast moments within a smaller range, make sure it’s switched on. As a creator, the choice is in your hands.

Film fundamentals

While your instax camera makes your photos possible, the film also plays a big part in the final outcome. WIDE, SQUARE and mini film are available in a multitude of exciting colours and styles. But, regardless of which one you use, you’ll do well to take care of it.

If you have any spare packs that aren’t loaded into your camera, stick them in the fridge. Yes, really! Film expires less rapidly in cooler temperatures, so you’ll get extra life out of it. Empty out the salad drawer if you must. These are a photographer’s priorities.

Overlooking the lyrics to a catchy pop song from the early noughties – you know the one – you don’t need to shake an instax instant photo. The film will fully develop in around 90 seconds, so just give it some time.

Our final tip: keep an eye on that expiry date. Every pack has one and it’s there for a reason. Making photos with expired film can actually be fun, with really wild, creative results, but it’s not advisable for any moment you couldn’t bear to miss. For the guaranteed best results possible, use it before you lose it.

Excited to share your instant classics? We’re excited to see them! Share them on Instagram and tag us, using @fujifilmuk