Instant Film Wedding Photography

I'm a photographer. There, I said it so it must true! How hard can it be?

 

Nowadays pretty much the only qualification needed to give oneself the lofty title of Professional Photographer is simple: if someone is paying you to take pictures you are a professional because, hey, it's your profession! And you have a great website with beautiful images that proves it!

And even though I've been doing this for many years, I still don't like to call myself a professional. And because the 70’s were really good for me, my brain just can’t quick time process flash settings and the 2 billion options on my high tech camera. To me the camera is a tool; a machine that is supposed to do it’s thing while I concentrate on you and the moment we are in. I'm a "Funtographer" because while I deliver some nice images now and then (if I get lucky), I like to keep it simple and relaxed and fun.​ 

 

(But before you get too scared, let me tell you that my wife Kathy does understand flash settings and all those camera options, so no worries about a dang thing when it comes to our photo skills!)

So with that goal in mind, I'm going in a different direction, offering an instant film option as an add on in addition to digital image files. 

 




Wait, did you just say that you do wedding photography with an instant camera? Yep, 2 of them actually. Nobody in their right minds would shoot a wedding with an instant film camera! (Guess that tells you something about me then....)​For my instant film cameras, I'm sporting the brandly new Lomo'Instant Automat and a Fuji Instax 210.​So why instant film?

 

Let's take a cruise down memory lane. Remember the thrill of waiting for your latest Polaroid picture to finally transition from a grainy gray block into a clear, distinct image? Admittedly a far different experience than today's cell phone shot posted online in .008 seconds complete with the latest filters, and waiting for the thrill of getting likes. Exciting :)

 

Or not getting likes. Depressing :(​

There is a difference with shooting instant film compared to digital. They give such a raw, vintage feel that is impossible to achieve with digital, even with retouching. There is an organic rawness, and uniqueness with each image. With digital, you can take photos over and over until you get one that doesn’t make you look like an over-fed pork chop without wasting film, and you can share them online instantly. Awesome. Meh. Then they slowly slide down your Facebook page until they slip away into some FB purgatory of a gazillion other standard and predictable boilerplate images of food, you making a Kim Kardashian pouty lips face in your car, or your ass. Or your Kim Kardashian pouty ass with food on it while you're in the car. Aren't you the creative one!

 

Until just recently, this instant film memory seemed to be on the verge of dropping out of popular consciousness, going the way of travel agencies, actual human conversation, mock turtlenecks, living somewhere other than your parent's house, and rotary phones. However, the art of the instant camera has managed to narrowly survive thanks to the tenacity of a few determined fans.​One big benefit of instant film cameras is the instant gratification they provide the photographer. In their heyday, these cameras saved anxious 'togs the agony of waiting weeks to see prints of their latest pictures come back from the developer. Although most Americans who use digital have the ability to see their pictures right after snapping them, they still have to go somewhere, upload and print in order to get a tangible something of their image.

 

With instant film the process is far simpler. Just snap and wait for the print to shoot out the side, where it will magically develop within just a few minutes.​The images produced by instant camera film are different from those produced by digital or even 35 mm cameras. They have their own fuzzy, retro look, and a white, black, or even multi colored surrounding frame that safely encompasses the image. Pictures produced through instant film have a unique look that can never be totally duplicated, as hard as online digital photo-editing applications may try. Film from makers like Fuji and Impossible Project comes in a variety of hues and speeds, with various shapes and sizes.

 

For example, black and white film is now offered with some types of instant film offerings.​For those who are old enough to remember when instant film was popular, there is something special about the unique sound the camera makes when developing, the smell (yes, there is a smell), and the distant memory of shaking one of those little squares while anxiously waiting for the development process to conclude. These actions create their own sort of ritual and bring about the warm, fuzzy feeling of nostalgia that fills the soul. For many, this feeling is a good enough reason to make the investment required to acquire an instant film camera and related accessories. With every point and click, they can reflect on a sunny childhood when instant film was the norm and digital cameras were a distant dream.​Polaroid-style pictures make great additions to scrapbooks. They present a small white patch at the foot of the image that is perfect for adding the date, time, or subject's name. They also look funky and retro compared to digital and conventional prints. Scrapbooking enthusiasts who are seeking a new, creative way to preserve their memories will likely appreciate the authenticity and one-of-a-kind nature of instant photography.​Instant film cameras not only provide a nostalgic novelty, they give users the opportunity to experiment with a one-of-a-kind form of photographic art that was almost lost.

