Traveling with Instax

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I’ve been considering the many positives of having my instax camera ever since I got it and especially since Hawaii, which was the first time that I traveled with it. Before I left I had done a ton of research on the camera  but I didn’t really find tips and tricks that I was looking for to take my instax photos to the next level. I’ll be honest, this camera takes a lot of practice to get used to (especially with the permanent flash) but I think that it is one that is really fun and has a good outcome if the photographer knows how to use it. When I went on vacation there were a few things that I had to think about while carrying it on the plane such as needing a bit of extra space and asking to have it (and extra film) checked through security by hand, but other than those minor details, I can’t really think of any negatives.

So whether you’re traveling with instax or just picking up this camera for the first time, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind.

  • Make sure the instax photo comes out well before shooting the next one. I think this was one of my biggest mistakes. With film that costs ~$1 / shot, it’s a real bummer when shots don’t come out as you had imagined. This happened to me when we were at Diamond Head and now I have no instax from it because I just quickly put them into my bag to develop.
    • Trick: instead of throwing these shots away, I used the over-exposed shots as supplements to my minibook by just writing on them with a non-smearable marker.
  • Prevent exposure to light as soon as the photo comes out by shielding the photo with your hand. A few of my photos have not fully developed or had reddening near the edges and I have read that sun exposure can be the problem – better to be safe than sorry!
  • Don’t try going macro unless you purchase a special attachment, the image will come out blurry  e v e r y  time. Shooting 2-4 feet from your subject will have the best results.
  • Aim the camera slightly lower so that your subject will be centered, since the viewfinder does not align perfectly.
  • Make sure that you are adjusting the setting on the top of your camera based on the amount of light in the photo. Ignoring this toggle can quickly take a good image to a useless one. Once you get the hang of it, you could try play around with to to purposefully over or under expose, though it is fairly complicated with this camera.
  • Shooting right at the sun or something reflecting the sun will result in a black spot in the photo.
  • Use the FIFO (First In First Out) method for your film. This means that the first film you purchased should be the first film that you use.
  • This should be a no brainer – keep your camera clean and dry. This meant that I had to forgo taking my camera to the beach on windy days.
    • Trick: I bought a wristlet strap for mine – best accessory purchase ever. I didn’t have to worry about setting the camera down or little hands dropping it.
  • Be willing and ready for people to comment on your “alien” camera. Ever since getting my DSLR, I have had MANY people ask if I could take their group picture. I think people just see the size of the camera and assume that I can take photographs. Well, this brought out a whole new ball game! I had tons of people asking questions and telling me how cool or how hipster I was. HA!
  • Since they print out instantly, they are perfect if you are scrapbooking or making a travel journal as you go.
  • If having another camera to carry around isn’t really your cup of tea, try out this awesome new printer that prints instax from your phone!

I have quickly found this camera to be irreplaceable when looking for quick prints and fun additions to any travel journal or scrapbook. Here are some more links if you are interested in reading more of my initial thoughts or about my travel journal.


Glimpses of Fall

I’m seeing more and more of autumn showing up on my morning walks. While I’m super happy about it, I’m also bummed that the farther into the year we get, the closer we come to fewer nice days, and therefore, less walks. My walks normally consist of about three miles which is just enough time to listen to one of Elise’s podcasts and get my own ideas floating around. While I am walking for exercise, I like to enjoy myself and allow stops when I see anything worth photographing or think of anything worth writing down. The more in tune to nature and the beauty of my surroundings, the more I enjoy these sweet mornings.  photo 7F0FE1A4-F619-445D-A04D-B55601509BC7_zps3tulg18s.jpg photo E0726259-1732-4552-9774-3520EA1CD22D_zpscqi6udgw.jpg photo 0646B55C-F252-4DEE-B9C7-2949CD8CBC60_zps9bpnd5c1.jpg photo 4337D485-2B15-4C5B-90A0-4385BC5FC804_zpspioqaxfq.jpg photo FE5161D7-7E86-48E2-AC76-8BF92B7178DA_zpsditybgpz.jpg photo A6D8E09E-8888-4B42-9F10-7A8488E044AD_zpspeksdwxf.jpg

Psalm 116:2

A reminder that He listens to our every prayer and anticipates our every need. He is sovereign, good and in control. Time to let go and completely trust. Happy Sunday, my friends.

