Category Archives: Fuji Instax

{Square in an Instant}

Lemme tell you: I LOVE square photos. I miss Polaroid (okay, so they’re still a thing, but for more money and less awesome results.) I was so excited a few years ago when Instax came out with a square format. I was already shooting the Mini and Wide Instax formats, so the addition of little square photos excited me.

The Fuji Instax SQ6 is a camera I picked up in November 2018, right before going on a little vacation to the Smoky Mountains. As in, it arrived the night before we left, and I took it with me and started using it on our trip without any prior experience with the camera. This is not something I would normally recommend one doing, because you should not risk vacation photos by using a camera you have no experience with. But on a mostly automatic instant film camera, the risk wasn’t that high. The SQ6 operates similarly to the Instax Mini 90 (which I’ll discuss at some point in this post,) so I felt I could be comfortable using it for vacation shots.

I meant to actually review this camera after I’d used it for a bit, but that never happened because I just kept on shooting it, figuring out how to get the best results as I went along. That’s why these photos are from late 2018/early 2019.

A few selection from my previously posted Smoky Mountain blog:

And now for a bunch of photos I’d intended to use for a review!

A few Christmas double exposures. Catch me in one of them?

Macro shots are not easy to frame on this camera, as evidenced by this photo

Another example of tricky macro mode photography

Snapshots from the small town where I live

The bathroom at the dental college where my niece has her orthodontic work done

I’m actually glad I took these photos, because the gas station has since been refurbished and doesn’t have the same paint job or the gas pump on their sign anymore

Macro, in an instance where framing wasn’t too critical

These were hard to photograph without getting glare on the photo – but yay for lit signs at Bass Pro in Memphis

I am a Man mural in downtown Memphis near the National Civil Rights Museum

I told my niece that, if she had social media, this would have been a good profile picture (also taken in downtown Memphis)

This is a double exposure that wasn’t worth the trouble – I stepped on a spike from the honey locust tree and impaled my shoe/toe

(there are a few SQ 6 photos I really like that are in a post from last year and below are a few from that same time period, as a bonus)

I really wanted this Instax SQ6 to be just like a square version of the Instax Mini 90, but it’s not. I’m very happy you can choose to turn the flash off on the SQ6 (which isn’t the case for most Instax cameras,) but some of the extra features that both the SQ6 and Mini 90 share in common are much less functional on the former than on the latter. They both have double exposure, macro, infinity focus, and light/dark exposure compensation, but on the SQ6, you can’t combine any of those features because they’re all selected through the same mode button. More specifically, my complaint is that the light/dark compensation needs to be its own button like on the Mini 90.

Double exposures are hard to do when you can’t change the amount of exposure they’re receiving; you end up with an overexposed picture because you exposed the film twice  without being able to dial in less exposure for each shot on that frame of film. Also, what if you need to focus to infinity but need to dial in more or less exposure? If Fuji would make a square format camera that’s almost exactly like the SQ6, but with the addition of a separate light/dark button, I’d be IN!


Smoky Mountains, 2018

Confession: it took me several months to get my photos from my family’s 2018 annual visit to the Smoky Mountains developed due to a large backlog of undeveloped film. But even when I got the photos developed, I hesitated to post them for another couple of months. Honestly, I felt as if I didn’t photograph a wide enough variety of things while we were on our little getaway. To me, it didn’t look like we’d DONE much while we were in the Smokies.  It seemed most of  my film had been spent at Dollywood (a very worthy subject though!!) And then some photos of my family playing mini golf?? Who wants to see THAT?!

But then, I realized  a few things:

1) My Instax Square* photos helped round things out.

2) Even though it looks like I basically went to Dollywood and mini golfing, I know there was more to our trip than that! There were just some activities we did that weren’t suited to being captured on film with the particular cameras I had with me (though I have a couple of hundred digital photos from the aquarium which I took for my brother-in-law!) For instance, the restaurant where we had dinner that had animatronic chickens around the perimeter of the dining area which “performed” throughout the dinner – kind of hard to convey that in still images. (I might share a video with you of it…)

3)  Regarding photos that are just “family snapshots”  – just this week, I watched a program on PBS called “Family Pictures USA,” and it does what the title implies: through family photos, it explores both the cities where these families live and how those people shaped the communities they were in. So maybe a photo of my niece narrowing her eyes at me because she doesn’t care to have her photo made doesn’t necessarily have a lot of interest or merit to those viewing it, it matters to me and my family in the long run.

