Exploring Craftcation on film

I first fell in love with instant cameras in high school. Back then, I took photos on an old DSLR camera that my dad passed down to me. I’d shoot a roll of film then drop it off at the drugstore to be developed (which took about a week!).

Way more often than a 16-year-old who had a part-time job working at a vintage clothing store for minimum wage should have, I let my impatience get the best of me and sprung for next day developing. I’m sure it’s hard for anyone whose teenage life wasn’t revolutionized by the cordless phone (finally I could retreat to my bedroom for a bit privacy instead of whispering into the only phone in the house which was in the constantly occupied kitchen) to imagine a world where seeing your photos the next day was considered fast.

The instant camera solved that waiting problem for me. I took a photo and it popped out immediately. Of course there was that 45 (or so) seconds that I stood there gently waving the photo and watching the image slowly rise from the white blankness.

I still used my dad’s DSLR but my instant camera went with me everywhere from the time I was 16 until my mid-30s when I got my first iPhone and I could finally wave goodbye to the days of pixelated flip phone photos. For the next few years, my instant camera gathered dust while I dove into the immediacy and possibilities of shooting and editing photos with my iPhone.

But, something was missing. Sure, I could see the photo the second I clicked the shutter but I was missing two things that I didn’t even realize were so important to me.

  1. Having an actual physical photograph not just to touch but also to display on my fridge or in a frame on a shelf or to use as a part of a DIY craft project.
  2. The ability to take an endless amount of photos on my iPhone took the pressure off my own photo skills (and not in a good way). I was relying too much on the camera and the ability it gave me to be able to review the photo, make adjustments and take another photo right away. I didn’t have to call upon the skills I learned in my high school photo class and built upon over the years of composition, balance, lighting, color etc.

I went back to my roots and rediscovered my love for instant camera photography. I upgraded and got a FUJIFILM Instax® Mini 8. I also found a way to hold onto the ease of shooting and editing on my iPhone and the tangibility and speed of instant photo developing and got a FUJIFILM Instax® SHARE SP-3 SQ printer which prints photos from my phone onto instant photo film. The best of both worlds!

Once again I was spending time composing each shot and trying to get it just right. Not only did my skills start improving but I also started displaying photos in my house again and got creative with some DIY projects. Naturally I wanted to share my love for instant photography with our community so I asked three of our presenters, Amy Tan of Amy Tangerine, Rachel Smith of The Crafted Life and Sarah Deragon of Portraits To The People. from our annual Craftcation Conference to document some of their experiences at Craftcation with FUJIFILM Instax® cameras and printers. All three did an awesome job capturing their experiences!

Attendees also had several opportunities to get to know FUJIFILM Instax® cameras and printers in Craftcation workshops lead by Amy Tangerine, Pam Garrison and Sarah Deragon, at our Saturday night Golden Girls themed party where attendees could hop in the photo booth with Rose, Blanche, Sophia and Dorothy and snap photos using a FUJIFILM Instax® Mini 70 and we had a camera lending library in our pop-up shop where attendees could borrow a FUJIFILM Instax® SQUARE SQ10FUJIFILM Instax® Mini 70 or FUJIFILM Instax® Wide 300 for a few hours as well as add their photos to an interactive display board.

I’m so excited to share photos from all of those activities at Craftcation with you all! I also created some diptychs and triptychs, I love the juxtaposition of images!


We’re giving away two FUJIFILM Instax® Wide 300 and two FUJIFILM Instax® SQUARE SQ10 cameras! To enter to win one of these cameras, just leave a comment at the bottom of the post letting us know where you want to take your new camera to capture your life’s awesome moments. *Leave your comment below by June 25, 2018 and we’ll enter you in the contest. Be sure to leave your email address in your profile so we can contact you if you win!

Amy Tangerine used FUJIFILM Instax® cameras and printers in her Traveler’s Notebook workshop and snapped photos with her FUJIFILM Instax® Wide 300 of her students and supplies.

