The 3 Best Instant Film Cameras for Your Next Party

These instant film cameras will shoot photos you and other guests will love.

If you’re going to a party, there’s no reason not to bring instant film cameras. They’re so fun. You point, shoot, and get the photo. What’s better than that? You can then get back to drinking and hang out with those you care about. And better yet, it’s almost impossible for anyone to look bad with instant film. That’s because of just how big the lenses are and how they work with the film. And yes, you’re shooting real instant film–sort of like Polaroids back in the day. Check out this guide on choosing the best instant film cameras.

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Canon or Sony: Which One Is Better for Shooting a Party?

We shot the same party with both Sony and Canon in an informal test. Guess which did better?

When I used to shoot weddings and events, I reached for Canon. But as I changed as a photographer, Sony started to suit more and more of my own personal needs. Today, there isn’t a single camera system that’s bad or that can’t accomplish a lot. They’re all good. And they can all do a whole lot of various things very well. To each their own for sure. But a while back, we had the opportunity to play with both the Sony and Canon systems for a party. The results? Well, they’re both good. And they both have pluses and minuses over each other.

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Why the Fujifilm Natura S Is the Perfect, Care-Free Camera for Parties

My affinity with the Fujifilm Natura S has blossomed into carefree, truly fun shooting.

How many of you would buy a pink camera like the Fujifilm Natura S? If you wouldn’t then that’s fine, but it’s a great camera that forces the photographer to really put their trust in it. You’re not worried about apertures, shutter speeds, etc. There isn’t even an option to allow you to care about that. And at parties, the result is a purely fun experience that helps you keep your mind focused on having fun. That’s not at all to say that being serious about your photography can’t be fun, but we’re talking about a party. Think about what you think about when you do party photography and how many photographers are totally in their zone when shooting vs. also knowing how to enjoy what’s happening. And that’s why I think the Fujifilm Natura S beats any camera out there when it comes to party photography.

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Review: Nissin MG80 Pro (A Solid, Well Built Flash for the Money)

The Nissin MG80 Pro is a flash we initially weren’t sure of, but it grew on us and now we like it.

This past year I’ve been looking at small flashes again, and the Nissin MG80 Pro has seriously caught my attention. Years ago, I reviewed the Nissin MG8000, one of the company’s first flashes to use a Quartz bulb. I liked the results, but the interface was a tad odd. Fast forward about seven years, and I’ve got the Nissin MG80 Pro in my hands after a previous announcement. This flash still uses a Quartz bulb and has enhancements that I really like. To be in line with the needs of the modern photographer, it has a modeling lamp that can be used as a small constant light. The zoom head’s quality can be confusing until you realize it’s removable. And one will also be very impressed with the battery life. But, if you want to use it off-camera, then be sure to pair it with the Air 10s transmitter correctly. If you do, you’re going to get one of the best flashes you can buy for the Canon system.

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Review: Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG DN Art (The Perfect Zoom for Sony FE?)

The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN Art is one of the perfect zoom lenses made for the Sony FE camera lineup.

This is the first time in a long time that I’ve been pleasantly surprised, and the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN Art is the reason. I’ve known that Sigma’s quality has been top-notch: there’s no denying that. But for the first time, I genuinely believe they’ve achieved top-notch quality in a small lens. The Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 DG DN Art is really not that large. It’s also pretty lightweight. These two things have eluded Sigma’s designers for a long time. And while this lens is very capable and fantastic in many ways, there’s one thing that annoys me just a bit. But for newer photographers who haven’t yet learned how to properly hold a camera or a lens, they’re bound to clamor for image stabilization in a lens like this. That’s when the cult of Sony will come out and scream at Sigma loyalists about Sony’s built-in image stabilization. But with my own two eyes, I’ve seen this isn’t enough for some people.

Update May 2021

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Useful Photography Tip #193: Don’t Forget to Bounce a Flash off the Nearest Wall at a Party

Want more Useful Photography Tips? Click Here.

When you’re at a party using a flash, it’s common practice to either use a bounce card (like a Flashbender) or to bounce the light off the ceiling and a bit behind you in order to give frontal illumination to your subjects. But also seriously do remember to take note of all of your surroundings. If you’ve got a wall not far from you, bounce the flash off of that and turn your back to the wall. By pointing the flash up and behind you, you’ll provide some nice frontal lighting on your subject.

