Instax 365 Challenge Week 5

Hi Everone,

This is the week I’ve been dreading for a while now. I knew I had it easy in January, but this week was the turning point, and I HATE it. In January, labeling the day was easy. It was the same number as the date. January 13th was Day 13. EASY. I like easy. This week, we jump into February, and EVERY SINGLE TIME, so EVERY SINGLE DAY, that I am labeling a photo with the “Day …” I have to jump into Instagram or find the previous day’s picture to figure out what number I’m on. You’d think it wouldn’t be so hard, but I know I will mess up and skip a day or have a day repeated on accident. Enough of my lamenting though. Below are this weeks photos.

Day 29 (1/29/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

This was another inevitable thing I was dreading. No, not the release of Kingdom Hearts III (!!!), but forgetting to post that day. Those of you who are following this adventure through Instagram or Facebook probably noticed I didn’t post on the 29th. Well, what had happened was…, I got Kingdom Hearts III, opened it up, took my picture, and sat down to play. I TOTALLY FORGOT TO POST THE PICTURE! It takes about a minute for the film to develop and about 10 minutes for it to be fully developed. I took the picture and put it down to develop while I booted up the game. Then I totally forgot about it. I took and uploaded the digital picture the next day. I guess I had waited 13 years for this game to release that my brain said NO MORE WAITING! I got the deluxe edition which came with a bunch of extras to really fill out my picture and I have zero regrets.

Day 30 (1/30/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

Day 28’s mystery photo was such a big hit I decided to try and do it again. This time I tried for a slightly different effect didn’t switch the camera into macro mode and was hoping to get a cool bokeh effect. Instead of the background being out of focus and my foreground in focus; my foreground was out of focus with my background in focus. It turned out alright though because it made for another good round of “guess the picture” on Facebook.

Day 31 (1/31/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

BUBBLES! I was doing dishes and saw the sink full of bubbles and wanted to see if I could capture that. I was expecting it to either bounce the light strangely or to be out of focus but I was pleasantly surprised with this. I’m definitely going to try some more bubble pictures.

Day 32 (2/1/19)


This is the day I was telling you about! When I went to write down the day number I couldn’t for the life of me figure it out. You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard, but I seriously had to dig out Day 31 to be sure. Two weeks in a row with carriage lights, but this one had a unique look to it. I can’t decide if it looks wintery/snowy or if it looks white with age. Regardless I really liked it. Enough so to make it my picture of the day.

Day 33 (2/2/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

Amanda and I were at Luxmore Grand Estate photographing Michelle and Michael’s wedding. If you haven’t seen any of the digital pictures from that day yet, you NEED to go check them out here. It was a beautiful wedding and you’ll fall in love with the pictures. Everytime I walk through the front doors of the Luxmore my eyes are drawn to that impressive chandelier. We arrived a bit early, so I quickly ran up and snapped a picture of it before we needed to get ready to shoot a beautiful wedding.

Day 34 (2/3/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

We had an engagement session at Cypress Grove on Sunday. Our awesome couple was so excited for pictures under the oak canopy road. While Amanda was taking their pictures, I took a few steps back to snap a “behind the scenes” shot. We love photographing couples. It really is the highlight of our day and we can’t wait for this couples wedding!

Day 35 (2/4/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

Another picture of Amanda! When you are as busy as we were this weekend, you gotta edit and and work as much as you can. Including when you have a baby in your lap. He’s so big! Don’t worry though, I took him off her hands as soon as I snapped this picture. We don’t often post pictures of ourselves or our boys, but I do want to make an effort to do so a little bit more.

Favorite photo of the week:

This one goes to Day 33! We love working at Luxmore Grand Estate and this chandelier is a show stopper from the moment you walk in the door. I like the picture a lot. It is a different angle and one I never get while photographing brides. I like the windows being in the frame and casting natural light on the lit chandelier.

Instax 365 Challenge Week 4

We’ve made it four weeks! I’ve come to terms with the fact that with instant film no shot will be absolutely perfect. It does drive me a bit nuts at times because I like for everything to line up perfectly, but without a true and accurate viewfinder, that will seldom be the case. I’ve grown to appreciate things being off center a bit more too because, for whatever reason, it just seems more real that way. As always, below is each day’s photo and a brief little bit about it.