Craftcation Conference

Craftcation ConferenceCraftcation Conference

Craftcation Conference

Rachel Smith used a FUJIFILM Instax® Mini 70 to document her time at Craftcation and shared her thoughts about her experience:

“Craftcation is so fun for a lot of reasons, but the most appealing aspect is that it’s a conference that thinks outside of the box. Not only can you take dream DIY workshops, but there are clever handmade elements all throughout the hotel. The Wanderings event, where select attendees transform their rooms into theme experiences, is by far one of my favorite things every year. It’s always so amazing and inspiring to be around other creatives and to get a feel for how people approach the same project, in a completely different way. I’m never not blown away, so this year I wanted to carry around myFUJIFILM Instax® Mini 70, so that I could capture it all!” – Rachel Smith (The Crafted Life)

Craftcation Conference

Craftcation Conference

Every morning at Craftcation, Sarah Deragon would text me and let me know that she’d left photos for me at the front desk of the hotel. Talk about an amazing way to wake up! Sarah carried her FUJIFILM Instax® SQUARE SQ10 and FUJIFILM Instax® Mini 70 to her iPhoneography and Photo Walking Tour workshops and with her throughout the conference as well as shot photos on her iPhone and printed them on her FUJIFILM Instax® SHARE SP-3 SQ printer. I shouldn’t have been surprised at how awesome Sarah’s photos are (after all she is a professional photographer) but they still blew my mind! 

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Throughout the conference attendees could borrow a  FUJIFILM Instax® SQUARE SQ10FUJIFILM Instax® Mini 70 or FUJIFILM Instax® Wide 300 from our lending library in the pop-up shop and add them to our Make it Awesome photo board! *The image of the photo board is from day one, by the end of the conference is was full of so many awesome images!

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There were so many cool (and hilarious) photos from the dance party photo booth that it was hard to choose a handful to share here. So many great costumes but here are some highlights.

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  1. Great photos! You can tell they were taken by creative people for sure!
    I would take this camera to the cities I travel to and take shots of key places to use as inspiration for my new hand drawn maps I use in my products.

  2. Expecting my first human offspring late this summer — I want to get a few last “baby bump” pictures at the park! And someday, when she’s old enough to hold a camera, I want to see the world through my little one’s eyes.

  3. Love this camera! I’d love to bring it during trips to capture and share amazing street style and DIY Fashion inspirations, as well as finished handmade projects! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

  4. OMG – I would love to take photos of my sewing projects and of whatever catches my eye when I’m wandering around the Bay Area. I miss having a physical photo.

  5. I would take this camera with me to Austria this summer, to document the music festival that my choir is invited to sing at!

  6. Craftcation was my 1st trip away alone since having my daughter 8 years ago!!! Now I’ve caught the travel bug and I would use this camera to document solo adventures and candid family photos!!

  7. I’d take it to parties and events held by relatives and friends. I went to a wedding shower last weekend and decided to bring my DSLR. The bride-to-be was so excited, because she hadn’t asked anyone to capture the moments. But of course, she had to wait for me to upload them and share a link. It would have been so great if I could have taken some Instax pics to hand out right there!

  8. I would love to document my grandmas life with her great grandkids. My grandfather just passed away at 90 after they were married for 70 years! She is doing great and surrounded by her lovely 23 grandchildren and 19 great grandchildren. I would be a special addition to scrapbooks for my girls one day!♥️

  9. We LOVED these cameras. Kreg and I want all of the sizes to take with us on vacation. Last year we made travellers notebooks with Amy Tangerine so we want to start taking them with us and sticking the photos right in the notebook as we go.

  10. I have been wanting an Instax FOR LIKE EVERRRRR! I would use it to take pics of adventures with my family and friends.

  11. well let’s see…this camera would document my (now) annual 100 Days or Summer/100 Days of Art. This project stemmed from my 11 year old’s “Summer To Do” annual list. I decided to make my own list activity…and it manifested in ART!

