Senior Year Essentials

Sr Photos.jpg

Yes, we are still in the middle of a sweltering Texas summer, but the school year is right around the corner and for the Class of 2019, it’s going to begin and fly by.  You seniors will be graduating before you know it!  It’s just insane how quickly it passes.  And with that in mind, here’s a handy guide to help all you seniors and your families make sure you don’t forget any of the essentials that will make your senior year unforgettable!

 Senior Pictures

Of course I’m going to mention those first!  But I do so not only because I’m a photographer but because of years of experience of working with high school students and yearbooks.  Honestly the best time to get your Senior Portraits done is in the fall, between August and October.  So many things depend on and require these pictures, getting them done early takes care of a lot of potential problems up front!   Your senior year has a tendency to crazy as things move on.  Demands from family, friends, school activities pile up and every year we have a flood of students who put off getting their pictures made that end up trying to get them done at the last second, only to discover that all of the photographers in the area are booked up.  Make it easy on yourself and get your session booked and on the schedule while things are still manageable.

Homecoming

Your last homecoming as a student has to be special!  Mums and garters that reflect who you are and all that school spirit you have bottled up inside are the way to go!  And if your school hosts a homecoming dance afterwards, don't forget about planning what you are going to wear and who you will be going with! 

Cap and Gown

Pretty early on in the school year, your school’s slected vendor will come by and take orders for caps, gowns, and other items.  This is your one chance to order your graduation gear.  Most vendors (balfour, josten’s, etc) will allow you to place your order and pay in installments.  Just be aware that you cannot get your cap and gown until your order is paid in full and you cannot walk with your class unless you’re wearing a cap and gown.  Most of the time, you can expect to pay in the range of $80 for your graduation outfit.  

Yearbook

Even if you’ve never ordered a yearbook in your life, trust me, you do not want to miss out in getting a copy of your senior yearbook.  It is something that you will appreciate having in a few years.  If you can order your yearbook early, you can save a ton of money!  Most yearbooks sell at a 30% to 50% discount at the beginning of the school year.  It just makes sense to get your book ordered early and get it done!  Once yearbook orders close, there may or may not be any copies available after everyone picks up their orders.  So seriously don't delay.  I missed out on buying some of my high school yearbooks and I have regretted it a lot!

Prom

From picking out the perfect outfit to taking those awkward photos with your parents, prom is a special part of the year and can be a lot of fun.  Since proms usually involve more than just going to a school dance, you will want to be on top of planning for your event.  What are you going to drive?  Or maybe we should get a limo?  What about the dress or the tux?  Are we going somewhere before the prom to eat or hang out?  Its a lot to consider and plan and it happens to come up really fast, especially since several schools have moved their proms pretty far forward in the year.

Invitations

No, you aren't expecting everyone that you send an invitation to to come to your graduation.  Most schools limit the amount of guests that you can have attend anyways.  Fortunately there's a lot of flexibility here.  The idea of an invitation is fading pretty quickly and now most people prefer to create a graduation announcement or choose to invite everyone to a graduation party that is set at a convenient time for the graduate and their family rather than inviting everyone to the actually ceremony.  Regardless of what you call it, you're going to need to make sure people know you are graduating so that you can get some of those sweet graduation gifts!  There are a lot of great websites out there to order lower-cost but still really high quality announcements/invites.  Most of these will let you customize your announcement with custom photos and text and many provide you with a variety of templates to make your invite stand out from the crowd.  It is definitely best to get your senior photos done early so that you will have these in time to get your invitations ordered.  Generally, you would want to get these out at least six weeks ahead of your graduation date, so your rich family members can make sure and get you the perfect expensive gift to celebrate the big day.

baby pictures

Graduation is a perfect time for parents and grandparents to be sentimental and most schools oblige this by having a really cheesy slideshow featuring you and all of your classmates as goofy looking babies and super mature looking semi-adults.  You and your parents are going to have to sort through all 28,752 photos that they have of you and pick out the absolute cutest or most embarrassing photos or whatever photos of you.  It takes time so plan a day when you don't have a lot going on to bust out those old photo albums, or hard drive or whatever they're stored on and get to work finding the perfect photos for the occasion.

