I am so excited for this collaboration. Impossible Film has been updating their film with better quality which includes better color formula, better battery and adding fun decorated frames. I had to get the Lulu Guinness iconic red lips, colorfully decorated on the film frame. I've been using the Impossible Instant Lab with my current iPhone 5S.
I just have to note the irony of this post- I couldn't blog the past couple of weeks because my disk on my laptop was full. I'm writing about an awesome analog camera shop but my digital photos were taking up space...Well, I thought it was funny.
Shutter + Light is a camera store located in Santa Ana, close to my favorite shops, Mothers Market and Harveys. When I head down there, I like to pop in Todd's camera store and say hello, and see what new stuff they carry. They are the only ones in Orange County that carry Impossible Film, offer tintypes, and will offer to test your Polaroid camera to make sure it works before buying film. How awesome is that? I can't keep track of the amount of time and money wasted in thrift stores and ebay searching for the perfect vintage camera only to discover it doesn't work. This is one of the perks Todd offers in his shop.
I've actually just found out about tintypes through S+L, and I was curious about what they were. I was there for the process and it was awesome to watch. I saw how careful the process was, sometimes it's hit or miss, but just like film, that's the exciting part of it and I can see why Todd does them.
"A tintype is a handmade photographic process that was invented in the late 1800’s. It is a chemical based process that allows you to put an image on a piece of tin (we use aluminum). So the image you see on the plate is silver. Since it is a chemical based process each image is unique and one of a kind. If you have the same subject and controlled lighting the image will still look a little different because of the way the chemicals were poured on the plate. It’s a fascinating process...When I say beautiful images I mean that in the way they are unique and one of a kind. Like a lot of hand made products they have their flaws and special qualities. They are not perfect and to me that is what makes them beautiful."
You can see more of Todd's tintypes and book your appointment here. The prices range from $60 to $220.
Visit the store for their vintage cameras, too. I was in awe of the vintage Diana cameras they had. It's a small shop but they have so much! If you're going to Disneyland and are short on film, this is the place to go.
189 E. City Place Dr.
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Shop hours:Tuesday-Saturday: 11am-5pm
Locals Only is a series on our.city.lights blog highlighting Anaheim and surrounding areas in the OC. If you're a small business and would like exposure on this blog, I love supporting local business'. Contact me here.
Katie from Skunkboy Creatures has a fun disposable camera challenge. I've had the disposable LOL Cam sitting in my drawer for a couple years (and thankfully the battery didn't die out!) Coincidentally, I first used it when I was in Santa Barbara and finished the roll 2 years later in SB. I love "full circle" connections!
I should point out I normally get my film done from Dwayne's and Old School Photo Lab but for something quick like this, I did go to Walgreens per Katie's recommendation. My roll was off either because of the film winding or the Walgreens guy didn't cut it right. Either way, I love them even if they're a little off center. It highlights the weird!
I love my Kelly Moore camera bag but I wanted something with more room. I've used diaper bags before to protect my gear (seriously, they work when you're in quick need), but with experience, I recommend investing in a great camera bag. There are so many out there, but rare as stylish as the one from Theit Bags, The Lula bag designed from one of my favorite blogger, Jen Lula. I've been looking for a bigger one for years, and I knew this was the one. I ordered it late last year and it has been worth the wait. It's even more beautiful in person! I wear all black, and I wanted to tone down the goth girl vibe a bit, so I chose the coral color.
Yes, it's beautiful but it's very functional. The padding is so thick, and I feel comfortable leaving my most expensive lenses in the bag alone without their cases, but not thick enough that adds excess weight to my shoulder. They're also removable, I can customize it according to what I'll be carrying that day.
Those cute front pockets work, and there is a zipped large pocket on the back, as well as inside the bag. What I love best about it is it doesn't look like a camera bag- it's adorable! But don't let the cuteness fool you, it really is a workhorse! It can fit everything I want.
I did notice there was this weird line going across the top flap of the bag. It doesn't bother me, but I thought it'd be worth mentioning since the bag is a little pricey. I already emailed them and I'll update the post with their reply. The rest of the details are well made and even though I've only used it for a day, I can tell it will take a few beatings while still looking great.
