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.


Get Messy | 009

This week we had a prompt and it was the first time in 9 weeks that I’ve dreaded a Get Messy Thursday.

Journaling Challenge: Live your adventurous dreams on paper. What would you love to do, or at least try, if you had the courage to live more adventurously?
Art Challenge: Try a method or material you’ve never worked with before.
IMG_3700.JPGHA! Well apparently my new method is to wait until the night before and hope for the best, because that is exactly what I did. I also tried using both coffee and rit dye to add more texture to the background. It was a fun process but I got impatient and it wasn’t enough to just have the paper dyed. So, I added a recent picture of me and some gold paint around the edges. Wah-lah.
IMG_3701.JPGFor the second part, I wrote about the most amazing Chai Tea ever and it probably doesn’t make a ton of sense if you were to read it because I wrote down the left side and then down the right side after.
IMG_3704.JPGFinally, I tried the technique where you put a piece of packing tape on a magazine page and then soak it in water. Eventually the magazine paper rolls off to reveal a transparency. Cool stuff.

As far as the journaling prompt, I said, “If I were more courageous I would travel as if money were no object. To see the beautiful scenery that I can only dream up in my head. I would hike and try every new food and language. If I were courageous, I would use my blog to start my own small business or at least start writing more things.”

Get Messy is an art journal challenge where a gang of crafty vixens are sharing art journal pages we have created to practice our skills and push past our creative limits with hopes to inspire. We share our pages without restraint every week, and once a month we create around a prompt. Go check out these crazy talented ladies who are creating pages who each have a unique perspective and style. We will be sharing our work around social media so follow the hashtag #getmessyartjournal.

52 Week Photo Challenge

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Each week for the next year, I’ll be teaming up with some girls in my sorority to complete this photo challenge. If you’d like to keep up check back on Tuesday of each week or follow me on instagram (@withinmylens). Next week you can be expecting pictures of technology and routine. 

Here are the links to my friends blogs who are also doing it! If you’d like to do it with us, comment below and I’ll add your blog or instagram feed to our list!

Kaitlyn’s Blog

Brianne’s Instagram

Kayla’s Blog

Catie’s Instagram

Better Late Than Never

November. Already? Goodness, I am enjoying this season more than I have in the past. Plus, we just “fell back” for day light savings, so that definitely helps fall seem better. AM I RIGHT?! 

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so enjoyed doing a photo challenge in October, so much so that I’ll be doing another one this month. It will be a little different, thanks to an app called “Collect”. It’s pretty great and it reminds you to take a photo and upload it to the app, then at the end of the month, you have a calendar full of photos and it looks really neat. My theme for the photos this month is thankful. I have been uploading the photos I have taken so far to the app and also to instagram, which is always pretty awesome because a lot of people post about what they are thankful for as well, such a reminder of God’s blessings! I am hoping to do some posts on being thankful and I also want to bring back my word of the year for a post or two!

what are you posting on instagram? link your username below, I’d love to check it out.


Close Up

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Close up photography, or macro, has always been my favorite. I love how interesting it is and how much texture you can see the closer that you get to an object. I got my first taste of macro at the Missouri Botanical Gardens around fiveish years ago. I had only a point-and-shoot camera at the time, and took as many photos as I could and I got as close up as the camera would allow. I got many photos of things from bees pollinating to leaves changing colors and I can’t help but think of how amazing it is to see how God makes things to grow and work together. The better I become, the more detailed and sharp the photos are. As I play around with settings and bokeh (out of focus parts in the photo, like the first photo) the more and more I can’t get enough of this kind of photography.

Black and White

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For for next week: close-up