Senior ads for the Yearbook

Speaking of goofy baby pictures, if you're looking to buy up some real estate in your yearbook you're going to need those baby photos, some of your senior photos (they keep coming up, see how important they are!), and some sweet and sentimental words from your parents and/or other family members.  If you want to save your poor yearbook teacher/sponsor a lot of heartache and grief - go ahead and get all of your photos together, get your messages from your parents ready, and get everything converted to digital and put on a flash drive.  Scan your photos to a decent resolution and save them as a .jpg or JPEG.  Do not take a picture of the picture with your phone.  Do not scan your photos to a .pdf file.  Put all of the content for your senior pages on a flash drive and deliver it to your yearbook teacher well before the deadline.  It helps them to have your stuff early and it ensures that you get a decent spot in the book.  

One last fun even with your friends

Its crazy how quickly after graduation that everyone begins to go their own way.  Take time and plan a day with your friends to go do something fun.  It doesn't have to be expensive or elaborate, just a day together reflect and enjoy one another's company.  Take lots of pictures and make the day meaningful!  You will appreciate the day and the photos for years to come, I promise!

It will be over before you Know it

It really does go by so very fast.  So stop reading and make a to do list now!  Stay on top of everything you have to get done and it will make your year less stressful and much more enjoyable!  An easy way to start is to go ahead and get your senior photo session scheduled now.  Before the year gets too wild you can just get that major component checked off!  We love taking senior portraits and we would be happy to get you scheduled so just contact us and we will get you taken care of!

Good luck, Class of 2019!  The fun is just beginning!

Shifting Gears - Moving from Easy Trends to Providing Quality for My Clients

 Photo prints - the old but new way to do business. 

Photo prints - the old but new way to do business. 

It’s really easy, you just hit copy and then click paste and all the little 1’s and 0’s that make up your images go flying onto a flash drive.  Some of them will get uploaded to social media, get a few views and comments, and then fall into the obscurity of the masses.  They become lost in the noise of an image driven digital society.  This is the fate of almost every photo I’ve taken for clients lately and frankly I grown to hate the digital photo cycle.  It’s time for a change.

Digital is easy.  It’s fast, it’s effortless.  Most photographers edit and format for digital distribution of the images they take because of how easy it is.  And our clients perceive the digital-only world to be easier and more affordable and so they go along with the digital trend.  But in the end, the ease actually cheapens the product and delivers to our clients a product that is easily lost and puts more of the work back on them if they want to preserve or display the photographs that they just paid a lot of money for.  So I am making a change in the way I do business.  At the heart of my decision is my desire to provide the absolute best quality images to my clients.  And not just quality, but also a product that will last.  Something more tangible than files on a flash drive.  

Why You Should Demand Prints Instead of Digital 

Digital has essentially become the new disposable.  We look at them for a second and scroll on down and we never see them again.  When you pay out $100, $200, $300 or more for photographs you deserve to receive a product that will last!  That’s the first reason you should demand prints.  And I’m not just talking about prints that roll off of an inkjet printer.  Kodak and Fuji now have printers to optically print digital images to real photographic paper.  The benefit of photographic paper is that it will last for hundreds of years and is extremely resilient.  It’s coated in multiple layers and designed to withstand a lot of abuse.  It takes the ease of digital photography and melds it with the permanence of those 70 year old photos in your grandmother’s photo album of your mom in those crazy pants with that ridiculous hair-do.  It means your moments are going to last as tangible objects that can be viewed for generations.  No need to try to scroll back through 30 years of facebook photos.  It’s right there in your house, in the box or photoalbum.  Easily accessible and unchanged by the passage of time.

The second reason you should demand prints, and I probably shouldn’t be announcing this to the public, but preparing a photograph for print demands more higher quality work from your photographer.  I suppose it’s partially a psychological thing.  With digital images we apply presets, edit a few blemishes, and bam - your photos are done.  When you’ve edited 200 images and you secretly know that your client is only going to look at them on their phone, there’s no need to make the image absolutely perfect.  At phone or even computer screen resolution no one is going to notice the little things you didn’t do as a photographer.  But when an image is going to be printed, every little detail is visible and important.  Preparing images for print takes more work but produces better images.  In the end, it’s absolutely worth it. 

