Back in October 2010, a free app for posting personal photographs was released called Instagram. Fast forward 2 years into 2012 of April, the app gained popularity with over 100 million active users. And then, users were about 300 million as of December 2014.
It's a no-brainer that Instagram [together with apps like Vine, Snapchat and other chat programs on the phone] has taken over the scene for sharing photos of users worldwide. With this advent of mobile camera devices, what ever happened to print?
Answer: Demand for print photos in the Philippines has decreased by 10-15% per year.
Even though, it is dubbed as the selfie capital of the world, Philippines average only two prints a year vs. 7.6 prints in Thailand and 4.6 prints in Vietnam according to Takuya Maeda from Fujifilm Philippines Inc. [more finer details of the state of print in this news article].
The old generation used prints as memories. They capture, store and reminisce. But at this generation of data and internet. We capture, post, share, like, comment and then maybe reminisce. It’s a generation that wants to interact--no it needs to react.
We want to feel the importance of our memories, right there and then. The need to be instant, fast and available like everything else. Coffee didn't used to be complicatedly instant
It had a coffee maker. You would filter the coffee and wait for it to be extracted. Now you get a shot from a super machine you don't know half of on how it runs--unless you're a barista.
Like many other things, print needed to be the same. It had to be instant and it had to be available. Flashback to a couple of years into our lives, there was such a thing as instant camera's [Polaroids].
They were instant. They were fast. And they were available.
Those are the three ideologies that Instagram is now encompassing. So, as a push to be present and active in today's reality, Fujifilm released a similar device called Instax Mini 70 cameras. Like mobile phones, they come in colors: blue, white and yellow.
But in this generation, are people really going to use it? The trends of instant photos have actually picked up. In Japan, they are using these photos as business cards, art collections and DIY decors.
Moreover, Fujifilm has just released its Wonder Photo Shops that are meant to supplement the experiences of instant photos through designs. These shops replace the traditional kiosks/stands of print stores into a different experience like a selfie studio and printing with iOS or Android cameras.
So Wonder Photo Shops got released, will the instant camera photo trend pick up? Maybe. Maybe not. The lifestyle team got hold and experienced the instax mini 70 [the latest of the instant cameras by Fujifilm]. What can we say?
It was hard.
Yes, it was hard cause it was made of malleable and durable materials. But moreover, it was hard to use. Being of a digital background, we know our ways on how to handle a camera or a device, but this mini thing had our frustration levels increasing by a bit when we tried using it.
We were informed that it was used as a 'selfie' camera and that there was a mirror. A person would half expect it to have a digital mini screen, but since it’s a polaroid-like device, you get a basic mirror about the size of your index finger print. It definitely needed a habit of getting used to.
But mirror or no, it's all about getting the right photos. So we went ahead and took a selfie and came up with only getting half the screen. The clicker was actually at the front of the camera where if you have clumsy big fingers, you'd mess up and cover half of the flash. Again, it needs getting used to.
After more practice, you do learn to appreciate the shots it captures. Things look already edited with awesomeness using the "Auto Exposure Control". Not bad for taking instant pictures. #nofilters
By having it around, you actually can make it as business cards. Exchange photos on the fly capturing moments that are already printed and in your hands. Dates, friends, business partners and acquaintances can make a habit in swapping photos to make that moment more memorable.
The instax mini 70 is good at what it does. But will it and instant photos really take off? There is a big possibility.
Philippines is one of the few countries who love making trends and being in the "in" and now. If the people do get their heads wrapped around this fun technology and starting going ballistic frenzy with it…it just might.
But going back to the ideologies of Instagram, it has the like, comment and share options which at this stage, instant cameras are lacking. Maybe if that feeling was somehow translated into something as rewarding just maybe we will see this new trend take the world by storm.
Photo Credits: Meyn Stay
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