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

Weekend Wrap Up

I am thankful for the cardinals, post-season games, and come back wins.

I am thankful for cold nights and lots of covers.

I am thankful for good food and even better company.

 photo 474186D5-32BB-43D4-9CC2-6AA34E978AD1_zps9wa5do6d.jpgI am thankful for pictures of flowers during his walks.

I am thankful for fall smelling candles.

I am thankful for family (both mine and his).

I am thankful for cameras and documenting life. photo DBF7D376-7781-44B7-92D9-F5D355267F61_zpsjogedr7e.jpgI am thankful for dates to the antique store with my roomie.

I am thankful for fuzzy new sweaters.

I am thankful for wedding planning and registry creating.

I am thankful for worship singing.

And, as always, I’m thankful that you’re here reading these words.

I hope you have a wonderful week.

52 Instax

I just started this project and I’m already behind on posting about it. But don’t worry, I’m caught up in real life. And I also have a really cool instax photo album to put them all in! I’ll post more about that when it starts getting filled up.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos


Yep, there are exotic animals about 1 mile from my house. Too bad it was too dark by the time I took this picture.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Apparently, I have this really cool habit of taking pictures at sunset, which for this camera means that part of it is dark. In person, it turns out alright but when I photograph it for my blog posts, it ends up looking like it has no detail. I took this picture a few weeks ago on one of the back roads by my house, I LOVED the sunset that night, so I took a drive.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosThis is easily one of my favorite photos that I have taken using this camera. I really like passenger seat rear view mirror shots with the sunset in the background. Are you noticing a trend?

You Are Creative

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I have a hard time believing that a non-creative person exists. I mean, creativity comes in all forms and looks completely different for each person. Without creative people, the world as we know it wouldn’t exist – no musicians, no designers, no entrepreneurs, no engineers, no architects, no doctors…and the list goes on. If you are a problem solver, art-maker, hobby-haver, communicator, or thinker then you are a creative person.

Even everyday conversations require creativity to use combinations of words and phrases together! One of the most fascinating things is to eavesdrop on a conversation and compare what you would have said to what the eavesdropee is saying. (If this isn’t a thing that people do, then let’s pretend I didn’t just admit to eavesdropping.)

Here are a few tips to unleash your creativity:

  • Try something new. If you want to be a painter, you can be! All you have to do is start painting – that’s it.
  • Just Start. Go ahead and begin a project. Realize that if you mess up or if what you’re working on isn’t up to your standards, you’re in a better place than if you wouldn’t have started at all because now at least you know what doesn’t work!
  • Practice makes perfect. So maybe you don’t believe in perfect, per-se, but my parents used to say this all the time in relation to not just being able to expect yourself to be good at something the first time. It’s a shame I threw away the hundred pages I first tried calligraphy on, because if that wasn’t the epitome of that saying, I don’t know what is.
  • Use inspiration. Sparingly. This is a toughy. Inspiration is great and can help you get some fantastic ideas just be careful about copying someone’s work or using a voice that’s not necessarily your own. Gather ideas and use those to formulate your plans and notes. If you do take someone else’s ideas verbatim, you definitely need to site where you found it.
  • Get ideas flowing. Start by warming up for five minutes. This can be anything from writing a timed journal entry to free playing on your guitar while making up words, to taking a walk, to combining colors, themes and patterns to create a “mood board”. I like to listen to music I don’t know the words to when I am painting, this helps me to focus on the paint and strokes while also having some background noise.
  • Make lists. What are your goals – both big and little? Ticking them off as you go will help you feel more productive. Lists can also be used to reflect on projects to compare what you liked and what you didn’t so that you will can improve next time.
  • Set deadlines. Force yourself to finish something. This is one of the greatest lessons that I have learned from Get Messy in the past nine weeks. The time crunch holds me accountable and gets the creativeness going even when I’m tired or want to do something else.
  • Bounce ideas off an expert. Find someone who is creative in a way that you connect with and ask them questions. See what there creative process is like and how each project is executed.
  • Don’t be afraid to be embarrassed. Some of my worst projects have been posted right here on this blog and even though I hated posting it, I love looking back on it to see how much my art work has changed. Even the photos in some of my very first blog posts are a mess, but the journey is oh-so lovely. This is what pushes me to keep practicing.
  • Overcome self-negativity. This one’s obvious. The more you put yourself down or tell yourself that you can’t do something, the more you won’t want to (or be able to) do something.
  • Save it. If you’re stuck and your project doesn’t seem complete, let it sit around in a place you will see it for a few days. Let your brain think of it in the background and see if you can’t come up with something to add or change to make your project better.
  • Scrap it. It’s not practical to think that every single project/hobby will be “your thing”. Do what you love and scrap what you don’t.

Try something new and let me know how it goes!

Weekend Wrap Up

I am thankful for friends on a relaxing Friday.
I am thankful for food, especially when it’s delicious and free. Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosPhotobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for football games and cheering for the winning team. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for Kevin. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for parents who come in town just to take us out to eat.
I am thankful for double dates to the record/book store.
I am thankful for sunsets and watching deer play. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for driving-with-the-windows-down kind of weather.
I am thankful for the golden hour and the prettiest light ever. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for Sundays and writing in my journal at Panera with Tricia.Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for growing plants, despite being eaten by cats.
I am thankful for plenty of sleep and walks around the block.
I am thankful that you are reading this post, while I am over here and you are there, in your corner of the world.

Happy Monday, friends.

Weekend Wrap Up

I continually remind myself that I have so much to be thankful for:

I am thankful for the perfect sunset at one of my favorite places.
Photobucket Pictures, Images and PhotosI am thankful for good, live music while chatting with friends. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for new favorite bridges. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for Kevin. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for the best picnic food. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Am I right? Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for selfies and open-mouth smiles. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for feet photos, to remember all of the places we’ve been. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for this spot, a perfect place for a picnic. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for blues skies and a perfect weather day. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I am thankful for backyard grilling and football with some of our favorite friends. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos I’m thankful for work and a day of rest.
I’m thankful for community, chatting, and streaming Sunday Night Football.
I’m thankful for weekends that feel a million hours longer than they actually are.

What are you thankful for this week?