See, we told you that this was a short, quick tip! 🙂

The Absolute Must Have Telephoto Lenses for Event Photographers

sigma lenses

Event photography is a mixed bag, more so than any other genre of photography. The lenses you choose will be vital to your success in this field. This is where the beauty of telephoto lenses come into play.

Telephoto lenses are, in a word, amazing. They allow us to get closer to our subjects, and they often come with fast apertures, which means they are perfect for low light photography. What is a telephoto lens? Telephoto refers to lenses that offer a focal range of greater then 85mm. Telephoto lenses should not be confused with zoom lenses. A zoom lens can be any lens that goes from a wide angle to normal angle like the 24-70mm, or ultra-wide to wide such as a 16-35mm. A telephoto can be a zoom lens if the focal range exceeds 85mm, like the 70-200mm, but they can also be prime lenses too such as a 135mm f2. With that said, let’s jump right in and take a look at the absolute must-have telephoto lenses for event photography.

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The Primera Impressa IP60 Is Aiming for Your Next Photo Booth

Wedding and party photographers running a photo booth may want to check out the new Primera Impressa IP60.

As it aims squarely at the market that DNP has worked on for many years, the Primera Impressa IP60 is promising to do, well, pretty much exactly what DNP has been doing for many years. Go to a trade show, an event, a wedding or a party that provides the opportunity to print photos and what you’ll see and get are something like what the Primera Impressa IP60 is aiming for. Ever get your prints done at Walgreens or Costco with that extra slick and shiny print quality that could withstand a spill of your friends’ questionable choice of Bud Light? Well, that’s print quality one typically gets with something akin to this.

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Malibu: My Experience at an Instagram Influencer Party

All photos and words by Nathan Hostetter for the Phoblographer. Be sure to check out Nathan’s website and his Instagram.

Artists of all kinds go through periods of creative drought (you’re lying if you say you don’t), and lately, I have found myself in a bit of a dry-spell as well. While looking for a weekend distraction, a close friend of mine invited me to a “social media influencer party.” He said it just like that. I’m not naïve, I know what social influencers are, but I was not aware they held events, or threw parties. This was easily the “most LA” event I had ever been invited to. “Do I have to dress up?” “How fancy is it?” “Should I bring a jacket?” I really had no idea what to expect. I reluctantly accepted his invitation and we began the 40-minute journey from my place in Sherman Oaks, to the palace of followers and social influence on the cliffs of Malibu.

As we pulled up, the house appeared much smaller than I expected, until I saw the inside. The front door was wide open with no one manning it; anyone could’ve walked into the party and probably never be questioned. Once inside, what was once a quaint little beach house, opened up to reveal a 3-story mansion, each floor with massive ocean views. I must admit, it took me a second to acclimate myself. My friend, who had been there once before, gave me a quick tour of the two main floors. There seemed to be photo shoots going on in every corner of the house. Since I was still taking it all in, I didn’t think too much of this at first, but more on that later.

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Telephoto Zooms Lenses for Capturing Party Shenanigans From Across the Room

Telephoto zooms are more popular in the party and event scene than you might think initially from the outside. These fast lenses with long-range help photographers capture interactions from a distance without disturbing anyone. You certainly shouldn’t be using a telephoto zoom for an entire party or event in most cases, but as part of a well-rounded party and event photography kit, these make for valuable tools.

Now just as in our previous posts on this subject, we will be going over some high-end and budget options for each camera system, so none of you need to feel left out because of how much you can spend on the lens.

So here are our top picks for telephoto zoom lenses from the event and party photography perspective…

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Messenger Bags For Your Party And Event Photography Kit

So you’re shooting an event or party, right. What the heck are you going to carry all of this stuff in?!

Yeah, we have spent all of this time talking about this gear and such, but unless you are the octaman we doubt that you are going to be able to carry all of this without a bag of some kind. So we figured that now is as good of a time as any to point out some quality messenger style bags for your party and event photography pros. Continue reading…

The Perfect Prime Lenses For Your Party and Event Photography

As we continue our look into party and event photography kits our next stop will be talking about lightweight prime lenses. Now, prime lenses are generally not as popular in a part/event atmosphere due to many photographers in this arena preferring the versatility of zoom lenses to be able to quickly react to the party environment. We will, of course, be looking at zoom lenses later, but for now, we wanted to hit on prime lenses.