Having gotten all that out of the way, I can now proceed to share the photos! We drove up to the mountains on Halloween, so our little vacation took place during the first few days of November 2018.

A few shots from one of my favorite areas at Dollywood: The 1950s themed Jukebox Junction 

Double exposure from the County Fair section 

It’s Dolly’s banjo from her childhood, y’all! We had never gone into the little Dolly Parton museum in Dollywood before, but it was pretty cool!

On the steps to the chapel in Dollywood 

There was a pumpkin carving artist at the park for their harvest festival *heart eyes*

Stained glass in the Southen Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame in the park…it was interesting 

I burned through most of my film at Dollywood because, that evening, we experienced one of the most lovely things ever. We knew there was something called “Dollywood Great Pumpkin Luminights” going on at the time, but we didn’t really know what to expect. It was so cute though! There was what I would call “cute spooky” music playing throughout the lighted display. We loved it so much!

This is was taken the day we went to the Ripley’s Aquarium. It would have been better photographed at night, but this was a decorative tree outside the aquarium that lit up at night 

View from the hotel in the morning. Not half bad, is it?

We went back to The Island in Pigeon Forge to have lunch at Pommes Frites. That’s a fancy way of saying we had fries for lunch! Always have to photograph the Giant Wheel when at The Island though.

One of our visits the the Apple Barn. Apple cider 4 lyfe.

Old MacDonald’s mini golf in Pigeon Forge 

Sharing theses particular photos for one main reason: It’s obviously a photo of my mom trying to hit the golf ball in a round of mini golf. But what I didn’t know at the time, and what I came to realize when I saw the photos when they’d been developed months later: this weekend was one of the last times for quite some time that my mom would have normal mobility. This may be a little more personal than you’d normally find on a blog like mine, but few weeks after this was taken, my mother had a slip and fall accident at work, cracking her scapula in the process. The following week, she fell and broke her hip. She’s doing much better now, but seeing these so far down the line, knowing the events that followed shortly thereafter, it really hit home that things can change in the blink of an eye, so as someone who documents her family’s life via photography, it is important to photograph little everyday things too.

Mom’s form had improved a little by this point but not by much! 

Beautiful evening to have dinner at the Old Mill Pottery House and Cafe –  I may have petitioned to eat there that night even though we dined there a couple of days earlier…

Ice cream shop in the same at the Old Mill 


Part of a Hogwart’s model made from toothpicks, at the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium 

The entry of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum, taken from the balcony above it

*sigh* what more fitting way to portray the end of a vacation that took place the week of Halloween than to photograph this discarded pumpkin I saw on our journey home that Sunday?


All photos taken with a Lomo LC-A, Canon Sure Shot Z90W, and Fuji Instax SQ6. 


*I literally got the Instax Square camera the evening before we left for Gatlinburg, so I was having to learn to use it as I went along. I’ll post a proper review of the camera with more photos soon!


The promised video from Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Cafe

“Let it Go,” Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Cafe from Amanda Raney on Vimeo.


{Instax Mini 90} Upgrade U

You know I procured an Instax Mini 50s last year, right? I wanted to test the waters of Instax Mini before investing in the ultimate Mini camera: the Mini 90. While I did enjoy the results I got from the 50s, I found some of the features (or lack thereof) to be limiting. Therefore, I decided it was time to give myself an UPGRADE. Enter: The Fuji Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic (which is quite a mouthful of a name for a small camera!)

Can you blame me? Phwoar!

About the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic: 

  • Film type: Fuji Instax Mini (800 ASA)
  • Shutter speed range: auto range of 1.8s – 1/400s, maximum of 10s exposure in bulb mode
  • Two shutter release buttons (one on top for shooting landscape orientation and one on front for portrait orientation)
  • Focusing: 3 user-selectable settings: .3m-.6m macro mode, .6m -3m normal mode, 3m-∞ landcape mode
  • Exposure system: automatic, with the ability to choose to Lighten or Darken each exposure (+2/3 or -2/3, or +1 on extra Lighten)
  • Power supply: rechargeable proprietary battery (I believe the only Instax to employ a proprietary battery)
  • Flash: auto (with brightness control available,) forced flash (flash on,) flash off, red eye reduction mode
  • Modes and exposure settings achieved through buttons on the back of the camera or in conjunction with a mode dial wheel around the lens.
  • Double exposure mode
  • “Kids mode” (faster shutter speed to capture a moving object such as a child or pet)
  • “Party mode” (slow-sync flash)

mode buttons and LCD screen which shows battery power, mode selected, and the number of shots taken