But Won’t Prints Drive Up the Cost of Photography? 

Not really!  It is a matter of shifting from quantity to quality.  Instead of getting 100 to 200 mediocre digital images you get a handful of images that are works of art.  You’ll be able to permanently adorn the walls of your home with the photographs you’ve invested in instead of just enhancing your facebook or instagram feed for a few moments.  What increases may exist are more than justified by the value of the product you receive.  

Digital arrived on the scene two decades ago and changed everything.  It was a new tool in the photographer’s tool box and many new photographers used it to attract clients by touting the affordability and ease.  They stopped printing images and instead gave you hundreds of very similar photographs at varying quality levels and the consumer in all of us was satisfied.  More for our dollars, it makes sense.  But now digital photography has matured and as a photographer I want to use the tool to the fullest and this is how doing so is going to look:  I take digital images, edit them digitally and provide you with amazing physical prints from a professional lab that will last well beyond your lifetime.  Of course we aren’t throwing away the digital images and you will still receive copies of those, but by showcasing your prints instead of the digital images, I’m giving my clients the absolute best I can provide in terms of service and product.  It’s good for you and that’s all that matters to me.

An Anecdotal Conclusion...

 A few years ago, I was the yearbook sponsor at a public high school.  Part of the yearbook includes Senior Pages, a personalized page that parents could purchase for their students that contained messages and photos of their choosing.  As we worked on those pages, I ended up with stacks of prints on my desk from many many different students.  They included family photos, baby pictures, old school pictures, just all sorts of images neatly stacked up on my desk as they awaited processing for the yearbook.  Throughout the day, every day, I had to constantly tell other students to stop picking them up and looking at them.  At first I just thought it was a fluke thing but as the days passed I noticed it was an ongoing practice.  Students were drawn to the stacks of photos like moths to a flame.  They couldn’t resist picking them up, flipping through them, staring at each image like it was a work of art in a museum.  All day, every day I had to tell students to put the photos down and leave them alone.  It became such a constant problem that I had to collect them all and move to a place out of sight.  But in spite of the aggravation, I was surprised that the students, who have thousands of images on their phones that they never scroll through could not stop flipping through the stacks of prints.  Ultimately, I discovered that it’s a human thing.  The physical aspect of the printed photographs begs us to look at them.  To study them.  We glance and continue scrolling with digital images, but when you hand someone a printed image, they view it differently.  They study the details, they take time to observe and consider what the image is.  If it is worth printing, it becomes something worth viewing.  Beginning with this year’s Senior Portrait Season - we are changing our business to provide you with something worth viewing!  It’s exciting for us, and for you too!  Keep an eye out as we revamp our packages and make changes to our website.  And look for more helpful info about how you can print your own images, even from your cell phone or tablet, so you can preserve those amazing moments for years to come!

Learning and Growing

I love photography and I work hard to constantly become better at it.  It’s fun work and I enjoy learning new techniques and tricks because the results are always worth the effort!  But what no one ever tells you when you start talking about delving into the world of professional photography is that you constantly have to get better at your business practices too!  And that can be a very daunting and confusing task for someone who knows very little about business.  You constantly have to re-evaluate, reorganize, and adjust your plans and practices so that you can get your products to your customers.  Learning new business techniques are just as important as learning new photographic techniques!

 

My first big challenge came earlier this year when I had the amazing opportunity to shoot the Kaufman County Junior Livestock Show.  It was the most fun I have had in a while and I got to meet and work with a lot of amazing people.  But I ran into a problem, in that my workflow and fulfillment methods weren’t up to the task and that caused me to be very late in getting images out to my customers.  Yuck 😞 I want more than anything for my customers to get their images quickly and to be happy with the quality, not just because it’s good for business, but because photographs are beautiful reminders of special moments and they last a lifetime!  After struggling through the process, I learned a lot of valuable lessons and we have put all those lessons to work as changes to our workflow and fulfillment process.  What took us well over a month to get done before will now only take a couple of weeks at most!  It was a huge struggle but the learning process was definitely worth it as we have learned how to deliver photos better and faster to our customers.  