One reason you may choose a prime lens over a zoom is that you will have access to faster apertures, allowing you to take advantage of shorter shutter speeds – reducing the chance of motion blur and other undesirable side effects of shooting movement in a low light situation. Another reason is that they are generally much smaller and light-weight, meaning less stress on your body over the course of a long event.

Regardless of the reasons, if you are looking into adding a prime lens or prime lenses into your party or event photography kit we recommend checking out the following options.   Continue reading…

Pieter Symon: Behind the Scenes at the Louvre After the French Election

All images and text by Pieter Symon. Used with permission.

I was attending the Louvre Museum party of France president elect Emmanuel Macron. It was a great evening and I tried to catch the spirit. The story I try to tell with these pictures is the story of mainly young French people, celebrating that Emmanuel Macron has been chosen president. Attending the event, people cheering and singing along with the national anthem, waving French and European flags, this felt like the celebration of a great victory, of a revolution. Against the background of the Louvre Museum, some of my shots make me think of this painting of French symbol Marianne (see here). That feeling, that is what I tried to capture.

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The Strangeness of Smiling in Photographs


“Hey, do you remember the time we smiled at that party?”

Scroll through Facebook feeds, Instagram accounts, Flickr profiles, possibly Photobucket since that’s still around, and other photo sharing services, and you’re bound to find countless photos of groups of people smiling and staring directly into the lens. Well, the idea is that everyone’s staring directly into the lens. It’s more likely that at least one person is looking off to the side. Maybe somebody blinked. Maybe the photographer’s hands shook and the image is slightly blurry. Maybe I’m just bitter, but standing three, four, or five abreast and smiling for several seconds has always been a strange experience.

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Spending Two Weeks with Kodak Ektar and Portra

Portra 160 35mm

Not long ago, Kodak got in touch with me and wanted me to try out their latest Portra films: 160 and 400 in 35mm. At Photo Plus, I was also given a roll of Ektar to play with. Admittedly, I’ve mainly been a user of Portra 400, Tri-X 400, Fuji Pro 400, and Ilford XP2. However, I decided to give it a shot and reawaken the excitement that comes with not knowing what your image looks like until it comes back from the lab.

A giant thank you goes out to Nathan Blaney for letting me use his Canon 1N for this post. Blaney is a wonderful photographer, and you should take the time to look through his site.

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EXCLUSIVE Hands On Review: Shooting a Party with the Fuji X10

At Photo Plus Expo 2011, we got our first hands on experience with the newly announced Fuji X10. Marketed to the world as a point and shoot with phenomenal image quality due to a larger sensor while maintaining stunning good looks the on the outside, the Fujifilm X100 gives design cues to the Fujifilm X10, but targeted at a different price point.

On the second night of Photo Plus, I attended a party (one of many) where after a couple of rounds, I tried out the X10 with a flash mounted on it. Shooting all JPEGs and with the only intention being to have fun, did the Fujifilm X10 surprise me?

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Field Review: Sony NEX 5 (Day 2)

At the time of writing this posting, despite it performing very admirably, there have been technical problems with the Sony NEX 5. Because of said problems, this posting will talk about the sweep panorama feature and the image quality delivered from the camera using this feature. Once again, the RAW files cannot be processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3and the provided program did not work on my Macbook laptop at the time of writing this piece. Editor’s note: once again making a note that Lightroom 3.2 can process the files and that this review is being written as it happened in chronological order for accuracy. On my PC, the program works, but it is quite cumbersome and slow to use. In a couple of days, all images recorded from the camera will be shot in JPEG unless otherwise stated.

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Field Review: Canon T2i (Night 2)

The Canon T2i was used recently as part of the field review doing something that many Rebel users do: shoot parties and get-togethers. Go to nearly any restaurant or party in NYC and you will see people using their Canon Rebel cameras as they steadily are replacing point-and-shoots as the cameras of choice. A complete gallery, as well as full analysis after the jump.

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