I’m no expert, but I’ve been wasting Instax Mini film for years so I picked up a few tips and tricks here and there. Here are five of them for newbie owners, or for people who are looking to purchase one very soon.
Photos turn out better in a well-lighted environment.
The Instax Mini takes photos just fine in low light situations given that you use the flash, but the flash tends to obscure the background in a shadow. To get your background to show up in the picture as clearly as the foreground, light it up — turn on the room lights or go outdoors.
Stand two to four feet away from your subject.
The Intax Mini’s lens has no macro capabilities so shooting too close will result in blurry photos. Stand too far away on the other hand, and your subjects will appear tiny in a photo that only measures two by three inches.
Aim slightly lower to center your subject
The viewfinder and the lens in the Instax Mini do not align as perfectly as — say, SLR cameras, so you have to compensate for it. Instead of putting your subject dead center in the viewfinder, try aiming slightly lower. This centers your subject in the final print and eliminates the large headroom you might otherwise get if you aimed straight on.
Avoid extremely reflective surfaces.
Avoid having mirrors, windows, and glass doors in the background. When the flash hits a reflective surface, it will show up as a black spot in your photo (where the light “burns” the film).
Practice FIFO when using film.
If you stockpile film like I do, practice FIFO or “First In, First Out”. Check the manufacture and expiration dates on the box and use the ones that expire sooner before you use the ones that expire later. If you use a film that is past its Use By date, your pictures may have a bluish tint and dull colors.