*** UPDATE! ***
I emailed Theit bags and they replied within 24 hours (within a few hours I emailed them actually). The line on the bag is a fold/wrinkle from the material, and it will go away overtime. They've never had a mark or defect, and they stood by their bag quality, they offered me a new one with the exchange I send the current one back. Honestly, I don't want to wait another day without my bag and since the fold will go away overtime, it's even better news since it didn't bother me to begin with but I can see it bother others. Plus I want to make sure I'm honest on everything I love and recommend. After the email with Nicole from Theit, it makes me love the company even more. I should also mention the bag isn't leather but a very strong resistant higher quality synthetic. I actually prefer it, because leather has more maintenance, this material feel like it could outlast some of my cameras.
I totally recommend this bag. I trust Jen as a mom, a blogger, a photographer and as a friend. I know she wouldn't put her name on something she didn't believe in, and she wrote about the collaboration process. Another blogger I love, Brandy, was also involved with working with Theit bags and I trust her standards as well. After testing out this bag, this is something I love, too. Get your own Lula bag here! More photos here.
I've had sunglasses, a bracelet and now a Instagram projector designed for me. I feel so honored with the relationships i've made with the most creative folks. I've mentioned Projecteo many times and all the projects involved with them (ICYMI, they're here, here, here, here, and here. Can you tell I love them?) The look on my face would have been picture worthy when I opened up the package I received from them- a custom PINK Projecteo! I feel so so honored. The current wheel I have for my projector is memories of Max and I will always treasure it, they hold a special place on my shelf. Projecteo is a great team I love working with and they were so so encouraging and patient when Max died. Most sponsors bailed (yes, as in see ya later!) and didn't wait, but they were so sweet. I can't praise them enough! Thank you, Projecteo!!
It fits perfectly with my pink camera collection, too!
I know I always say 'I'm so excited' in every intro to my blog posts, but really, I am! The same folks that brought you Sticky Gram and Projecteo, bring you Boomf. They cooked up a funny idea to put Instagram photos on marshmallows. It sounds like a novelty, but again, just like they blew me away with Projecteo, I was surprised at how much I love Boomf.
The marshmallows (marshmellows?) come in a secure box, in foil and individually wrapped and separated to preserve the photos printed on the candy.
They are surprisingly resilient to touch and especially being shipped from the UK, they came in perfect condition.
I chose 9 of my images from Instagram, and about a week and a half later, they were at my house. I have a friend getting married this year and I can imagine these would be great for her bridal shower, or a topping on cupcakes, stacked at a baby shower, and I can go on and on!
And yes, they were tasty! The printed photo doesn't take away from the marshmallow taste! (Also, why in the world aren't marshmallows spelled as marshmallows?? I can't write this post without mentioning it). Get your Boomf 'mallows here!
I had fun baking this weekend with my new camera cookie cutters. I don't have the tools or skills for anything fancy, but I do know how to make sugar cookies and turn on the oven.
They came out a little funny, but like I said, I don't normally bake but considering I didn't burn down the kitchen, I would say it's a success!
One of my goals for 2014 is to take more photos. I've even cleaned out digital space to prepare for the photos I'll be uploading, and since I've been using my pancake lens more than most, I wanted to cutie-fy it. I bought this Photojojo Donut Lens (they also offer the burger lens but since I don't eat beef and I'm not cool enough to be ironic, I didn't get it).
Here's to a more photo-worthy 2014! And more donuts. Lots of donuts!
When I first heard about Projecteo, I thought it was a cute novelty but was still curious to try it. Projecteo is a mini photo projector from a 35mm photo wheel. You can choose your own photos from your Instagram stream, and make as many wheels as you'd like, nine photos at a time. Once it's inserted into the projector, it runs on the battery provided by Projecteo.
I decided to theme my wheel from all my favorite moments in pregnancy so far, the hardest part of this process is choosing which 9 photos. I wasn't sure if it was something for me, as much as I love gadgets. However, as soon as it arrived, I can see why this is more than just a novelty. It was easy to store (it's barely 2oz), the wheels are cheap to purchase, and most importantly, you can't put a price on the nostalgia it brings. It was easy to set up, and our darkest room with an empty wall was the nursery closet, we both oooh'd and ahhhh'd at how cool it was to use (stuffed in a closet and all).
