Monday, 29 January 2018 17:38

Why Use Instant Film?

Why Use Instant Film? Ryan Stadler

by Ryan Stadler
My interest and eventual obsession with instant film came from seeing other photographers use and promote it. Primarily, Mike Smith of Ash Imagery. It's all his fault.

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.

Ryan Stadler instant photography                      



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.


Personally, my knowledge of film photography and its various formats was somewhat limited until recently (a few years ago). Before diving into film photography more intentionally, my foundation consisted of the film photography 101 class I took in high school, 15 years ago. The past few years have been like drinking from a fire hydrant at times, but its been so rewarding. Instant film has been the icing on the cake.


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, to see more of his instant photography. 
Read 3703 times Last modified on Thursday, 08 February 2018 22:03

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