You know that someone somewhere did a great job of marketing when it's late at night and something pops into your head, from who knows where, and you find yourself jumping online to make a small new purchase. No, I'm not talking about an expensive new lens or shiny new piece of gear; I'm talking about what amounts to an inexpensive accessory that tags along on your photo sessions. It adds something fun and tangible all while being almost impossible not to have a good time with. I'm talking about those Poloroid-esque mini cameras that seem to be making a big time comeback these days.
It was late at night and as one does, I end up buying the Instax Mini 9 on a bit of a whim. I thought I would give it a shot (no pun intended) and see if I could have a bit of fun snapping some instant pics at some of my photo sessions. You know, making some memories and all that good stuff?
Holy cow was that a great purchase. Let's be clear, this is not a review of the Instax camera itself but rather a tale about the experience having this little guy with me on my sessions brings. First, there is an undeniable vintage factor that comes with snapping a picture only to have the tiny camera spit out a print ready to fade into reality. It brings back a flood of pleasant memories from family gatherings when I was only a kid, waiting and waving the little picture back and forth trying to coax the image to fade in just a bit quicker.
Fast forward to the here and now, snapping these little pictures is the real-world extra that you can give to your client and friends to serve as fun and simple memory from the shoot. Either somewhere in the middle of your session, in between sets, or at the end of your session after you've wrapped up the shoot, take out a mini camera and ask if they would like to snap a couple instant pictures.
The first time I took this to a shoot, I almost forgot about it. I remembered it was in my car at the last second and we ended up standing around for another 30 or 40 minutes taking extra snapshots and swapping stories about Polaroid related memories. At the very least, it's just another way to foster a fun, engaging, and positive rapport with the people that you're working with. Positive energy is probably the most invaluable thing you can have at your session and it's the little extras like this that can really set you apart.