I also imagined what a great gift this would be. There are no cords, no wifi, all you need is a wheel, a wall, turn off the lights, and you have a projector. It would be a perfect gift to capture the best wedding photos, baby shower, or your favorite Instagram photos.
Thank you, Projecteo! I can't wait to make another wheel. Sign up using promo code FRIEND03OM and get $5 OFF your first wheel.
Blogger Disclosure- yep, I was offered a Projecteo for free and yep, I loved it so much I decided to tell you about it.
Photography has changed your life, I bet. It may not be a professional series camera you use, but the smartphone you carry that connects you to the world. You're able to share, see, and be inspired by something that fits in your pocket. Can you imagine your life without photography? I know I couldn't. I know how it changed my life, how it inspires my visual creativity, and how I love to connect to people through a simple photo on Instagram.
When 100cameras contacted me, it was something I really wanted to be a part of. I can't imagine my life without photography and when I read their mission to impact children with cameras, this is something I deeply wanted to share. 100cameras started with 4 women in NYC who wanted to give children cameras and capture their community, something a professional photographer won't be able to see. The first camera was sent to Sudan and it grew from there. With the sales of the children's photos, they are able to give back clean water, shelter, education, food and resources to benefit their community. Here are a couple of my favorites and more info-
There really is no glamour for storage. When I think of my old camera storage, I think of broken and lost equipment. I read Elsie and Emma's camera gear list, and before I add more fun items to my collection (I'm wishing for the 40mm lens), I needed to organize what I had. I did sell some items in my Instagram shop (and the valuable items through eBay), but I kept a lot of items I don't use as often. I've minimized so much in my life, this is one area I'm struggling to loosen the belt on. Here's what it looked like before. YEESH.
When we had our bookcases installed, camera gear was the first to be organized. Here's what I did;
I have a Kelly Moore camera bag (no more diaper bags!) and I carry just what I need for the day. There's also a pocket for SD cards so I don't have an excuse to lose those.
-Organize by lens and usage. What do you reach for more? The fisheye or the 50mm? I've rarely used my telephoto, so that's hidden in the back. Convenience is key.
- Try to keep the original boxes. When every lens is black and you're in a hurry, can you imagine grabbing your novelty lens over a professional lens especially if it's for work?!
-Keep your favorites together. I constantly have one novelty camera, my 50mm (I call it my foodie lens), a batter pack, and my camera body.
And there it is. During this cleaning process I had to ask myself a few times- does having more camera equipment make you a better photographer? No, it just makes you a different kind of hoarder. I need to remember this next time I question the purging I'm about to do.
What tips can you share for organizing camera equipment?
For months I was in denial on the popularity of Instagram. I have twice as many followers on Instagram than I do on my blog I've poured into for years. It's easy to post a pic but takes dedication to host a blog. Bloggers, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. So I've come to terms that it's okay. I have no plans to quit blogging, I actually have a few posts lined up, but as a thank you, I'd love to do a giveaway on Instagram. I don't want to alienate people who don't have Instagram (do people not have one? C'mon, my mom has one!) but it's a fun way to connect. Instagram is fun but instant film is more fun! Put down your phone and pick up a camera. Analog, digital, instant, whatever it is, just not your phone. It's so refreshing. If you're not familiar with instant film, I'm also adding in Instant Love. It's a resource book on instant film. It's inspiring and made me wonder why I even put away my camera gear. Find the giveaway here and be sure to read the giveaway rules before entering. Best of luck to you!
I finally tested out Lomography's own slide film, on my Canon AE-1 . I tested it on the most colorful place I could think of- Disneyland Paris! The colors were saturated, intense, and the contrast to each photo visually describes how I experienced the park. I love the Disneyland park I visit here at home often, but Disneyland Paris was...well...honestly, it was better. I felt like it was how Disneyland should be, and I've never experienced anything like it. I have some photos on my DSLR I'll be sharing and go more into detail and you'll see why it's awesome. Besides the park being only 20 years old, Europeans really took the magic of what Walt had in mind and made it better. Scott and I are huge fans of anything Disney, and Disneyland Paris seemed like the perfect place to celebrate our anniversary (yep, we're kid adults). There were two parks, like here in Southern California. The Walt Disney Studios reminded me of a mix of Universal Studios Hollywood with California Adventure.
