Instant film has seen its ups and downs, and while it may never reach the sheer popularity it had back in day when Polaroid was at its peak, there are still plenty of reasons why you should give instant film a try.

Here are 7 of my favorites:

Brooklyn Bridge Instax Picture by Renata Freire on

1. Pic in a pic

Maybe it’s a bit cliché, maybe not, but there’s no doubt it’s easier to do the cool “picture-in-picture” effect using instant film than a standard print. Get out your vintage Polaroid camera or your Fuji Instax, snap a photo, then hold it up in front of you and go meta.

Polaroid Sunset by Jaime Ibarra on

2. Use the camera as a prop

Say what you will about hipsters being all about those old instant cameras, they are absolutely gorgeous (the cameras, not the hipsters…). An old Polaroid SX-70 or, better yet, a Polaroid Land Camera makes for a great prop in portraits.

My only dress by Rob Ellis on

3. Instagram can’t hang with these tones

Instagram filters are nice. VSCO filters are nicer. The Adobe-powered editing capabilities in certain mobile apps *cough* the 500px app *cough* can add some really cool vintage effects. But none of them can hang with the tones of great instant film.

* by Christoph Zoubek on

4. Large format instant film so good it’ll make you cry

While both Instax film from Fuji and old Polaroid film by The Impossible Project is great, if you can get your hands on a large format instant film camera and some old 8×10 film your mind will be blown to bits by how good the results are.

Like holy cow good…

Mohammed Jaffar by daniel vojtech on

5. Making cool collages

Of course, you can do this with regular prints, but there’s just something cool about doing a collage of shots using an instant film camera. It’s very in the moment, and can make for a really fun final shot of the collage itself.

500pxer Daniel Vojtech has a whole series of these if you need inspiration.

Doppelgänger • 15/18 by Julie de Waroquier on

6. Use prints as props

The camera can be a cool prop, but so can the photos themselves. Spread some instant shots around your portrait subject, or make the print the main subject of the shot like in this photo:

Invisible Monsters Remix by Bob Sala on

You can probably think of several more ideas already. Give them a shot and upload the results to your 500px profile!

Instax by Pink Petra on

7. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em… and show ’em how it’s done.

And by “’em” I mean hipsters. Old Polaroid cameras and instant film have become a ‘cool thing’ for hipsters to play around with—take a walk around Williamsburg or Bushwick in Brooklyn and you’ll find several street vendors selling old SX-70s—so how about getting in the game and showing them how it’s done?

The truth is there are infinite possibilities, and a billion reasons why you may want to try out instant film.

Holding a print in your hand the moment after you’ve shot a photo is somehow cathartic for those of us who have grown up in the digital revolution where photos disappear into our archives almost as quickly as they’re captured. Beyond that, Polaroid or Instax film is great for scouting, a super fun camera to carry around at parties, and a great low-pressure way to practice your composition.

Give it a shot. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Golden Hour Instax by Simon Alexander on