This Will Change the Way You Shoot Instant Photos

Just when we thought instant photography couldn’t get any cooler, the Brooklyn Instant Film Initiative (BKIFI) changed the game. The small New York-based company specializes in creating film and filters that add a bit of extra style to analog photography. It’s been a couple of years since I bought a set of their filters for Polaroid cameras, and since then, I’ve rarely shot a pack without one on.

Installing the filters is easy. Simply follow the included instructions to apply the transparent plastic sheet over the film cartridge. The filters come in sizes for standard Polaroids in addition to Instax Mini and Wide. After insertion, the camera will eject the darkslide as usual while leaving the filter attached. From then on, just shoot as usual and watch the magic happen.

When thinking about exposure, aim for the midtones. The filters’ images show up best there and become less visible in the shadows and highlights. An instant camera with manual exposure can help perfect the process.

The filter images still appear on non-standard film emulsions, such as Duochrome. Just be aware that the color of the images will be affected. Don’t expect rainbow hearts to still be in color on a black & white film stock.

The position of the images will be roughly the same from shot to shot, so extra particular shooters can try to compose so that the hearts or flowers can show up in an exact spot, like directly on top of their subject’s eye. For this type of minute control, an instant camera with an SLR format or a camera that prints digital photos onto instant film would be the best choice.

These filters are so great that “naked” instant photos almost feel boring in comparison. Once you try, you’ll never load a camera without them.

Norbert Daniels Jr. is a writer and photographer from Long Beach, CA. You can follow him on Instagram @norbertdphotography and see his work on NorbertDanielsJr.com.

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