On the Instax SQ20

Charlene journal

Back in January, I got to play with the Instax SQ20. I’ve never used an instant camera of any kind before, and it never occurred to me to try the Instax, despite it being a Fuji. It’s a bit… well, too cute. But Instax Danmark was after something a little different from the super slick, very lifestyle, uber feminine imagery that their brand evokes. That worked for me, because none of those things describe me in the least!

Christian from Instax Nordic gave me a camera, 4 cartridges of instant film and said “go do your thing.”

So I did. Went out and shot the usual things I normally do. Trains, buses, reflections, and whatever else caught my eye. Read my piece on the SQ20 over at Instax Danmark.

I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, to be completely honest. The SQ20 is a bubble, so different in every way to the solid, angular metal-ness of X Series flagship cameras I normally use.

And it’s so unpredictable. At some point in the first hour, I realized I’d have to stop fighting with it and surrender to the vagaries of how each picture would print. And at this point – get ready for it – I started having fun with the camera. 4 cartridges of instant film went like that. It’s a good thing the SQ20 has a digital back, or I’d have been pinging Christian every couple of hours asking for another 4 cartridges.

You can see a few of these photos and read about my experience with the SQ20, as well as a couple of the photos in the Instax Danmark feature article. If you’re interested in the entirety of my haul, here they are. What you’re not seeing are all the silly selfies Flemming and I made (we know we’re ridiculous, but you don’t have to know just how much), and the mistakes I’d discarded.

I enjoyed those few days with the Instax. It’s a complete departure from the kinds of cameras I use. And now I have a bunch of prints to carry around with me, including the Christmas “card” that Fuji Nordic sent their X-Photographers this year (below). Given I’m about to move across the world yet again, this little project couldn’t have come around at a better time. I don’t have a space of my own to store or display photos, so I don’t often print pictures. This little stack of prints though? They don’t take up much space in my bag, so I can bring them everywhere with me. Perfect.

A merry Christmas card from the good folks at Fuji Nordic. L-R: Ib (via stand in), Andreas, Ludvig, Karl, Anki