Perfect Your Portraits with These Ten Simple Tips


A decent instant portrait relies on five main components: light, distance, timing, composition, and a healthy dose of luck! But to crank up your creative game, you need a few more tips up your sleeve. That's why we put together these ten tips for you to start capturing perfect portraits with the Lomo'Instant Automat.

Photo by kumiko_hisa

Multiply Like a Magician with MX Mode

Snap on the “MX” Mode on the Lomo'Instant Automat to layer up your frames with unlimited scenes. Multiple Exposure Mode works best when you layer a busy background with a simple subject, like a face. It allows you to fit an entire narrative in one single frame, and create all sorts of surprising illusions. Use it to superimpose surreal colors and textures on a single frame by propping your subject's face against floral backdrops or leafy foliage.

Credits: kumiko_hisa, 007-0815-styler & akula

Slice and Dice Your Compositions Using a Splitzer

The Splitzer is a clever little tool that allows you to create crazy compositions. It works by rotating two blinds that cover up segments of your lens so that you can switch to Multiple Exposure Mode and expose one section of your frame at a time. It dares you to bring opposites together, create clones of your subject and mash different faces into one. Simply attach a Splitzer to the Lomo'Instant Automat, hit the MX button and start slicing up your shots!

Photos by lomography and peter_po

Paint a Character with Color Gel Flash Filters

Colors are far more than tones. They reveal moods, characters, flashes of personality and splashes of emotion. Hot reds and oranges indicate intensity, passion and strength; cool blues and purples suggest mystery, sadness, stillness. Give an insight into your subject by sliding a color gel over the flash of your Lomo'Instant Automat to tint your frame a whole new hue. It's super simple to do, just watch this video to see how!

Photos by Lomography staff

Illuminate Features

Sometimes a flash of harsh light falling on your subject can make all the difference. Use the Lomo'Instant Automat's built in flash to throw out dramatic light and watch your subject's highlighted silhouette jump out at you. And, when you see an opportunity to maximise shadows, slip in some Fujifilm Instax Mini Film Monochrome: removing color emphasizes the depth of the textures and gives your composition a visible sense of drama.

Credits: lomography, kumiko_hisa & alienmeatsack

Shoot from the Center of the Action

Catching your subject off-guard and blissfully unaware can be beautiful, but there’s nothing wrong with staging a selfie or a group shot! Pump up your portraits with the neat little remote control shutter release that's built into the lens cap of the Lomo'Instant Automat's lens cap. Watch this quick video to see how it's done.

Photos by Lomography staff and Daniel Schaefer

Go Long!

Whether you’re creating a crazy light painting or keeping your shot steady to capture a beautiful night scene, the Bulb Mode on your Lomo'Instant Automat's Bulb Mode will have you covered. It lets you hold your shutter open for up to 30 seconds, giving your subject time to doodle a message or some funky patterns with sparklers, glow sticks or torches. Step it up a notch with some light painting tools from the Online Shop! We recommend doing away with jittery hands and hooking up your Lomo'Instant Automat to a tripod and a cable release for stability, but if you don't have one, don’t worry — you can lay it on a flat surface instead.

Photos by lomography and pearlgirl77

Beautify Your Backdrop

Sometimes, shooting against a carefully crafted backdrop can add some serious dynamism to your portrait. Remember that your subject should take centre stage, so be sure to choose things that complement rather than distract! Try framing your subject with geometric lines to guide the eye, or adding some context with a striking street scene. Remember to watch out for cheeky photo bombers, protruding objects or moody looking passersby.

Photo by Emily Moya and Dean Chalkley

Go the Distance

We know it might seem obvious, but getting the distance right can really make or break a portrait. Determine your subject’s distance and select the suitable zone focus setting on the Lomo'Instant Automat before you peek through the viewfinder. Take care to examine the posture and pose of your subject. Squeeze in a fuller frame with the Wide Angle Lens Attachment to expand your field of view to 90°, or screw on a Fisheye Lens Attachment to warp your view to a whopping 170°, and watch facial features stretch with barrel distortion.

Credits: lomography & kumiko_hisa

Get Even Closer Using a Macro Adapter

It’s the little things that make life magical. The Lomo'Instant Automat lets you shoot from just 30cm away, but if you want to plunge in even closer, simply screw on a Close-Up Lens Attachment and get as near as 10cm! Just remember that once you’ve attached the Close-Up Lens to your camera, what you see in the viewfinder won't be what you get in the finished picture. One thing's for sure though — your image will be super sharp and bursting with beautiful details!

Snap a Cheeky Selfie!

There needn't be any guess work in this department. Step up your selfie game using the shutter release on the front of the Lomo'Instant Automat that doubles as a convenient little mirror!

Say ''cheese'' and pick up your Lomo'Instant Automat from the Online Shop or a Gallery Store near you now!

2018-05-11 #gear

Mentioned Product

Lomo'Instant Automat

Lomo'Instant Automat

Small, mighty and fully automatic – snap impeccably lit, perfectly focused shots anytime, anywhere with the Lomo’Instant Automat.


  1. guanatos
    guanatos ·

    nice tips!

  2. morpixx
    morpixx ·

    very useful!!!!!

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