Over the past several decades, technology has revolutionised, and permanently altered, the world of photography.
However, despite years of innovation, we still yearn for tangible, hand-held photographs. While digital photography offers immediate access photographs on a screen, and a multitude of advanced features, instant photography offers an element of surprise and unique charm that’s impossible to replicate with any other tool.
To help you create stunning instant masterpieces, we’ve compiled 10 pro tips:
1. Use Natural Light
As a photographer, natural light is your best mate. Think of the sun as nature’s Photoshop. Depending on the time of day you shoot, natural light can help you create an image that’s dim and moody or golden and cheerful. Taking your instax outdoors will help you compose beautiful photos you can proudly label #nofilter.
2. Switch up the Angles
Different scenarios call for different angles. By changing it up, you can share a unique perspective on otherwise simple subject matter. This is especially true for food photography. For example, to capture an entire table’s worth of delicacies, stand on a chair and get an aerial shot. A colorful salad or delectable slice of chocolate cake, however, may call for a close-up detail shot.
3. Go Exploring
A helpful best practise for any novice photographer is to take regular photo walks. Grab your instax camera and spend an hour or two communing with Mother Nature. Visit a local park, meander down an unexplored hiking trail or take your camera on holiday. Any time you spot something worth noting, snap a photo. At the end of your escapade, you’ll have a striking photo story outlining the adventure’s high points.
4. Play with Contrast on Neutral Backgrounds
A neutral background, like a plain white wall, is usually the preferred spot for a portrait shoot. To liven things up, and add some dimension to your photos, dress your subject in contrasting colours. A burst of colour in an otherwise bare space will give your image a unique pop.
5. Move in Close
Looking to breathe more personality into portraits of loved ones? It’s time for a close-up! While positioning your subject, look through the viewfinder and make sure your subject fills up the entire frame. By shooting closer, you can evoke emotion and capture more of the essence of your subject.
6. Dress Up Your Set
Whenever you’re shooting an inanimate object, such as an interesting meal or a new purchase, improve the composition by adding in a few props. Practise still life photography by grouping together items with a similar theme. For example, arrange a favourite book with a pair of reading glasses and a steaming cup of tea on your nightstand. Play around with placement and lighting. However, don’t overwhelm your shot with too many props or you may detract from the focal point.
7. Consider Backgrounds for Dimension
Sometimes, a breathtaking view is all you need to create the perfect portrait. While portraits are traditionally close-up, and vertical, including more background imagery makes for an interesting visual. Play with the balance of the photo by placing your subject flush to one side, or at an angle, and let the backdrop tell the story.
8. Pass it Around
One of the drawbacks to being the token photographer in your group of friends is you hardly ever see yourself in any of the shots. Not to mention, all photos of an event are only from one perspective. For a more dynamic collection, pass your instax around to your friends and have them shoot whatever they like. By the end of a night, you’ll have a scrapbook’s worth of unique photos from a wide variety of perspectives.
9. Play with Double Exposure
Double exposure photos offer photographers of any skill level an opportunity to create interesting and one-of-a-kind images. With the instax mini 90, double exposures are a breeze. Snap photos of contrasting subjects, like architecture and nature, and layer the two for unusual and artistic prints.
10. Get Candid
What’s a person’s most common reaction when you point your camera in their direction? Stop, pose and smile. However, repetitive, posed shots can quickly become dull. Often, the most beautiful portraits occur when subjects are unaware they’re being photographed. Warm your subject up with a couple of standard posed pictures, then wait for them to become distracted or amused. The photos you take when your subject isn’t looking often reveal more of their personality than standard posed shots.
As any experienced professional will agree, the best way to create beautiful photographs is through practise and development of your own personal style. What advice can you offer other instax users? Share in the comments below!
Ready to make your own instant works of art? Check out the full line of instax cameras and choose one that fits your lifestyle!