 

Having a trusty, cute Fuji Instax camera sets photography enthusiasts apart from the crowd, while helping them to connect to a distant memory of a simpler time.Gone are the days of film photography and flipping through old photo albums with grainy film photos of your childhood. Instead, memories are captured and kept through mobile phones, digital cameras, webcams and even the occasional digital photo frame that someone is always trying to resurrect as being cool. But every once in a while nostalgia hits you when you least expect it and you get sad because can’t immense yourself in photo albums like you used to do because, well, everything is digital and lost somewhere on Book Face. But to help with your depression, they still make Twinkies!

 

Instant film cameras are my medium of choice for moments where I know I’ll want to keep a hard copy tacked up on my wall or in a photo album. They’re perfect for days of reminiscence, the thrill of watching your photo slowly develop in front of your very eyes and sharing your memories through gifting them.​Not only are instant film photographs a novelty, but they’re also a beautiful gift for your loved ones. Whether you run into a long-lost friend at a cafe, attend important events like graduations or weddings, or go on a holiday to a new exotic destination, any photo you take can be developed and gifted to the other parties on the spot. Hard copies of photos tend to make a bigger impact on people due to the saturation of digital photography in current society, which will make your gift extra special. Indeed, a quick search on Etsy will provide you with a bunch of handmade and vintage albums designed just to put those instant pictures into. Just sayin'...​

 

Sometimes we just want to go back to the days where Photoshop didn’t exist. Candid photos have this tendency to look amazing in film because of the vintage color effect, which distracts from any obvious imperfections quickly revealed in digital photos. And also because it leaves you with a moment that can't be altered or changed or edited. It's the truth of a genuine moment of your life frozen when the shutter button was pushed, and unfolded as the film slowly turns into history right in front of your eyes.​I love the old, painterly feel that an instant print gives and the excitement of seeing how it will turn out, and never really knowing for sure what the final result will be. I also love the instantaneous nature of seeing something coming to life on print.

 

Shooting with the instant format is very social too. Everyone loves seeing them develop and are surprised to physically hold the image in their hand. As I explained, the tangible factor of holding an image is so different than seeing a digital image on a screen, and it's really exciting.Digital cameras are great, don’t get me wrong. Some of my best friends are digital cameras. (I don't get out much..)

 

Somehow, though, those images don’t seem as important as ones that you can hold in your hand. It’s time to put photos back in people’s hands and on their fridge.

 

​Honestly, how often do you actually go back and look at all those digital photos? I’m guessing hardly ever. Remember as a kid, pulling out your mom or grandma’s dusty old  cardboard box with one of the sides taped closed, bursting with old photos and spending a lazy afternoon looking at slightly yellowed Polaroid pictures of your folks in diapers or covered in their first ice cream and birthday cake? Flipping the pictures over to find that magical date scribbled there with that old Bic ink pen that's still laying at the bottom of the picture box? (And somehow the pen still works...)

 

Clicking though galleries on a hard drive just doesn’t ground you emotionally like spreading old photos on the floor and laughing your ass off at them with your siblings. It's talking and laughing and sharing with other people in real life. It's being analog in this digital world.

 

We need a little more of that.

Pricing options .

 

I offer 2 sizes with the Fuji Instax film.. Instax Mini (credit card size) and Instax Wide (3.4 x 4.25")

 

The mini size can be either color or black & white. And either size comes in a 10 pak, and I charge $25 per 10 pack. Why I charge what I do. Simple… the cameras and lighting, film, and my expertise as a photographer.

So just do it.. contact Don Beach, text or call my "shell" phone 401-442-8065

Newport, Rhode Island

Captain's Log, Stardate 47634.44. What are you waiting for.. call me about your wedding plans already!

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