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Instax Revolution: Redefining The Filipino Millennial In The Digital Age

September 08, 2017

Who ever said instant cameras are dead? Despite the prevalence of smartphone cameras, the Filipino youth is still smitten by the wonders and magic of instant photography. Find out why.

Much has been said about instant photography since the resurrection of the instant camera in the late 90s. Interestingly, not only photographers or camera enthusiasts got into the hype of instant cameras but fans and ordinary users became almost instantly photo-savvy as well. Even as the world became more and more digitized, people would still flock to stores to grab their own whimsical piece of tech as if it was 1965. Flash forward to a couple of decades, Fujifilm finally introduced what would become one of their most beloved devices, the Instax camera.

Becoming the Modern Filipino Shutterbug

An instant crowd-pleaser, thanks to the emerging Asian pop culture influence where teenage girls used these cameras as an alternative tool for self-expression, the Instax found its full potential and became a staple accessory for hipsters, bloggers, vloggers, and social media users all around the world. With its expansion of function, features, and design, the Instax became a favorite among the young and old. Next to smartphone cameras, instant cameras have become a convenient way to not only capture candid moments, but to quickly see photos on print. Even small businesses have started using instant cameras to share pictures of clients, customers, promos, and other marketing memorabilia. In a way, this quirky device has become the accidental hero of photo-obsessed users in a time of digital influx.

In the Philippines, according to the Digital in 2017 Global Overview report from Hootsuite and We Are Social, Filipinos fared number one in terms of time spent on social media. Essentially, this means that Filipinos, compared to other users in different countries, spend a huge chuck of their time being active on popular social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. With these social media channels, many young Filipinos are easily catching up with global trends, especially in the world of fashion and lifestyle, and because photo-sharing has become a way of life, users could readily access styling or travel tips and inspiration from their favorite Filipino digital influencers. In essence, social media helped trigger not only professional photographers but ordinary users as well to explore what’s behind the lens.

Throwback Culture

While there are various types of cameras to choose from, the nostalgia for vintage that only instant photography can provide is one of the reasons why the Instax has remained a favorite among the Filipino youth. But what catapulted the instant camera to fame? It’s hard to imagine how an invention from the past had made its way to the center stage of photography while smartphone cameras as well as action cameras have cemented their place in the world of print and film.

Moreover, with the difficulty to create and sustain a market for budget-conscious users, instant cameras were just an option for the average Filipino who would rather take and store photos on their devices than spend an extra buck or two on another device that would require purchasing film (not once but as often as needed). The Instax, however, is a device that offers great flexibility in terms of function and design—making it possible to maintain its likeability and appeal. Additionally, the constant need to reinvent oneself has paved way for millennials to showcase their art through film photography. Think of it as a real-life throwback that can be physically displayed on a wall, a desk, a fridge—anywhere! Ultimately, whether online or on print, the Filipino millennial is set on becoming world-class influencers one click at a time.

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