When in Manila loves Instax cameras! We have featured a bunch of Instax sellers already and we’ve known a lot of inspiring stories of those local online stores we’ve highlighted. Today, we are featuring Instax Manila and its owner, Miss Kara Hizon.
A good friend of mine, Kara and I met years ago through our common love that is film photography. We used to have photo-walks and food trips along the streets of Manila with our analogue photographer friends. She is also the owner of Lomo Loco Shop, an online store that sells all things film photography: from various film formats to a wide selection of toy cameras. In 2011, Kara was one of the contributing film photographers who successfully finished my collective analogue photography project called Whilst We Wait.
In this special feature, we have an exclusive interview with Instax Manila, a special product review on the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, and a more special surprise waiting for our readers. Read on!
Q & A WITH INSTAX MANILA‘S KARA HIZON
When in Manila: Hi, Kara! Tell us something about yourself as a film photographer.
Kara Hizon: “Photography is very personal for me. I love taking picture of people, places, things and events that touch and move me. I take pictures in order to capture my inspirations. It is also something that I love to share, so apart from film photography, instant photography is the perfect style for me to capture those moments and to spread the good vibes!”
When in Manila: How and when did Instax Manila start? What inspired you to have your own shop?
Kara Hizon: “Instax Manila started last 2010 when I bought my first Instax Camera, the Mini 50s Piano Black. Since it was a pretty rare commodity back then, I decided to make it more widely available at affordable prices by establishing my own online store.”
When in Manila: Who helps you run Instax Manila? How do you manage to handle Instax Manila on your own?
Kara Hizon: “Up until now, I manage the store alone on my free time before or after my regular day job. It is really a project where I dedicate my time each day. With every inquiry, every order and every delivery I try to add a personal touch.”
When in Manila: What are your best-selling Instax products?
Kara Hizon: “Right now, everyone is going crazy about the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic! However, before the Neo Classic was released, the Instax Mini 8 was everyone’s first choice. The Instax Wide 210 has its own following too – usually the serious photographers.”
When in Manila: Which Fujifilm Instax products do you recommend for newbies?
Kara Hizon: “For those new to Instax, I recommend the Instax Mini 8 because it offers the capabilities of the high-end models and still remain affordable. The design and colors are irresistible too which makes it pretty popular as a gift.”
When in Manila: Has Instax Manila partnered / participated with big events, bazaars, etc. already?
Kara Hizon: “Last October 25, 2013, the 1st Philippine Ukulele Festival was held here in Manila. In line with Instax Manila’s mission to spread the good vibes, the Ukulele Festival was organized to promote the happy music to the Filipinos. Five International Ukulele Masters came from all over the world to perform and to teach workshops. Instax Manila gladly sponsored raffle prizes, such as a brand new ukulele and an Instax camera package at this historic event and will continue to support future events.”
When in Manila: In your opinion, why are Instax cameras more awesome than digital cameras and smartphones? What makes it the best option for “instant photography”?
Kara Hizon: “Instax cameras are more awesome than digital cameras and smartphones because they capture your beautiful moments in life and solidifies your memories into something tangible. When you’re holding something, it’s more real and more personal. The fact that the picture unravels itself infront of your eyes in itself is an amazing thing!”
When in Manila: The Mini 90 Neo Classic is the newest addition to the Instax family. What makes it the best Instax camera so far? Why should our readers buy one?
Kara Hizon: “The Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is the best Instax camera around because it has surpassed a lot of limits that the usual, fully-automatic, point & shoot cameras have. With this camera, you can experiment with your photographs by doing multiple exposures and/or using long exposures. Your picture then becomes your own unique piece of art. It also has picture settings that fit your activity whether it be exploring outdoors, taking portraits, playing with your kids and pets, or partying hard with your friends. With its handsome Black & Silver design, you will easily mistake it as an 1960’s film camera. This retro look emphasizes that the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is really something personal, something to be treasured just like how film photographers value analogue cameras.”
When in Manila: What makes Instax Manila unique from other online Instax Manila stores in Manila?
Kara Hizon: “Instax Manila is unique from other online stores because it was born from the desire to spread the love and the good vibes in other peoples lives by means of using Instax cameras. To follow this principle, we always keep our product prices and service fees low. We are also very generous with the contests and giveaways because Instax Manila is grateful for all the support it has received in the past 3 years. Instax Manila values its customers and ensures that each transaction is well-attended and its customers are satisfied.”
INSTAX MANILA PRODUCT REVIEW
Ever since I first laid my eyes on the new Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic camera, I instantly told myself how I must have one for my own when it becomes available here in Manila. So when Kara offered me to have it featured on When in Manila and Instax Manila, of course I couldn’t say no. The camera is such a beauty—and so much more.
Design-wise, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is, nevertheless, a classic! Its black and silver ensemble makes it very easy on the eyes and fits all genders as well. When I first held it, it was a bit puzzling because the Neo Classic has two shutter buttons that you can use if you want to have the usual vertical (portrait) shot or a horizontal (landscape) one. Its size is very handy, unlike the older models of Fuji Instax cameras that are a bit bulkier.
In terms of functionality, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is not just another Instax camera. It has various modes, which give its users more control than the previous Instax series. It has the following modes: macro shooting, lighten and darken options, flash functions, and different settings, such as party for slow shutter speed, kids for high shutter speed, landscape for taking photos of far away subjects, double-exposure for extra creative shots, and bulb for long exposures. There are also options for timer and red-eye control. It has an LCD display, which easily shows you which mode you are on.
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic is, indeed, an instant film photographer’s dream come true! The best thing about it is that you can easily get one for yourself through Instax Manila! No point in waiting now, friends. Do it now. You’ll surely love every shot you take, just like I do. 😉
Note: Aside from the camera itself, the box includes a shoulder strap, a rechargeable lithium battery, a charger, a warranty card, and multi-lingual manuals.
INSTAX MANILA GIVEAWAY
Now that you have read all about Instax Manila’s story and after going through our special product review on the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, I think it’s about time to give you something so good, you won’t believe it’s true! Because yay, we are giving away a brand new Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic to one lucky When in Manila reader!
TO JOIN, JUST CLICK THE PHOTO BELOW.
Instax Manila accepts orders online at www.instaxmanila.com and inquiries via phone 09175699624. Payments are accepted via bank deposits, local money transfers, and credit cards. For those who wish to purchase with cash, orders may be picked up in the warehouse in Quezon City, Metro Manila. You may also follow Instax Manila’s updates on Faceboook (/instaxmanila) and Twitter & Instagram (@instaxmanila).
INSTAX MANILA: EVERYTHING INSTAX UNDER MANILA’S SUN