  12. I was verrrry newly pregnant at Craftcation (due in November), so would love taking pics of the new babe and her big brother! ❤️

  13. Oh how great! I’d use it to take photos of the amazing folks teaching with TRY Studio! It’d be great to have a camera to use that captures the moment of these creative one-on-one lessons to inspire others to take the leap and try something new. xo

  14. I would go back to Tuscany where I want spent 3 months and Explorer again only this time with my new camera.

  15. I would love to share this camera with my toddler. We go on a lot of adventures as well as make a ton of crafts so I’d like to capture all the moments he experiences or the things he makes!

  16. Lovely post. I’d use it to capture my niece and how she’s changed from my last visit six months ago! Going to make bath bombs with her after the class at Craftcation taught me how!

  17. Oooohhh I wish I had that camera with me right now – we’re visiting my sister-in-law and her family in NY, and our kids are seeing each other again after nearly 3 years (they’re all still young, so a lot has changed). In the few short hours we’ve been together so far, there have been so many awesome spontaneous moments that would translate so well on a printed instant photo!

  18. I would love to use the camera to capture precious moments on my annual family trips with my aging parents. Time spent are rare with my busy work schedule and living thousands of miles apart don’t make it any easier. The older we get the more we cherish our times together. And being able to give them instant photos to commemorate a special day would mean the world to them.

  19. I would love to have one of these cameras so that I could document my walks through the woods and be able to make a collage of my outside discoveries.

  20. I want to take this camera to my India trip this year during our biggest festival Diwali. And capture the rich and vibrant festivities. Plus my best friend’s wedding. Can’t wait totake instant pictures of it all.

  21. I work with families at a community based non profit and would love to be able to have children and families take home film photos of themselves using this camera! People don’t get to have tangible, film based photos often enough anymore and I think this would be a great thing to share.

  22. What a great way to build community!

    I would want to take a camera to Boulder, Colorado for my choir’s yearly international gathering. I sing with the Threshold Choir, and we sing at the bedside of the dying. Our yearly gathering gives 300 of us the chance to see friends from all over the world, learn from and empower each other in our work, and to let loose a little through the power of singing. A Polaroid camera would be such a fun way to document on the fly an already incredible experience!

    Fingers crossed! <3

  23. I’d love to take intstant pictures of my kiddos and finally get some updated shots of them up on the walls 🙂

  24. I really want to let my kids take some pics at the Holland, MI Tulip Festival with these! The experience of taking physical photos as a kid was so instrumental in my development! (And I just love #puremichigan and flowers!)

  25. I was so excited when I was introduced to the Instax Printer at the Craftcation Conference! It was at my first real class and it’s also where I bonded with my first conference friend. I carry around my instax Mini 9, waiting for moments to capture that go unnoticed or memories I don’t want to slip away. I also lend them to clients when I do party planning for them so they can get the same joy from holding the instant picture that I do!
    After seeing the Instax Printer I knew this was something I needed to get! While I love my instax Mini 9, I have become more accustomed to technology. I know how to adjust for lighting, distance, warmth, tone, etc. After seeing the Instax Printer, I knew that was the new direction I needed to go in both my personal photography with Instax film and my professional. I can’t wait until I have an Instax Printer for my next bridal shower or baby shower that I put together and the guests can take their own photos, edit them AND have the instant gratification of the picture (not to mention a momento from a day they won’t soon forget :] )

    <3 jamie
    Party planning in a Box

  26. Cool photos! I’m so sorry I didn’t have a chance to borrow the camera during Craftcation! I would definitely take it to Craftcation next year! I also think it would be a great ice breaker at mixers, not to mention family gatherings. Wish I had it for Mother’s Day today!!!

  27. I’ve been traveling more and really trying to document my adventures in my bullet/travelers journal. This camera would make that an absolute ease! I also have a pretty solid girl gang here in Atlanta and being able to take that camera with us when we’re out wreaking havoc on the town would be awesome. Thanks so much for this opportunity!

  28. Me and my brand JFOX Jewelry are taking the show on the road in 2020 and going from a solid workspace in Long Beach to the nomadic van life. I will be traveling the country doing shows, pop-ups at shops and embracing new adventures! This all ties in with my blog “My Wrinkled Bohemian Life” which features details of my market life and journey of living in our converted van with my puppy and boyfriend. I’ve actually recently created a magnetic board I plan to bring with me for in my booth and snap insta photos of customers and people along our journey.

