New Instax Mini 70 Review

We’ve long been fans of the Fuji Instax line, even taking them all the way to the Peruvian Amazon. They are instant cameras, letting you quickly share a photo, and bring some of the magic of instant photography everywhere you go. (Fun fact: the Instax Mini film was the most popular item on Amazon this past holiday season! We’re not the only ones who love this stuff!)

So when the fine folks at Fuji asked if we wanted to try out the new Instax Mini 70 we said YEP! And then they said “Hey, we can give one to one of your readers!” and we said “YEP YEP!”.

We used the Instax to take some photos of our holidays, and it was, as usual, a blast. It was so much fun to see our little stack of shots piling up, and at the end of it all it made such a wonderful momento.

Here’s our quick review of the camera! Enjoy!

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Moment Smartphone Lenses Review

The smartphone is one of the most popular cameras of our time. It’s small, always with you, packed with features, and rapidly improving in quality. It’s a whole new wave of photography, and one that’s super exciting.

However, it can be, well… a bit boring after a while.

The trouble with a smartphone is that you get one focal length, and that’s it. It can be a fun creative challenge, don’t get me wrong. But one of the joys of photography is using different lenses to capture different perspectives.

Enter the world of smartphone lenses – something I never thought I’d be interested in, until I saw the Moment lenses. High quality, beautiful design, and with three different options (wide, telephoto and macro), suddenly there was a whole new world of smartphone photography to explore. So we did just that, and here’s what we discovered.

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8 Landscape Photography Tips For Wall-Worthy Photos

I have a confession for you today,

I am NOT a landscape photographer.

But when I find myself in situations where beautiful landscapes surround me, I want to be able to take a good shot that will do the scene justice. I want to be able to capture more than a quick snapshot – I want to take a photo I’d be proud to hang on my wall. So here are 8 things I’ve learned in my quest for those wall-worthy photos.

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Let’s Stop Telling People They Aren’t Photographers, Mmmkay?

For many, many years I’ve seen something going on in the photography industry that isn’t just mean, it’s plain wrong. Does this sound familiar?

“Just because you own a camera doesn’t make you a photographer!”

“These newbies buy a camera, start taking lots of photos, and think they’re photographers. They’re not!”

“Everyone and their dog thinks they’re a photographer nowadays. There should be rules and requirements and TESTS, yes, TESTS! You should have pass a test to be able to call yourself a photographer! That’s what we need!”

Here’s what the term “photographer” means…

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Don’t Worry. It Gets Easier.

We ran into some old clients the other day while we were out with our boys. We had shot their wedding years ago, and they now had two kids of their own. They asked how things were going since we had doubled the number of children in our home.

“It’s challenging sometimes,” I said, though I secretly wanted to yell “How on earth does anyone manage this??”

“Yes, it’s tough. But don’t worry, it gets easier,” was her reply.

And instantly, with those very simple words, I felt lighter. It was sweet, sweet reassurance that the things I find so hard right now won’t always be hard. It won’t always be so tough to get out of the house, or make a dinner that isn’t frozen, or get more than 40 minutes at a time to work.

Then I came home, and opened up my email to see a note from a reader. She was going through one of our tutorials, and mentioned that she was really wanting to get into photography, but just finding the technical stuff overwhelming.

My reply?

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Don’t Do a Pro Shoot Without These 3 Things

The scariest thing to happen to me during a shoot wasn’t my knee dislocating. It was my camera breaking, right as my couple was about to go frolicking in the ocean in their wedding clothes. Instantly I felt sick to my stomach, my heart lept into my chest, and the sweat rolling down my face had nothing to do with the hot Mexican sun.

But instead of calling a halt to the session, I walked over to the camera bag, pulled out my backup camera, and kept shooting, without them ever noticing.

(Ok, to be totally honest I think I went and took Rob’s camera and made him walk over to camera bag, because I’m kind of a diva like that sometimes. But if I was by myself that’s how things would have gone!)

However things went down, the lesson is simple: if you’re doing a professional shoot (and I count shoots that aren’t for money per se, but for portfolio building or trade of service in there too), you need backup.

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5 Inspiring Books For Photographers

Every time I think that I am out of inspiration and out of ideas, I head to our bookshelf. It’s huge, and jammed full of books of all shapes and sizes (those tiny kids board books are just so hard to store!). I let my eyes browse over the titles, and within moments something amazing happens: I relax. In front of me is a lifetime’s worth of ideas and inspiration – mine for the taking. I pick up any book that interests me, and start to flip.

Maybe I don’t get more than 5 minutes in before I’m called to go play dinosaurs. Maybe I get a full hour of reading done while the baby sleeps in my arms. But almost without fail I find my brain fills up with inspiration with a book in my hands, and I feel a renewed sense of energy.

Our bookshelf has books from all genres, and that alone is something I find very enjoyable. But today I’ll share 5 books for photographers from our bookshelf that are immensely inspiring.  They’re great for any type of photographer, and I’d highly recommend you check them ALL out!

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