 

I owe a huge amount of thanks to all of the Kaufman County family for the opportunity but mostly for their patience and understanding.  Most of the parents out there were very kind and understanding of our delays as we tried to process through the literal 10,000 total images and get multiple prints out for them.  These last couple of weeks we have put all of our new procedures in place and developed some new partnerships to help us get your photos to you faster.  I’m just as excited about this as I am about any new photo technique because what good are photos if we can’t get your orders to you!

 

Thanks again KCJLS, with over 200 individual customers our first county show was a challenge, but it was a blessing as we got to meet and work with some very kind and gracious people and improve ourselves along the way.  Hopefully we will get to see you next year! 

I Want to Buy a New Camera, Which One Should I Get? - Part 1

I get this question a lot.  Having been trying at photography for such a long time now people who have no idea where to start with cameras have often come to me for advice.  And over those years, my advice has changed.  In the beginning, I was a hard-core gear-head.  I told people that they should spend a lot of money and get expensive and complicated cameras because that is what I was trying to do.  Honestly, it was bad advice.  Since I've started,  I've wanted every new camera that has come out.  I've watched every review of every new piece of equipment on youtube.  Heck, I've even added a lot of cameras to my cart on online stores just to see what the cost with shipping and some of the options I was wanting would cost.  I've shopped for and used a lot of cameras over the years and I'm here to tell you that I've finally settled on a philosophy for the eternal question, "which camera should I buy" and I want to pass on what I've learned to you!

Where to start...

Deciding on a camera that is going to be best for you really starts with asking yourself a few simple questions.  The trick however, is in being very honest and objective in answering these questions.  Honesty here is going to make all the difference and could save you thousands of dollars!  You could easily spend too much and get a camera that you cannot figure out how to work and get terrible pictures.  Or, you could spend too little and get terrible picture quality.  Or you can just get the wrong camera for your application all together and just stay frustrated because the pictures you are getting don't look good at all.  When it comes to cameras, honesty is the best place to start.

How Much Do I Have to Spend?

This is the most important question you can ask yourself.  There is a belief out there that if you spend more money on your camera, that you are going to get better pictures.  This couldn't be further from the truth though.  I've taken some really fantastic pictures on some really crappy cameras and lenses.  Your skill and ability are the true determining factors of what makes a good picture.  Equipment is a secondary factor.  I know so many people who have gone out and dropped $1000 to $6000 on cameras and gear and their pictures are absolute trash!  Then they are disappointed and the brand new camera sits in a closet for years.  "Oh, you're a photographer!  I bought a camera a few years ago and I took a few pictures with it but now its just sitting in the back of my closet."  I've seen a whole lot of brand new cameras that have hardly been touched.  So sad :(  Set your budget and stick too it.  Don't get sucked into the features or the megapixel trap.  Megapixels don't make better pictures either!  There is always a lot of upselling in the camera world so don't get trapped and spend more than you intended.  I promise you'll regret it later!

What am I Going to Use this Camera For?

Knowing this in advance helps a lot!  If you've going to be shooting a lot of stock shows, you need a camera that's good at low-light.  If you're going to be taking photos of sporting events, you need a camera with a long optical zoom and a fast shutter.  If you're going to try to do some professional photography you will need a camera with some options to that you can do a variety of work with your tools.  Now, video capabilities are also something to be considered and the quality of video and audio have to be examined as well.  Make a check-list of everything you think you might use the camera for, and prioritize them for clarity.  There is no one magical camera that does it all.  Just like you can have a smooth ride and great gas mileage in a car but can't haul a travel trailer you can't get every thing in every camera, you have to pick and choose.  After you make your list and feel pretty confident start with good old fashioned googling to see what cameras work best for what your number one priority was and just go from there!

What am I Going to do with the Pictures I Take?