  29. I would love to use the this cute camera on our family road trip up through Yellowstone and Glacier on our way to our friend’s wedding this September! Thank you for running this giveaway!

  30. As a soon to be first time mama (September, here we come 🙈), I’d love to capture the little moments along the way! This pregnancy is flying by and I realized I barely have any photos! I don’t want that to happen with the little one – I mean, how much of a bummer would it be to tell your kid, sorry, we were too busy keeping you alive to remember to take pictures 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

    – Dog Mom + Future Human Mom-to-be

  31. Once a week my husband and I enjoy a lunch date roaming our local nursery where I love taking pictures of the plants, goats, butterflies, and anything else that crawls or flies or grows.

  32. The Patchwork Santa Ana Show is as vibrant and colorful as any marketplace I’ve seen in my world travels and combine that with the multi-multi-ethnic shops that occupy the buildings and you just can’t beat it the fun it is to be there.

    I would bring these cameras and lots of film to this show. Let the color begin!

  33. I moved to Los Angeles three years ago and I’ve been visiting all the weird and wonderful places that Southern California has to offer as a way to get to know and get to love my new (ish) surroundings. I would love to take one of these cameras on my many adventures.

  34. I would love to use this at my wedding from my point of view. So I can remeber my wedding as I saw it.

  35. I would use the camera to take Pictures of my customers trying on my jewelry at my booth, during my shows, then have those images forever apart of my booth display as a mini album or posted around the booth. 🙂 This would be so much fun!

  36. My husband and I are celebrating our 12th anniversary soon, and in all the years we’ve been together, we haven’t taken many photos. I’d really love to use the Instax to document our adventures together!

  37. I would like to take it into my back yard and set up some of my crafts to take pictures of and assemble to give me the courage to pursue them more. Enjoy crochet, cross stitch, paper crafts but never think my work is good enough. Hope you inspire my kids to be confident in their creativity.

  38. What fun! I recognize some of these folks from when I was lucky enough to go to Craftcation. I’d love to have one of these cameras for my get-togethers with friends.

  39. I’m headed to PARIS in August this year and that would be amazing captured on instax!! Plus it would help push me towards my goal of better memory keeping. What a fun giveaway!

  40. I would take the camera to Roller Derby Bouts! Have it on the bench or in the crowd get some fan photos as well as players perspective!

  41. I would love to take the camera on my camping trip this summer. Definitely need an extra good reason to leave my phone behind. My personal motto for this year: Offline is the new luxury!

    In your post I really can relate to the experience of relying on the phone camera and edit to be a lazy photographer. Using a camera with actual film is an exercise in being present and aware in creating. Gosh, I remember the day of 24 or 36 exposures and really planning my shots and being super careful! Every frame counted!

    Thanks for all the thoughtful posts\; even the sponsored ones!

  42. For me … I want to take photos of my husband and my amazing camping trip in the High Sierras. Especially, the one where I catch the biggest fish!!!!

  43. I have been a polaroid user for the past 10 years. I create a Polaroid wall that I make for each year. I love fujifilm and would be incredible to take this on our honeymoon after our wedding in November! We’re going to Thailand, Bali etc.

  44. I love having a tangible momento the captures a moment without being lost in the digital depths never to be seen again. I would love to use one to capture the love for my first niece, born just 8 hours ago! 💕

  45. I would want to give it to my daughter that is graduating high school June 2 and will be off to college in the fall.

  46. I would love to take it on all our adventures, near and far; and share with my preteens so they can dabble in photography 💕

  47. I have been more active for health reasons and would love to share a camera with my 2 young kiddos so I can see our adventures through their perspectives. What they think is interesting or cool etc..

  48. This is so amazing, what a wonderful project!
    I would want to take the camera to Alaska! I’m visiting the beautiful mountains next month and I couldn’t think of any better way to capture it than with a fuji instax. Fingers crossed! XX

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