Day 22 (1/22/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

I had to take this photo blind. I was shooting up towards a pendant light that was hanging over a bar height counter. In order to get the entire light in the frame, I had to lay the camera on the counter and just line up the lens with the light by eye. It sounds easy until you think of it like a crane claw prize game. You line up the claw and check around the corner to adjust the other axis only to return and see that you threw off your original position. I’m pretty happy that I was able to get it in and not cut anything off. It would have really been embarrassing to show up with a picture of only half of the light. I like the harsh shadow that was casted on the ceiling from the light, and the softer shadows on the different facets of the light itself.

Day 23 (1/23/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

Central Florida never really sees true winter. Even when it is cold outside, everything still looks bright and green. That’s why when I look at this picture, I really like it. The sky was a light blue color and the light on the branches makes them almost look white. It looks like it was taken in winter!

Day 24 (1/24/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

I scan in every instax mini, that way I can have a digital copy, and so I can add the pictures into the blog and instagram as well. Side note: if you haven’t checked out my instagram be sure to do so so you can see all of the Instax365 Challenge photos each day and some more behind the scenes. Anyways, back to the story, so I scan in each image with an app on my phone. I’ve found this to be the fastest way. For whatever reason, the app did not want to scan this image. Thanks to that hiccup, I only have this blurry digital copy of the photo. I promise the real copy is not blurry. This was taken on the Kilimanjaro Safari ride at Disney’s Animal Kingdom by Amanda. She was able to make it out to the park with some industry friends and snapped this picture.

Day 25 (1/25/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

I still love my instagram caption for this photo: “Eat your heart out! Andy Warhol.” Amanda and I were out grocery shopping, and while passing the soup aisle, I was struck with the idea of this picture. It came out exactly as I envisioned it, and I was really pleased with myself for my stupid caption.

Day 26 (1/26/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

Amanda and I were out exploring Winter Park with the boys. There was a little alley that had shops down it that fed back into a service alley. The service alley had this light on during the middle of the day, and I knew that would be my picture. The gas light was fairly high off the ground, and I consider myself short. I tried framing it from further back, but I really like the look of it up close. To account for my height (or lack thereof) I had to hold my Instax over my head and just approximate the shot. Unfortunately, I was still too short and I cut off the very tip of the light, but I think I still captured the essence of what I was going for.

Day 27 (1/27/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

RENT: Live on Fox premiered this night. RENT is really important to Amanda and me, as seeing it live on stage was our first date. We planned our day around being settled in on the couch with the kids down to bed to watch this event and just have a stay in date. Unfortunately, one of the cast members injured himself, so the majority of the show was a broadcast of the previous night’s performance. In honor of our small date night, I pulled out Amanda’s RENT song book to take a picture. It almost looks like it is a movie poster.

Day 28 (1/28/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

This was an abstract picture. I asked on Instagram and Facebook (where I post each image on the day I take the picture) what everyone thought it was. It ranged from iced window to beehives. The final answer is: it is the lid of a candle. I think the hammered texture was pretty cool and I wanted to get in close to and take the picture. I helped light the top the candle lid, but the flash still fired on the camera. This lit up a small part of the lid and while washing out my other light source. It also bounced light in a pretty unique way because of the hammered texture. I’m going to try to find some more opportunities for mystery photos.

Favorite photo of the week:

That is a hard question this week. I like a lot of the photos. If Day 25 were a larger picture I think that one would take the cake, but because it is a smaller format it gets runner up. My favorite photo of the week is Day 23. It just is a really clean and simple picture and I like that. It’s relaxing in a way.

If you want to see our Instax 365 Challenge as the pictures are published, check out my Instagram at @Miguel.Mejias.FloraBloom. I post each day’s Instax photo there first as well as other behind the scenes of our photography there. If you want to see more of our photography check our Instagram @FloraBloomPhotography. We publish a weekly recap of our Instax 365 Challenge here on the blog. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Instax 365 Challenge Week 3

Alright everyone,

We’ve successfully made it through another week. I’ve been getting some good feedback from the daily instagram posts of these photos. Let me know if there is anything you guys want to see more of. Without further ado, below are the result from our endeavor this week.

Day 15 (1/15/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

Amanda and I went out to Luxmore Grande where RW Events was hosting an event showcasing the work of Flowers by Lesley. Lesley is a local florist in Orlando, and she does some of the most incredible work we have ever seen. This event definitely showcased Lesley’s profound talent. There were flowers and greenery EVERYWHERE. It was breathtaking. It was great seeing other friends, vendors, and even one of our future brides there! Michelle, our future bride, is getting married at Luxmore Grande in just a couple weeks, and was invited to this event to get to see her venue decked out. It was a really unique opportunity, and I’m sure she walked away inspired. There were model brides throughout the room showcasing beautiful gowns and of course unbelievable bouquets made by Lesley. I had to take a picture of one of the models. I loved how she had a backdrop of cascading greens and windows with the train of her dress stretching out beside her. It was definitely the perfect picture of the day.