Let's be honest, no one really prints photos any more.  Most of us are just going to post them to social media or email to friends and family.  Sometimes they just sit on a card or a hard drive indefinitely.  If you aren't going to be printing images, you need to consider how you are going to store the images long term.  A camera with a lot of megapixels is only going to produce really large files and you have to find a way to store them.  Also, do you have a way to transfer the photos easily from my camera to my computer or phone?  Wifi or cable connection or card slots are an important thing to look in to before you purchase a camera.  So many times people pull their cameras out and find out after taking their third picture that the data card is full, and they really can't delete any of the existing pictures because they haven't downloaded them yet.  Keep your workflow and convenience in mind when it comes to digital storage.  If you are interested in printing your photos, then more megapixels might actually help you get better prints if you are looking to print larger than 8x10's.  Printing and producing physical photos is making a comeback so this may be an actual thing you need to think about when purchasing a camera.  If you go into a store, take an SD card with you and put it in the display cameras and take a few photos and then take them home and print them and see which ones turn out the best!  Its a great free way to try out the camera without making a purchase!

Something to Think About...

I hope I've given you enough to think about for a little while.  My next post will focus on some of the actually differences between the types of cameras to help you get a better understanding of which camera may work better for you!

How to Get Great Bluebonnet Photos

So, I'm gonna start off and say that if you want the absolute best bluebonnet photos, then you should just schedule a session with us and let us take your amazing bluebonnet photos...  Just throwing that out there.

But, seriously, here are a few simple tricks to making sure that you get great bluebonnet photos with those precious kids or grandkids or dogs or tacos or whatever you love and want to frame with bluebonnets.

COMPOSITION IS KEY

Framing up your photo, or the composition of your photo is one of the key elements to getting a great pic.  Traditionally, most people take photos standing with their subjects kneeling or sitting in the flowers.  It adds a lot of great perspective however if you, the photographer, kneel down as well.  It creates a neat effect, especially with younger children.  Kind of an "on their level" look.  The lower you can go, the better!  While most people like to center their subjects in the frame, don't be afraid to try some different angles!  Bluebonnets and beautiful from every angle.  Get creative and try something different.  Who knows, you may start a new Texas Bluebonnet trend on facebook or instagram!

 An example of a shot from standing position.

An example of a shot from standing position.

 The bokeh (blur effect from the lens) makes this image much more interesting.  Well, except there's a highway in the background... But you get the 

The bokeh (blur effect from the lens) makes this image much more interesting.  Well, except there's a highway in the background... But you get the 

Lighting, Aka the Tricky Part

Lighting either makes or breaks any photo.  Most of the time, people parking on the side of the road to snap a bluebonnet photo are using a cell phone or a smaller point-and-shoot camera with a very minimal flash.  The biggest mistake most people make is not lighting their bluebonnet photos correctly.  Time of day plays a big part in this equation, because the midday sun produces harsh light and even harsher shadows making the highlights of your image super bright and the shadows super dark.  This is a very undesirable effect.  Early morning or later afternoon are definitely the best time of day to take your photos as the natural light is way more accommodating.  Once you're out standing in the middle of those beautiful blue flowers, you basically have two options.  The first is to have your subjects face the sun directly, which can be a nice effect lighting up the subject and the background beautifully.  Or you can choose the second and put the sun directly to your subject's back and use a flash or a reflector to light your subject.  I generally choose the second option and use a high powered flash or a reflector.  If you don't have a high powered flash or a reflector, a car windshield sun shade (the metallic kind) can be equally effective.  Just position it in front of your subject, but out of the frame and move it around until the lighting on your subject looks the best.  Try to be on one side or the other of your subject, it will give them a nice light side and slightly shadier side making the photo more interesting.

The Camera App - The Thing We Take for Granted

The default camera app on iPhones and Android devices are ok, but not great.  Instagram takes reduced sized images and Snapchat equally doesn't give you much room to really edit your image.  I really love the VSCO (pronounced "visco") app for the iPhone.  It allows me to take 'raw' images, and gives me a ton of editing options.  There are also a lot of premade filters that you can get for free or purchase that will make your photos look amazing.  You can take the photos and make edits, and then go back and change those edits later.  It is a great app to have and use!

