Bottom line, your photographs are instantly tangible. No editing. No uploading. No hiding behind a computer, perfecting down to the pixel. I was hooked the moment I loaded and used my first pack. To hold and see a photo in your hand just moments after pushing the shutter is something that never gets old. Its addicting. Add in the element of photographing people and getting to see their reaction and it changes you.
There's a huge risk/reward factor while using instant film and this makes it very challenging and exciting. In some cases, the film may cost up to $3 per shot...or more if using a film no longer in production. There's a pressure and pause that comes with knowing the cost at first. But, there's also something magical about the experience of shooting instant film that can't be replicated with any other photography format. How the film and cameras react to light. How the film gives such a comforting, old school feel digital images just can't mimic. How irregularities of some film versions produce breathtaking tones and colors. It all adds up, making the cost totally worth it.
Currently, I own and use seven different instant film cameras that make up 5 different instant film formats.
I use these cameras on weddings, editorial and family shoots and personal work. Pretty much anything I photograph is given some time with an instant camera. Its part of what keeps me sharp and interested in photography. I have a whole section of my website devoted to it. I'll shoot it as long as I can and so should you.
Ryan Stadler is a wedding and portrait film photographer from Minneapolis, MN.
Visit his website, ryanastadler.com to see more of his instant photography.