I had some film left and took it on a stroll to Champs-Elysees.
I realize film is so much more easier to work with. It can be unpredictable, but compared to digital photos, it saves me a ton of time. Instead of going through each picture to edit, crop and make it just as how I want it, film doesn't need any of this. I just ask my lab developer to add it on CD (or scan if you have the time) and pop it in my computer, upload and it tells the stories for me. Another reason I love film- lazy blogging ;) I tried out the Earl Grey film from Lomography. I bought this last year but my wine fridge kept it for me. I liked how the film came out but I don't think it came out as a strong contrast like black and white does. I won't disregard the film, but I do want to try it one more time in another camera. I wanted sharper images but I'm not sure if this is my camera or the film. I do however, really want to try the Lady Grey from Lomography.
The images below are from room service, to the red light district.
Enjoy your weekend! Here are some pics from Paris. I used generic black and white film from Amazon. Not all the photos came out on this roll, but a reader emailed asking where I put my film when they went through the xray machines in the airport security. I did have it packed in my checked bag both bags (which I wasn't expecting to check even when I spent weeks researching what to bring, but that's another ranty blog post on airports) but she sent me this link that was really helpful for future travels. This explains the Spectra film I packed after I tested it at home, it came out beautifully but when I tried after I arrived, it was blank. The TSA also suggests you can have a hand inspection of the film rather than having your film go through the machine. This was our hotel, I loved how modern it was but it still looks vintage even with the film, and I barely caught a man running through the streets of Montmartre, and a small cafe I tried to snap but was pushed by other tourists. The last one is an accidental double exposure of the The Dali exhibit. I know not every picture taken is gold, but I also know each shot is a lesson learned to something better. I can't wait to keep shooting!
I tried out a new (vintage) camera, a Canon AE-1 with a 50mm lens I got for Christmas. It was a camera I'd easily sacrifice 10 cameras on my shelf for, and I finally had a chance to use it. Scott bought it off Ebay, and I should know better to get the camera cleaned and looked at before I use it. Especially for taking it on a big trip! I was too excited for it, I didn't bother. I'm not used to the settings and didn't familiarize myself before I used it- big mistake. I still had fun with it and these are the results.
Half of the film was ruined and looks like this when I didn't rewind the film properly (never ever experiment with a new camera in sunlight, I know better and still kicking myself for it).
I'm really loyal when it comes to companies and services, so for me to try out a new film service made me nervous. I've been using my usual service for almost 8 years. I tried Old School Photo Lab and I'm so glad I did. It was quick, and even if it was a bit more than my usual lab, I loved the results and one thing that is important to me the other company didn't have- communication. I was sent an email when I had a question, they are friendly on Twitter, and when I had an issue they were quick to politely respond. That with great film developing is a company I'll be going back to and happy to support.
I was lucky enough to get a fun gift from Azuree, a Polaroid photographer I've admired from afar for some time. As happy as I was for the Hello Kitty toy, I was thrilled with her set of Polaroid Camera cards!!
The cards are made by her on quality paper (you guys, this stuff is legit), and all taken with her beloved SX-70. I loved the cards so much, I wanted to share them with readers. Here are some of her pics from her etsy shop (if you're gonna pin these lovelies, please give credit).
To enter this giveaway- just leave a comment with who you would send these to or how you'd display them. I'm not looking for the best answer, it's just a fun question. Winner will be chosen at random next week, and yes, the winner could be an international reader, no worries on the continent barriers.
I'm a big fan of Nancy Stockdale's work, I've even had the chance to interview her a couple years ago. I was sad to see her announce on her Twitter page she is closing up shop. You can purchase the last of her final printed photographs for half off right now with the code HALFOFF here. If you've ever admired her work from afar, now is the chance to grab a piece from her. I wish you the best, Nancy!
Some of my favorites below...