A simple way to protect your instant photos

One thing you learn very quickly, when taking instant photos (like the Mini Instax photos), is that it is easy to damage or lose them if you don’t find a safe place to store them. You can use a photo album to keep your instant photos organised and protected.  However, carrying a photo album with you when you are out shooting fun and exciting pictures isn’t very practical or convenient. But, did you know that if you are using Instax film, Fuji has already provided you with a convenient and easy way to store your instant photos?

Here’s what you do:

Step One: Keep the Cartridge Blank

When ever you start using a new photo cartridge in your Instax compatible camera, you begin by ejecting the plastic cover (or blank), before taking your first photo. When you do this, don’t throw it away. Keep it in a safe place, as we’ll need it later.

Two: Snap Your Photos Until the Cartridge Is Empty

Go ahead and snap away your photos, until the cartridge is empty. Of course, you’ll have to find a temporary place to store your photos, until you’ve emptied out the cartridge. But, over time, hopefully you can get ahead of the game and have an empty cartridge on-hand for when you start a new package of film.

Three: Load Up Your Instant Photos

On the bottom of the cartridge, you should see a thin strip of black cellophane-type material, covering up a slot cut into the bottom of the cartridge. Remove this strip and now simply slide your instant photos back into the empty cartridge through the slot on the bottom. Each cartridge can hold ten photos.

Four: Insert the Cartridge Blank

As a last step to protect your photos from smudges, dirt and light, insert the “blank”, which you saved in Step One. Make sure that you insert it with the small black tab on the bottom edge; so it sticks out from the bottom of the cartridge. You can use this tab to remove the blank, which is now acting as a cover, and gain access to your photos.

You now have a safe and easily store-able carrier for your Instax instant photos! Storing you instant photos like this is especially convenient when you’re out in the field and don’t have your photo albums with you.

If you want to display your photo, simply remove the cover and stand the cartridge box on a shelf; as it also makes for a very unique frame for your instant photographs.

Join the Conversation

  1. I love this post! I do miss my old Polaroid. If I take lots of photos on a phone, they just stay on the phone, never getting looked-at or printed. Great snaps get lost amongst the swathes and swathes of galleries. I used to love having my printed photos ready to hand around almost-immediately.

    Are Instax cartridges (or even Polaroid ones) readily available and still relatively affordable these days? Is it an internet-only thing or could I reasonably expect somewhere like Jessops to stock them?

    1. Hey, James! So glad you liked the post. I’m so very glad I got back in to film photography after so many years. I’d forgotten how much fun photographing with film can be. And, like you, I really like having those snaps in my hand to enjoy.

      I’m not familiar with Jessops, but here in Canada most major retailers sell Fuji’s Instax film. You can also find it on Amazon. The prices aren’t too bad. I would say that, on average, a Instax photo costs about $1.00 – $1.50 each, depending on the size of film you use. You can also buy film for your old Polaroid cameras again, through the website https://us.polaroidoriginals.com but it is a little more expensive.

      If you ever decide to get yourself an Instax compatible camera, I highly recommend looking at what Lomography has to offer. I think you get good value for your money, when dealing with them.

      Happy snapping!

      1. Thank you for the useful tips and advice! I didn’t realise you were in the land that gave the world, amongst other things, Steppenwolf, Rush, The Band, Guess Who?, and Martha and the Muffins! Jessops is (or used to be) a large photographic chain in the UK. At one time there was a store in virtually every town. Now I think they only have a couple of big stores across the country. I’m not sure if they ever expanded globally, but I guess they didn’t make it to Canada.

        1. Don’t forget these classic rockers: Toronto, Light House, Triumph, April Wine, Kim Mitchell and Lee Aaron! 😉 Them were the days, when Canada actually produced something to be proud of.