Community Gallery: Creative Portraits on Instant Film


For a lot of people, instant photography is an introduction to the analogue world and becomes a gateway to other film formats such as 35 mm, 110 and 120. There are those, too, who find endless potential in this medium, embrace it, and discover their own style through it. Either way, this proves instant photography's versatility for all kinds of film enthusiasts.

In this community gallery, we're putting the spotlight on portraits taken by our community members using instant cameras. We also asked instant photographers Marco Gagnoni (@marcogagnoni), Kaito Toda (@melky) and Rusnė Vaitiekūnaitė's (@ensur) thoughts on taking instant photos, what draws them to this format and more. Let's get into it!

Credits: marcogagnoni

For photographer Marco Gagnoni, having limited film to take photos with forces him not to waste shots and properly compose his subjects.

Instant photography has that vintage style that I have been seeking for years, those colors that only film can give you. Another thing that drew me to instant photography is the fact that I can manipulate it, alter the colors, and give it further effect and meaning through the use of various objects, such as sharp objects or with a source of heat.
Credits: marcogagnoni

Marco creates instant portrait collages and instant street photographs on film. He talked to us about his process. For him, instant portraits have a particular charm as it puts focus on the eyes of a subject which he considers the windows to the soul.

For the portraits I create, I choose the subject based on certain characteristics; the first thing that attracts me is the eyes. Eyes are windows to the soul that open onto the world, reflecting the most intimate essence of being human. They are mirrors of the soul, mirrors that reflect our past, our present, and our future. Silent witnesses of our joys and sorrows, guardians of our deepest secrets.
When creating a collage for a portrait, all I need is a camera and plenty of available film. After preparing and posing the subject, I approach them and begin taking individual photos until I obtain the final collage. Sometimes, I like to overlay the subject, and thanks to double exposure, I can experiment a lot!
Credits: brine, bland & laetitiaheisler

Meanwhile, community member Kaito Toda's (@melky) appreciation for the instant format started the moment he pressed the shutter of his first instant camera.

It was very thrilling to see the film being ejected with a cheerful sound and the image gradually emerging. I felt an indescribable sense of satisfaction when I saw the completed instax.
I am conscious of something that will be a memento of that day. Flowers on the road, friends I occasionally meet, steel towers in my neighborhood, etc. What you pay attention to will eventually become your subject. Rather, I often find a common theme in the photographs I take without deciding on a theme.
Credits: melky

The Lomo'Instant Automat is one of his favorites to use, playing around with its creative functions such as the multiple exposure.

Lomo'Instant Automat stimulates your creativity. I especially like the multiple exposure mode. There are no number of times or time limits, so you can carefully choose a motif and create an interesting work. Recently, I took on the challenge of making multiple exposures of a week's worth of portraits of myself. Lomography's instant camera has a lot of features that will make you want to experiment like that.
In addition, the shutter and aperture can be changed electronically, so you don't have to worry about sudden shooting. Above all, it's cool! To quickly create something; digital and film cameras, I think Lomo's camera combines the best of both.
Credits: sophyy, leanover, der_korki, gatokinetik-o, merveengin & akula

With the convenience of taking photos with instant cameras, this format also lets us create rituals, something unique to mark with an instant photo. For community member Rusnė @ensur, instant cameras such as the Lomo'Instant Wide serve different functions, as her travelling companion and the camera she uses to capture herself on her birthday every year.

I remember at some point, during my travels, I wanted to get a physical photo right away and started collecting my travelling memories in such way. I like street photography without people, so I take photos of something unusual, odd, or something that has eye-catching colors in streets. I also like to shoot interesting architecture and architectural details.
Another subject is…me. I have an annual tradition to take a self-portrait on my birthday with Lomo'Instant Wide. I challenge myself to make it a little bit artistic (and because of that I, sadly, destroy quite some frames).
Credits: ensur

She also told us that while it took some time to get used to the camera, she started to appreciate its features, especially the multiple exposure function.

This camera really teaches patience, while trying to get the correct exposure. But here comes the beauty of unpredictability using the Lomo'Instant Wide, especially on multiple exposure mode. This feature tickles creativity for sure.
I like to bring the Lomo'Instant Wide with me on hikes, it makes quite lovely landscape photos (ultra-wide lens attachment is a handy thing).
Credits: aml1995, _radostina_, candeeland, artripoli & systemdevice

Whether it's a fun self-portrait or something to remember someone by, instant cameras have a lot to offer in terms of creativity and capturing the moment analogue-style. We'd like to thank our community members for sharing a piece of their world with us through portraits with this format!

What's your favorite photo taken with an instant camera? Share it with us below!

written by sylvann on 2024-04-30 #people #places #instant #portrait #instant-photography #self-portrait

Mentioned Product

Lomo'Instant Wide

Lomo'Instant Wide

We're thrilled to introduce the Lomo'Instant Wide — the world's most creative instant wide camera and lens system! Combining high quality craftsmanship with versatile features, the Lomo’Instant Wide is the instant camera for any and every person who revels in capturing every beautiful, bizarre and bewildering moment in a creative, super wide, crisply sharp and perfectly exposed way.


  1. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    The new born baby photo are make me cry 💘

  2. sylvann
    sylvann ·

    @hervinsyah It's beautiful! <3

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