Day 16 (1/16/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

I’m not incredibly big into art despite being a photographer. I find it beautiful and inspiring, but I’ve never been one to seek out art, and truthfully there are plenty of pieces of art that are truly lost on me. This piece, on the other hand, has me captivated. It is hands down my favorite artwork I’ve ever seen, and I’m proud to say that it was made by someone in my family. The picture I’ve taken does it no justice. It is a copper wasp resting on top of a copper honeycomb. The honeycomb structure is lifted off its backing of wood. The wasp and honeycomb are all made from one solid piece of copper except for the wings of the wasp. Those are made from a second piece of copper and welded onto the wasp. Amanda and I received it as a wedding gift from my cousin who made it herself while she was living in Cuba. She made it using her own handmade tools, and it hangs in the entry to our home.

Day 17 (1/17/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

I’ve mentioned it before that macro photography is one of my favorite types of photography. I enjoy finding something beautiful and filling my image frame with it. I also find that almost anything looks great in macro photography. Life is made up of many small beautiful parts, and we miss that when we are too busy looking at a bigger picture.

Day 18 (1/18/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

I noticed that I haven’t really showcased many designs or patterns. I saw this one design and thought that it would look really neat on a picture. It has an almost Pop art meets Yayoi Kusama feel. I’m sure there is an actual name for this style, but I don’t know it.

Day 19 (1/19/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

One thing I have found difficult using the Instax Neo 90 Classic is that it does not have a true manual mode. We shoot in the manual setting because it gives us the most control over how our images will turn out. With DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras, the camera can take a light reading and indicate an exposure level. These cameras do not do that. I took this picture during twilight, so I knew I’d need some flash. Unfortunately, the camera was trying to account for lighting the whole image and created a hard glare and washed out a bit of the light.

Day 20 (1/20/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

This image was taken in the parking garage of a AdventHealth Orlando (formerly Florida Hospital South). It has the sky bridge connecting the parking garage to the hospital itself. It was my first time at this hospital, as I was visiting a friend who was there (thankfully everything is okay and they have since been discharged), and boy are the hospitals nice in Central Florida. I’ve been to Florida Hospital Celebration, and it was also very nice, but I expected that as Celebration, FL is a very nice and upscale town. I’m now just convinced that everything in Orlando need to resemble a resort as much as possible to fit in with the Orlando = Disney stereotype.

Day 21 (1/21/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

I’m so upset with this image! We had incense burning in the house (we had just finished doing a thorough cleaning), and I thought this would make a great picture of the day. When I was looking through the viewfinder on the camera, the incense smoke was blowing towards the camera and making a cool effect. I was really excited. Again, the lack of a true manual mode was my downfall. The camera tried to focus on the smoke, which then led it to leaving the subject blurry and to believe it needed to trigger the flash (it didn’t). The countertop is granite, so it bounced the light really harshly and washed out the whole image. It would have been a cool image if I would have been allowed to choose my focal point. *SIGH* That’s why this is a challenge though I guess. You have no idea how hard it was for me to not say “this doesn’t count. REDO!” But as I’ve said: 1 picture per day no matter what.

Favorite photo of the week:

Day 16 is my favorite subject, and as I’ve said, I absolutely love the piece, but my favorite photo is Day 15. I love the overall look and feel of the image. It is so beautiful and elegant. It looks like a picture that would fall out of an old book you found. Although it was taken at a staged event, it looks like it has its own story to tell, and I love that.

If you want to see our Instax 365 Challenge as the pictures are published, check out my Instagram at @Miguel.Mejias.FloraBloom. I post each day’s Instax photo there first as well as other behind the scenes of our photography there. If you want to see more of our photography, check our Instagram @FloraBloomPhotography. We publish a weekly recap of our Instax 365 Challenge here on the blog. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Instax 365 Challenge Week 2

This week was full of work! Amanda and I were running around all week networking and preparing for a wedding show we had on Sunday. If you want to read more about the wedding show check out our blog post about it here! With that being said let’s jump right into the photos.

