As a kid, I loved combing through my parents’ old photo albums. My family and I would occasionally dig stacks of them out of a closet and sift through them page by page. Obviously, laughing at how my parents used to dress and style their hair back in the late ‘70s was part of the fun, but I especially loved seeing photos of relatives I never met or was too young to remember.
Lately I’ve been thinking about how I document my life. I like my life, and I would like to remember how it is now when it’s not now anymore. But before I started at MPEX, I relied on other people with cameras to capture the memories for me. In college, I would find myself tagged in photos on Facebook, but I never took my own photos. I didn’t own a camera, and my flip-phone’s camera was barely worth turning on. In 2010, I took a trip to visit a friend in Maine, so I bought a point & shoot, took my pictures, and then never used the camera again. If you look at my Facebook pictures, it’s like I didn’t exist between 2010 and 2014.
I’ve made a concerted effort to change this lack of documentation over the past couple of years, especially since last year when I finally joined the 21st century and bought an iPhone. Of course, when I want my photos to look great, I’ll still use a DSLR like the Canon 6D or the Nikon D610. But I have to admit (at the risk of being struck down by the photography gods) that I take most of my photos with my trusty, ever-present iPhone.
The detriment about taking the majority of your personal snapshots with your iPhone is that these are small digital files that exist solely on the internet, unless you go through the process of printing them out, which most people don’t bother to do because it’s not worth the time, money, and effort. Which is too bad. When I have kids and they’re old enough to start looking at my old snapshots, will Facebook and Instagram still be around? Will I want to sit my hypothetical children in front of a computer and have them scroll through my photos instead of sitting on the living room floor with them, flipping through actual physical pages that contain actual prints of my memories?
Then I was introduced to the Fujifilm Instax Share SP-1 printer and I instantly fell in love.
The SP-1 allows you to liberate images from your phone and print them out on Fuji Instax Mini Color Film. The little printer that could sends out a WiFi signal to connect to your phone. Download the free Instax Share app from either Google Play or the iTunes Store, and from that app you can print any photo that’s on your phone. There are some customizable options, including adding text, but on their own the photos simply look awesome. The Instax Mini Color Film (which, at $17 for 20 exposures, is a steal) lives up to its namesake and the tradition of amazing color production that Fujifilm is known for. The images form within 5 minutes of printing, and the ISO 800 film lends itself to impressively sharp image reproduction. There are even green lights on the printer that tell you how many prints you have left.
Now I have a way to turn my phone images into actual pictures I can share with my friends and family. Printing with the Instax SP-1 is way easier than printing from my laptop or desktop, and the fun you have watching the photos form the instant they print is priceless. Check out the rest of my images below, and then start making your own!