Image Credit: @o_millss_
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Instagram’s amazing, but let’s face it—it’s also exhausting. Sharing your trip via phone photos and videos on social media is an easy and great way to connect with your friends and family, but sometimes it can make you feel like you’re spending more time on your phone than actually enjoying the moment. When I slow down and document my adventures with the intent to make them or share them in a unique, in-real-life way rather than for the consumption of others, the process can turn a memorable moment into a core memory instead. So I’m sharing my non-sharing gear with you—a few fun cameras and accessories to spice up your “content capturing” to make it more about getting creative and less about getting likes.
A few new ways to capture your adventures:
- Film Camera: Kodak Ektar H35 Half Frame Film Camera (Sage) — now $49.99.
- Target Film Camera: 35mm with Built in Flash - now $34.99.
- Film: KODAK Portra 400 Professional ISO 400 - now $79.99.
- Digital Camera: Nikon Zfc Mirrorless Camera with 16–50mm Lens and Bag Kit — $1096.95
- Polaroid: Polaroid Now+ i‑Type Instant Camera & Bonus Lens Filters - $129.99.
- Tripod: JOBY GorillaPod 325 Flexible Mini-Tripod – now $19.98.
- Tripod Adapter: Oben ASPTA-20 Smartphone Tripod Adapter — $24.95.
- Photo book: Signature Layflat Photo Album - now $220.15.
- Calendar: Modern Wall Calendar – now $42.
- Gift: Wood Block & Prints — from $22.
Kodak Ektar H35 Half Frame Film Camera (Sage) - now $49.99.
One of my absolute favorite ways to get off my phone and into the present moment with friends is to use a film camera. This one is the absolute perfect one for beginners looking to try film but who aren’t quite ready to commit to a full frame (with all the settings.) This Kodak film camera is a point and shoot so nearly all of its settings are automatic. It has a fixed-focus wide angle lens meaning whatever’s in the middle of your frame will be in focus and the background will be abundant. Also, this camera is a “half frame” meaning that you get double the shots per roll, which is perfect when you’re first learning how to put in / take out film and have to watch a YouTube video every time you do it. Its shutter speed is set at 1/100 so you won’t be able to capture anything moving super fast, but you can easily take some artsy blurry images if that’s what you’re aiming for. The body of this camera is absolutely adorable and feels really nostalgic. And remember, you’ll obviously need film to go in this camera! (My favorite color film is Portra 400.) If you’re looking for the cheapest film camera you can buy, Target came out with this one that’s really cute too and has a built-in flash.
Ok this one is…an investment. But if you’re in the market for a new digital camera and you want an old film camera look, this is the camera for you. Mirrorless digital cameras are the future of photography because they’re so light and fast. This one lives inside of a film camera body. This camera will take incredible high quality digital photos (and add to your outfit as an accessory.) Frankly, this camera has been on my dream list for a while now, and it might be time for me (and you) to bite the bullet. If you buy it off of the B&H Photo website, it even comes with a 16-50mm lens. (As you become acquainted with the camera, you can learn which lenses you want next and add to a wishlist on the B&H website.)
Some advice on retailers: B&H is a really credible site for purchasing cameras and really the only place I’ll go for a bigger investment like this one.
If you do purchase this camera or one in its price range, you’re going to need a protective bag to keep it safe. Everything that Peak Designs creates is absolutely epic, and this bag is literally a piece of art.
You literally cannot go wrong with a classic Polaroid. This one is a brand new version of the OG Polaroid and immediately prints out large square prints. A filter set is included if you purchase it on the polaroid website, which you can use to filter light at different times of the day.
Polaroids are an incredible way to learn more about photography because, unlike a film camera, you can immediately see your result but, unlike a phone, you can’t edit what you’ve shot. I follow a famous photographer, India Earl, who scans her polaroids with an Epson Perfection V600 Scanner (another thing on my B&H wishlist) which would be the perfect solution to the issue that photos from a polaroid can’t exactly be co-parented.
JOBY GorillaPod 325 Flexible Mini-Tripod – now $19.98.
If you’re not into bringing a camera along, I highly recommend purchasing a tripod for your phone. You can buy this one in two pieces – the tripod and the phone adapter. Tripods allow you to include everyone in group photos and to easily capture short videos of scenic moments hands free, and this one can go just about anywhere. One of my favorite things to do with videos from trips is to take them into the VSCO app and play around with creating short gifs or films of my friends. It can be refreshing to edit videos away from more post-pressuring social media because it gives you the freedom to play around with the different editing options without needing to produce a final product of any kind.
Signature Layflat Photo Album - now $220.15.
My final recommendation is to do something with your photos after you take them. It doesn’t take long, and can make for incredible gifts. My favorite site for creative photo printing and product making is Artifact Uprising because everything they offer is so aesthetically simple and gorgeous. The most obvious choice is definitely to make a photo book, and I have to say that I’ve never regretted making one. My best advice to keep from making your photo books too kitschy is to pretend you’re a coffee table book designer, pick a theme or story, and focus on it. It will make your book way more meaningful than just placing random images from a trip on pages and create an entirely additional experience to the initial adventure. If you want to try something a little bit less committing, play with making a calendar or order a couple of your favorite prints with this little wooden block + print bundle.