Don't be Afraid to Have Fun

Not every bluebonnet photo session is going to go smoothly, so don't get frustrated when your kids don't cooperate.  Just have fun and enjoy the moment.  The best pictures are made when everyone is having a good time.  Those smiles and those flowers are what make Texas Bluebonnet Photos a time honored tradition.  Remember that you aren't really making pictures, you're making memories. 

 A rare photo of me, in the bluebonnets.  Probably one of the best photos of me every taken...

A rare photo of me, in the bluebonnets.  Probably one of the best photos of me every taken...

Why Does it Take So Long to Get My Pictures?

We get asked this questions a lot.  And it is a completely reasonable question to ask of your photographer.  Just why does it take so long to get your pictures?

The answer is simple, but its been convoluted in many people's minds by the ease of the camera phone.  People raise their camera, click the button, hit the share icon and BAM! your picture is done and available online.  You can even "edit" your photo to a degree and get it online in just a few minutes.  So why does it take professional photographers so long to post or send you your photos?

Many professional photographers, myself included, like to use our camera in what is call RAW mode.  It captures so much more data than the way your camera captures images and it enables me to push and pull the colors and lighting and edit the image much more easily that it would if I had just shot the easy way, using .jpg format.  After you take the photos, they get downloaded to a computer and processed in an editing software like Adobe’s Lightroom (like the opposite of a darkroom).  Lightroom makes working with each photo fast and easy.  It allows you to examine each image and make adjustments, it also gives you the ability to create custom looks and manage image storage.  It’s an amazing tool!

Your images are important to us!  And we want them to look their absolute best.  Getting them to their best does take a little time, so be patient and know that your photographer is carefully examine every image, making careful adjustments and edits so that your memories are preserved beautifully!

 There's an easily visible difference between these two images...

There's an easily visible difference between these two images...

 The image on the left is the "Digital Negative", raw image.  The image on the right has been processed and slightly edited.

The image on the left is the "Digital Negative", raw image.  The image on the right has been processed and slightly edited.

Happy New Year!

For most of us, it’s hard to believe that it’s already 2018.  2017 flew by at a dizzying pace and now here we all sit, wondering what all this year will bring us.

We’ve got a lot of exciting things coming up this year!  We’ve already scheduled a few weddings, more senior portraits, and our big event for the first part of the year, the Kaufman County Junior Livestock Show.  Plus working on some more creative experiments with both film and digital, one of which will hopefully bring a new service to Shutterjunkies soon!

But for today, we want to wish you all the best, and hope that you all have a prosperous and happy new year!

Oh Man, Did I Screw Up...

Some days, photography is just completely exhausting.  When you combine that with managing a 2 month old baby, well exhausting doesn’t even come close to describing.  This last week, I managed to lose a vintage camera, expensive strobe light, and my wife’s instead camera and had no idea where I had lost it... 

The day had started off great, we were heading to a livestock show with the school where my wife teaches.  I was excited about the great candid photo opportunities that awaited!  I loaded up my Canon AE-1 Program, lots of rolls of Koda Tri-X 400 and a roll of Elgar just in case 😉  I snapped a few photos before we left, but when we arrived I found the combination of the clouds and zero light in the barn made shooting with 400 impossible.  It was too late to shoot higher than box cause I had already snapped a few shots.  I struggled the entire day with trying to expose the film enough.  There just weren’t any good angles either.  I was already flustered, but add to that the fact I was helping my wife watch our new born and I had a disaster heading my way.

After a frustrating photography day (we all have those sometimes) I was just exhausted.  We headiest back home, stopped to eat along the way, and got home and hastily unloaded the truck and crashed.  It wasn’t until I tried to find the camera several days later that I discovered that the entire bag was missing 😮  I freaked out.  We searched the entire house, every place we had been, we called people that were at the same event.  The camera was just gone.  And I couldn’t even remember having it when we got home.  It was all just a blur and I couldn’t remember anything.  I was just sad.

I have never lost any of my equipment, I’m always so very careful.  I love my cameras like family almost.  It seriously broke my heart that I had been so careless.  And it drove me crazy that I couldn’t remember what I had done with the camera.  I began to entertain the wildest theories in the hopes of finding it somewhere, anywhere.  Ugh... After looking every possibly conceivable place, I had to concede that I had lost it.  I had let fatigue and frustration cause me to lose a member of my creative toolset.  It was the worst. 