Self Portraiture

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See, doesn’t that sound a million times better than “selfie”? Over the last couple months, I have taken the challenge to take a photo of myself each day. I surprised myself by absolutely loving the project. I have been able to document so many exciting moments in my life with raw, real emotion. I love it and am so thankful for these moments.

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Being someone who is typically behind the camera rather than in front of it, I decided that I need to include myself more. My projects need to incorporate my perspective and my emotions. I’m already not the best at expressing them, so why not try something different? I have heard a lot of negative talk about selfies (which makes me a little weary to do them in public) and I think in general they have a negative connotation stemming from people who post selfies on facebook every single day. But you know what I have also noticed? These selfies come along with captions that talk about loving themselves, loving how God made them, and general positivity about their lives. These people are beautiful and they know it. I love that.

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As I did this challenge, I began to analyze the things that were truly making me happy and the things that made me feel negative towards myself. I learned that I love the way that God created me because I am unique and exactly how He wanted me to be. He knows that I’m sassy, stubborn and self-confident to a fault. But He also knows that I try hard to be more like Him every day. So here I am making big gains from a simple little photo project.

 photo 2118CD50-7B70-46F8-AAB9-05E687CD8745_zpsig2rhmgn.jpgAs I look back at these photos, I realize how “me” they are. Glimpses of my daily life that would never have been captured if someone else were behind the camera – my photographic voice, if you will. It gives you my perspective of my life and the things (and people) that mean the world to me.


Here are some of my favorite “SELFIE” posts that I have come across in the past couple of months. I have been so inspired and I hope you are too!

Ronnie’s unique perspective on taking self portraits | Real Beauty Talks – women and their stories | A raw conversation about beauty | Alessia’s 30 days of selfies | rukristin’s new Thursday3 challenge

Yes to Ice Cream

Yes to ice cream. Yes to joy. Yes to the Fountain on Locust.
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This day was so great – I did two sets of senior photos and then we sat down for some delicious ice cream (I don’t discriminate or know the difference between frozen yogurt, custard, ice cream, whatever). Kevin saw the “joy” and took the above picture (my bad for having on the tele lens). Even though joy was my word for last year, I think I will always feel some connection towards it. It made a huge impact on my life, so I still look for joy everywhere I go. I am thankful for the number of photos our feet have been in together. I’m sure that I could make an entire album full of them, and one day, I probably will. The ice cream was amazing and Kevin encouraged me to get that tiny cone in the last picture, because it was so cute. Also, this place is apparently known for their restroom decor. What a nifty place.

Quiet Morning

Today is good.  photo IMGP0001-001_zps317787f6.jpg photo IMGP0005-002_zps41eabdd7.jpg photo IMGP0029-002_zpsa48ad106.jpg photo IMGP0032-002_zps75590b47.jpg photo IMGP0044-001_zpsd45ad256.jpg photo IMGP0047_zpsf88ebff9.jpg photo IMGP0054_zps35a379c6.jpg photo IMGP0063_zpsbd2357f8.jpg photo IMGP0070_zpsc91c2116.jpg photo IMGP0071_zps0dd4b296.jpg photo IMGP0075_zps11ed1188.jpg

Ballpark Village

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On Friday, I had the opportunity to check out the new Ballpark Village in St. Louis. Kevin, his family, Adam, and I  went down for lunch and got there right as the doors were opening. We were one of the first groups to eat at the Budweiser Brew House; they didn’t even have menus for the first 15 minutes that we were there – we had to look it up on our phones! I ended up getting the Bacon and Bleu hamburger and I have to say, it was amazing, but everyone enjoyed their food. After, we walked around and checked out the other bars, restaurants, Fox Sports Midwest Studio, and where the museum will be. It was pretty awesome but it will be even better when the Cardinal’s season gets rolling!