Ok, let's just stop and ponder for a moment. You know when you're shooting with your digital camera, say at a family celebration, what's the process that's going on. You're the photo guy (or gal), taking lots of photos, chimping at the back of the screen, showing people, and generally taking way more images than you'll ever use or share.
You miss most of the fun because you're behind the camera, and people quickly become tired of you pointing your lens at them. After the events finished your work has only begun, trawling through hundreds of photographs, editing, cropping, re-sizing and then emailing them or posting them to facebook and flickr. You might even print the odd one or two, but you can bet no-one else will.
What an awful lot of work, and it kind of misses the point of what fun family photography is all about. Wouldn't it be great if you could just take a simple camera, shoot a few shots, be able to show, share and actually give your friends and family some images to take away, and not have to worry about anything else once it's all over.
Oh yes, there are cameras that do that. They're Instant, Instax, and Fuji. Meet the Mini 7!
Polaroid may have gone, with the Impossible Project breathing new life with new film into old cameras, but Fujifilm is still making instant cameras and the instant film to go with them that doesn't cost the earth.
The Mini 7 helps you create credit-sized photos that are soft, colourful and utterly wonderful. The film comes in packs of 10, available usually in a twin pack for about £15. Add 4 AA batteries, pop the film in, point the camera at your subject and press the button. The photo will emerge out of the top of the camera, wait a couple of minutes then share this unique object with everyone there.
Instant photography with cameras like the Instax 7 won't replace your digital camera, but it is a great piece of kit to bring with you to occasions when fun is more the order of the day rather tham photojournalism.
I was lucky, I picked up my Instax Mini from the car-boot sale for a fiver, but they are on eBay, or you can buy them new from many retailers, even the Polaroid 300 is a rebadged Fujifilm Instax Mini.