The Key to Taking Better Selfies? An Instant Camera

The art of the selfie is more than knowing which side is your good one; it's also about having the right gear. But that doesn't necessarily mean you need an extendable selfie stick or a ring light stand – you just need a suitable camera.

Enter the INSTAX MINI 12™️: a new, upgraded version of the INSTAX instant camera. Similar to its previous iterations, the INSTAX MINI 12 is an analog camera which utilizes INSTAX MINI instant film that captures and prints credit-card-sized photos. While it's probably not the first camera you'd think of when it comes to taking selfies, it was actually designed with just that in mind. From a special close-up mode to automatic features, the INSTAX MINI 12 is perfect for snapping self portraits. Here's what you need to know about the camera, along with some helpful selfie-taking tips.

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Simulated image. Develops in approximately 90 seconds.

Look in the Mirror

Like with any analog camera, the INSTAX MINI 12 doesn't have a front-facing screen to reference when taking your selfies. Instead, it has a conveniently-placed mirror next to the lens to help you compose your shot. Hold the camera at arm's length, then check your positioning in the mirror. Once you're framed the way you want, just point and shoot.

Turn on Close-Up Mode

Anytime you're taking a selfie using the INSTAX MINI 12, you'll want to use the Close-Up mode. To activate it, twist the base of the lens until the dial hits "Close-Up." This mode allows the lens to focus on subjects that are about 12 to 19 inches (30 to 50 centimeters) away from the camera, which is about arm's-length distance.

Find a Strong Light Source

Film cameras typically require a decent amount of light to produce a clear print. With the INSTAX MINI 12, you'll see the best results when shooting outside in clear skies. If you're taking photos inside or at night, the camera has built-in, automatic exposure and flash control. That way, you don't have to worry about fiddling around with the settings or flash while trying to capture the perfect selfie; the INSTAX MINI 12 does the work for you.


Don't Obscure the Shot

There's nothing worse than having a blurred finger in the corner of your selfie — especially when you're dealing with film. Luckily, the INSTAX MINI 12 was redesigned with a straighter handle than its previous iteration, so it can be more comfortable to hold. By gripping the camera properly, you can make sure that you're not blocking the lens or the built-in flash to get a clear shot.

Bring Your Photos to Life

The beauty of an INSTAX MINI 12 is that you can get an IRL print of your photo in seconds — five seconds to be exact. Once your selfie prints, it takes another 90 seconds to develop. But unlike traditional film, these FUJIFILM INSTAX instant film sheets have a special coating to protect them as they develop. That means you don't need to do anything special to dry the print, like shaking it or keeping it away from a light source. You can even purchase patterned and colored FUJIFILM instant film packs to make those selfies look extra special.