The main draw to the Mini 90 for me, and for most people I know who have that camera, is the fact that you can switch off the camera’s flash. All the other Mini cameras only offer auto flash. I personally found this to be irritating, because there were times when using the Mini 50s that I KNEW the flash wasn’t needed but the camera chose to use it anyway.

The other reason I wanted the Mini 90 was its built-in macro setting. With such small photos, I often wish to fill the frame more thoroughly than was allowed by my 50s and its minimum focus distance.

I am going to admit right here and now that these features I was so keen on having in an Instax camera also have brought with them a learning curve. I wrote which settings I used on the back of each photo after it was taken so I could chart my successes and my failures. The thing I didn’t know about this camera’s macro feature is that it stops the lens’s aperture down to f/22. YIKES. My first attempts at using macro + no flash + bulb didn’t go too well.

Left to right, failed macro exposures: 1) flash off, auto exposure, Lighten, macro 2) flash off, macro, bulb, 2 seconds 3) flash off, macro, bulb, 6 seconds 4) flash off, macro, bulb, 10 seconds

flash off, auto exposure, macro, Lighten

no flash, auto exposure, Darken

flash off, macro, bulb, 6 seconds
My Tower Bridge platter – aka “the most beautiful thing I own.” Thanks Clark 🙂

flash off, auto exposure, Darken
Sonja moved during the exposure, so her eyes are blurry. But I like how vibrant and glowing her eyes are in this photo! Guest appearances made by my purse and scarf in the background.

flash off, auto exposure, Lighten

flash off, auto exposure, Darken
Oh, Wyatt

Pack two shot with the Mini 90 went MUCH better than the first pack did (plus it was my fave: rainbow frames!)

Flash off, auto exposure, macro, Lighten
Jar of conversation hearts

Left: flash off, macro, bulb, 6-7 seconds. Right: flash off, macro, bulb, 10 seconds
🙁 Trying to photograph my new candy apple red stand mixer. Bad luck with macro again.

flash off, macro, bulb, 2-3 seconds
Mini vegan pear pie ♥

flash off, auto exposure, macro, Lighten
Pie and conversation hearts

flash off, auto exposure, Lighten
Luv bots ♥

flash off, auto exposure (macro mode on shot #3 of the bikes)
Rainbow bikes and rainbow frames!

flash off, macro, bulb exposure, 10 seconds
Finally success photographing my new KitchenAid stand mixer! I had to draw the curtains back to try to get more light to the mixer.


I have no doubt that the Instax Mini 90 and I are going to be good friends. I just have to learn how to make the best of the very features which were the reason I upgraded to this camera in the first place. Now that we are exiting the winter of our discontent and heading for spring, I hope to make better use of the Mini 90. Watch this space. I expect it to be filled with more Mini 90 photos soon!

{Mini Rainbow}


I am a big fan of the rainbow frame film from Impossible Project for Polaroid cameras. I know some people feel as if the colored frames detract from the photo itself. I don’t agree.

When I got a camera that takes Fuji Instax Mini film, I couldn’t wait to try their rainbow frame film. And I love it! Ten colorful little pictures. I feel as if somehow the color of the frames magically coordinates well with whatever the photo’s subject is. That just makes me like the film even more.

Look! The colors are gradient and blend from frame to frame when you put them next to each other!

I took my Instax Mini 50s, with the rainbow film loaded in it, on a couple of little excursions that I took in December to neighboring towns. It was pretty perfect.

Holly Springs, Mississippi

Holly Springs, Mississippi

Holly Springs, Mississippi

Holly Springs, Mississippi

Batesville, Mississippi

Batesville, Mississippi

Batesville, Mississippi

Batesville, Mississippi

Como, Mississippi

Como, Mississippi

Fuji Instax Mini 50s • Instax Mini rainbow film

Like I said, I really enjoyed the rainbow frame Instax mini pictures. Now, if Instax would give us their Wide film, I’d be an even happier girl!

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