Day 8 (1/8/19)


We attended a networking event hosted by the Central Florida Wedding Association (CFWA). We have been members of the CFWA for a few years now, and each month they host a networking event at a different wedding venue in Central Florida. January’s event was hosted at the Central Florida Zoo in Sanford. I LOVE animals. It is actually how I got my start in photography. I wanted a way to capture all the neat animals I would find when I was out hiking in the forest. Needless to say I was at home at the zoo. There were animal ambassadors rotating throughout the night. This picture is of “Dill Prickles”, an African Pygmy Hedgehog. He was really calm and I was able to snap a quick photo.

Day 9 (1/9/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

As I mentioned above, we had a wedding show on Sunday, so we were shopping for some supplies for our booth. Amanda wanted to try another double exposure, and while in the fake flower aisle we figured why not give it a shot. We took a picture of some of the flowers first, and then snapped one of a pineapple decoration. I think this one came out much better than the last one as you can make out both images. Double exposures are proving to be a bit more challenging than either of us thought.

Day 10 (1/10/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

Since my last macro shot on Day 6 I was excited to try it again. I cut open a kiwi and thought that it would be perfect for another macro photo. You can tell that I got too close to the image as the image is a bit out of focus, and again the offset viewfinder did me in. It will still take some time getting used to the fact that this viewfinder is so different. Not only is it offset, but it is a direct view of your eye and not the lens. On DSLRs you are seeing through the lens with the help of mirrors to bounce that image to your eye, and with mirrorless cameras you have a processor transferring the image the lens sees to a digital screen in the viewfinder. So in both examples if the lens isn’t focused you are going to see that. With the Instax Mini line of cameras the viewfinder is not transferring the lens information. It is just an approximation of the frame the lens is capturing.

Day 11 (1/11/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

We had been so busy all week that our boys hadn’t had a chance to just play. They were either stuck inside playing while we worked, or they were tagging along with us to knock out all our errands. Since they had been so good, and to help burn off some of that seemingly bottomless energy, Amanda took them to the park. She saw a tree growing some kind of fruit. She switched into macro mode and got this awesome photo. All in all, it was a good day. The boys got out and burned off some energy, and we got another really beautiful macro shot.

Day 12 (1/12/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

The day before our wedding show and we realized we still needed a few more things, so back out to the store we went. While getting back into the car during sunset, I looked up noticed a plane. It was perfect with the colors in the sky. Unfortunately, I was trying to frame out all the light posts in the parking lot, and so I wasn’t able to capture as much of the pink sky in the photo. But, I loved how clean the image looks and the beautiful gradient from pink to blue.

Day 13 (1/13/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

Finally, the day that had us running around and prepping like crazy was here. I took a cell phone picture of our booth and posted that to my instagram (@miguel.mejias.florabloom), but then I realized I should have taken an Instax photo too. So there are two very similar pictures on there. The lighting was dim in the convention hall, and there was a lot of uplighting from different booths around us. I used the Light+ mode on the camera to hopefully combat all the color casting and strange shadows being cast. A couple of our prints on our backdrop were glared out, and objectively it isn’t the best photo, but with what it had to work with, I think it came out alright.

Day 14 (1/14/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

Amanda and I were out for a stroll and we came across a uniquely shaped house. The sun was setting, and I thought that with the house being backlit by the sun and with the tree right next to it I would catch a really neat photo. I hadn’t really tried out the landscape mode on the Neo90 yet, so I switched into that and took my shot. Landscape mode shadowed out a lot of the foreground and created a really cool vignetting. In the words of Bob Ross, “We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.” This was definitely one of those moments where I didn’t intend for the image to come out this way, but by accident, we made what I would consider a better image. I like this one more because it preserves privacy, while also making great art.

Favorite photo of the week:

Day 11 and Day 14 were close runners-up, but this would have to go to Day 12. I’m a sucker for nature shots and macro photography so Day 11 appealed a lot to me there, and I love that I stumbled into some really cool vignetting and silhouetting on Day 14, but ultimately Day 12 combines beautiful colors, captures motion, and just overall is an image that really just speaks to me with how beautifully simple and clean it is.

If you want to see our Instax 365 Challenge as the pictures are published, check out my Instagram at @Miguel.Mejias.FloraBloom. I post each day’s Instax photo there first as well as other behind the scenes of our photography there. If you want to see more of our photography check our Instagram @FloraBloomPhotography. We publish a weekly recap of our Instax 365 Challenge here on the blog. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Instax 365 Challenge Week 1

Hey Guys,

It has been 1 week since we started this 1 instant film picture a day challenge we are calling our Instax 365 Challenge. The first week has come with a couple upload challenges, as we were on a cruise for the first half of the week, but hopefully those of you that are following my (Miguel’s) instagram (@miguel.mejias.florabloom) have seen that I’m posting each day’s picture there first. If you want to see the pictures on the day they are taken, check out the Instagram, but if you want to read more about each picture, the adventure behind it, and the inspiration, you’ll want to read the weekly recaps I’ll be putting out.

