It was in 2013—her last year in college—when Claudine (@claudinehere) started getting into instant photography. She realized that she was nearing the end of her teenage life but had no tangible reminders of her favorite moments with friends. "As much as I enjoy the convenience of digital photos, I just think that nothing beats the feeling of having a printed photo in my hand to remind me of those special moments."
Claudine is a full-time researcher for a proxy advisory firm and spends her days off travelling. This gives her the opportunity to take photos of the new places she discovers. As a self-described 'memory keeper', she favors instant photography as her medium.
What do you like about instant photography?
I like being able to hold the print in my hand immediately after taking the shot. I also love sharing the pictures I take and seeing people get excited about holding an actual, printed photo, which is rare nowadays. Finally, I like how instant photography forces me to slow down and think of the things I'd like to shoot, as opposed to digital photography where I can just snap away and delete unwanted shots later.
Among the instant photos from your travels, which ones are the most memorable? Any funny, strange, or exciting stories?
The photos I took in the United Kingdom during my 2018 trip are among the most memorable because most of those photos depict the things that caught my eye when I stepped into the places I went to. That was my first ever trip to a European country, so I tended to capture the first things that grabbed my attention the most - and most of them were things or a certain kind of aesthetic that I never or rarely see in my home country.
As for strange stories, I will never forget the only instant photo I took of myself at Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan. Although the weather was gloomy, the leaves were red and the water in the background was very pretty, so I wanted to take an Instax photo of myself with that as my background. Alas, the background turned out dark, and it looked like there was a ghost standing next to me. I was so spooked that I left that photo in the hotel room! Once I got home, I reviewed the digital photos I took at that same spot and found that the "ghost" was actually a branch with white flowers! Now I wish I kept that photo so that I could show it to other people and spook them as well, just to get a few laughs!
What does film/instant photography mean to you?
For me, film photography is like an exercise in mindfulness. I only get a limited number of shots in film photography, and knowing this helps me stay more grounded and present in the moment, as I only want to use those shots to capture very special moments or scenes that I want to relive and look back on. It's a refreshing change of pace in this day and age where it's so easy to just casually pull out my digital camera and take as many photos as I can of something, without caring what that shot means to me or whether I would actually look back on it someday.
Thank you for sharing your photos and stories with the community, Claudine!