“Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.”—Edwin H. Land
In 1947, Polaroid introducedi ts first consumer camera— the Land Camera Model 95. I was mesmerized by the concept but it wasn’t until the SX-70 was introduced in 1972 that I owned an instant camera and since that time, I’ve never been without some kind of instant camera or Polaroid back…at least not until digital cameras came along. But recently, as part of my and a heck of a lot other people’s newly rekindled interest in film photography, I became interested in instant photography too. Why? The headline says it—because it’s fun!
That doesn’t mean instant photography can’t be practical. My friend Rick Sammon has used instant cameras in the past as an ice breaker when photographing people he doesn’t know. He shoots the instant photo then immediately hands it to them creating a bond and showing them the kind of photographs he intends to make. That’s still a good idea.
My current foray into instant photography was triggered by acquiring a Fuji Instax, specifically the Mini 90 Neo Classic model. It uses Instax Mini film to produce credit card-sized prints and features a 60mm lens that’s can focus as close as 11.8-inches. There’s a built-in flash too. Variation of this model in colors and shapes are available at prices that less than the Mini 90 Neo Classic. In Japan there are also Hello Kitty and Snoopy versions of this camera and Fuji makes film that works with all Instax cameras with these cartoons printed around the images. Amazon used to have this specialty film and you know I have a box of the Snoopy film.
To keep the film and camera together and protect the Mini 90 Neo Classic when not in use, I have a Domke Trekker bag. It’s a compact bag with a removable shoulder strap with a zippered mesh pocket on the interior of the front flap as well as a zippered rear pocket. The bag closes via an antique steel thumb clasp, and features YKK zippers. Side rain hoods prevent rain from getting the camera wet. There’s a numbered identification plate that once registered, so if you lose the bag, the finder can contact Domke, who will contact you.