Without further ado, below are the pictures from the week (plus 1 bonus picture).

Day 0 (1/1/19 @ 12:00AM)

Instax 365 Challenge

Boy, this picture really took the wind out of my sails. As you saw in the announcement blog, we have been taking some pictures with the camera for our own albums, and I think they had come out pretty good. No real hiccups or blunders, and I was really starting to think that this “challenge” wouldn’t pose much of one other than staying committed. Then this picture processed, and I remembered every camera is different and has its nuances. I wanted to get this picture as kind of a “kick-off” picture to celebrate the new year. This was taken at exactly midnight on 1/1/19. We were outdoors in the middle of the ocean, and it is a picture of a large screen from many yards away.

Day 1 (1/1/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

I LOVE this picture. I’m an outdoorsy person, and while touring on Jamaica, we came across these rafts and beautiful blue river. I was captivated by the moment and was extremely excited to capture that moment. I fawned over that image for the rest of the day. The wind that had been blown out of my sails at the turn of the new year was definitely back in.

Day 2 (1/2/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

This was a shop sign on the ship. I liked the message and wanted to see if we could capture the details of the bokeh. While converting the image to digital, I think we lost a small bit of the detail, but it is mostly still there. Amanda is actually the one who snapped this picture. We were confused when the image first processed because we swore that the image was framed perfectly, but mistakes can happen right? More about that below.

Day 3 (1/3/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

We had finally arrived back home and unpacked. It was late in the day and we had lost a lot of light. That was okay though because I had been wanting to capture a picture of my Panama hat. Again, the low light got me a little bit more than I would have liked. It’s nothing we couldn’t fix with a small edit, but as promised we aren’t editing any of these pictures. I still think the image came out looking really cool. I wanted this picture because I feel like every picture that comes out of this camera has a neat vintage look to it, and I thought this hat has a vintage look too. This picture really concerned me after it developed. I KNOW my hat was centered in the frame, but it came out quite off centered. I started to worry that the camera was defective or that the viewfinder was not properly aligned. I looked into the issue and had to slap myself in the forehead. The viewfinder on the Instax Neo 90 Classic is located in the top left of the camera (from the back), while the lens is located directly in the middle. There is going to be a natural slight difference. I read that and felt do dumb for having overlooked something that I could have easily figured out if I didn’t just jump to being worried. That is why Amanda’s medium format film camera looks so funny with the different shape due to having to fit the viewfinder directly above the lens!

Day 4 (1/4/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

I saw this sign above a drink station. I loved the vintage tin sign look, and despite the wall behind the sign being painted, it even looks like old metal paneling. I snapped the picture and I think it came out looking really neat! It has that vintage polaroid look I mentioned above. I was quite pleased.

Day 5 (1/5/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

I think I just realized that I took pictures of signs two days in a row. Whoops. This is the sign for a local microbrewery that I visited while my brother was in town. We went to a couple different breweries along what is called the Central Florida Ale trail. It sounds like it would be a bar crawl, but it is far from it. It is a partnership of 26 microbreweries located in Central Florida. They work together to promote the local craft beer. There is a map that you can grab at any of the locations and stamps to collect to keep track of which ones you’ve visited. I snapped this picture to remember the night.

Day 6 (1/6/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

We went out to grab breakfast the morning of the 6th. Just outside was this awesome tree. In Florida we don’t get much of an autumn or winter season, so the trees are always green. Finding leaves that have turned to the classic autumn colors, or (in the case of this tree) finding trees that just have naturally reddish-brown leaves is a pretty rare sighting here. I had the camera in “macro” mode for this shot. I love the color pop. The shadows really bring out the highlights of the pictures, and the flat blue sky is a perfect backdrop.

Day 7 (1/7/19)

Instax 365 Challenge

The Instax Neo 90 Classic has a mode called a double exposure. You are able to take two images and expose them on the same piece of film. This is a totally new concept to me that I have never tried. We decided to give it a shot on this photo. We took a picture of a beautifully clouded sky and of a young oak tree. The shadows of one image should show through with bright parts of the other image.

Favorite image of the week: It’s a tie between.... Day 1 and Day 7. I love the colors in both pictures and couldn’t have been happier with how they turned out!

Comment below and tell us what your favorite image of the week is. We’d love to hear your thoughts!