I decided to try to learn from the experience and do better with my equipment.  The loss has renewed my vigilance at wanting to keep my equipment in orde and well maintained.  So I’ve started organizing and cleaning all of my gear, organizing my accessory equipment, and making sure that anything that needs attention gets the repairs it needs.  Losing the camera at least made me appreciate the gear that I had been neglecting.  All the while, I kept thinking about my poor camera sitting on the side of the road somewhere or that some scummy criminal that had no idea how to use it was just snapping up my Kodak Tri-X film and laughing with his criminal friends.  My imagination ran wild.   

But besides learning a valuable lesson, this story does have a happy ending.  While we were cleaning around the house today, my wife stepped out on the back porch where she saw my camera bag, with all the equipment I had feared lost forever sitting quietly on the back porch.  I had walked out and decided to feed the dogs with the bag still on my shoulder, and removed the bag to pour the dog food and give the dogs some water.  After I had done that, I walked right back into the house and left the camera sitting on the back porch all week.  My wife had saved my camera and saved me my all the worry I had been dreaming up reasons to continue with.   

The moral of the story; don’t let fatigue get in the way of being vigilant about your gear.  Also, put your camera up before you feed the dogs lol 😂😂😂 

 

IMG_0421.JPG

The last image of my camera and bag before I lost it for a week... 

Instant Pack Film is Disappearing Soon and I’m Sad About It.

If you don’t know what instant “pack film” is it’s ok, most people under the age of 50 have never seen it. 

 Fuji’s Version of Color Pack Film

Fuji’s Version of Color Pack Film

  Originally made by Polaroid for the Land Cameras, this film produces beautiful color or black and white 4”x5” positive prints that you peel apart after exposing and pulling through the rollers.   After Polaroid shut down, Fuji continued to produce their FP-100c pack film until 2016 when they announced that they were calling it quits too.  And now 18 months later supplies are still available but they are dwindling.  Soon thousands of wonderful cameras will be useless.  It really breaks my heart...

A lot of people, including myself turned to the Impossible Project and began begging them and hoping that they would somehow help to save the format.  If you aren’t familiar with The Impossible Project, they saved integral film (the instant film most of us think of when we think of polaroid...) by buying a Polaroid factory and spending a decade and more money than I can imagine trying to recreate that Polaroid magic.  Just a month ago, Impossible changed their name and entire business to Polaroid Originals which was a good indication that they are going to be here to stay for a while.  Their integral film is amazing and I love the company and have been a customer of there’s since the beginning.  I think that all of us pack film fans secretly hoped that this change might bring about the salvation of our beloved format.  If they could save integral Polaroid film, and were successful from a business standpoint, maybe just maybe they can save pack film if we harass them enough...  

But sadly this week Polaroid Originals released an article definitely squashing our hopes.  They do not have the resources to revive another format and want to make sure they can continue to improve and thrive with their current product.  I was heartbroken.  Other companies have tried and failed.  New55 brought us some hope, but they fell short also.  

There are several of us out here in the world that love pack film and are hoping and even praying for a miracle; for some titans of industry me innovation to come along and breathe life into our old cameras once again.  Until that happens, I have decided that I’m going to spend as much as I can afford and purchase as many packs as I can to make this a Pack Film Christmas with my family.  I’m going to enjoy the format as long as I can! 

If you’re curious about pack film, it’s not too late to order some Fuji FP-100c and it will work in any old Polaroid Land camera!  You can find them for cheap online.  They are a different experience and just a lot of fun!  It’s definitely worth looking into 😊 

 The last few shots that I took before I ran out...  

The last few shots that I took before I ran out...  

 The negative side of the pack film after processing. 

The negative side of the pack film after processing. 

 Jocelyn and Kaitlyn

Jocelyn and Kaitlyn

 Hagan always poses like this... 

Hagan always poses like this... 

 Arina, who is a model now, is so easy to photograph. 

Arina, who is a model now, is so easy to photograph.