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JJ Casas
I am JJ Casas, a San Francisco based photographer utilizing images as a brand narrative for individuals and companies.
I am JJ Casas, a San Francisco based photographer utilizing images as a brand narrative for individuals and companies.

JJ's posts

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I Waited An Hour for These Photos to “Develop”. Here’s Why.

I installed [another] photo app on my iPhone. I know I know, they’re a dime a dozen these days but this one is different. It actually slows you down instead of instantly sharing your moments. Why?

To focus on actually being in the moment.

The app is called 1 Hour Photo and it’s free from software developer Nevercenter.

The premise is simple: you take photos through the app and will wait exactly an hour later to see your “developed” monochrome images. Think of it exactly like 1 hour film processing: take your photos without ever seeing it before it’s developed from your local lab.

As a monochrome shooter especially on Instagram, this is just perfect for me.

Last night was my good friend’s birthday and we ate at a new restaurant [at least for me] called Limón Rotisserie in SF’s Mission district and it definitely was a charmer. And instead of being heads down editing the images and sharing the photos instantly, it allowed me to just take photos as needed and let me enjoy the company with great food that’s right in front of me.

This morning, I saw that 1 Hour Photo’s app notified me that my photos were done and was able to review them and inevitably, share them.

I’m learning it’s actually fun to have to wait and see your moments that you lived moments earlier.

It’s the anti-instant gratification/sharing photo app.

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Why the Fujifilm Instax 90 is My Favorite Camera to Date

I get it: Digital is cheap, convenient, and instant. You can surely have more trials and errors and it won’t cost you anything as you can simply press delete. I also get it that for the best quality, you’re not just looking at megapixels but high ISO with low noise and of course you need the best glass to put on that weather-sealed camera body.

But when you simply just want to shoot, nothing beats an automatic film camera. And oh, an automatic instant camera. No focusing, no need to base your exposure off your meter that’s either set to wide utilizing all of its 128 focus points, no need to determine the shutter speed if you want to introduce blur or not. Just press and cla-clink.

Hello Fujifilm Instax 90. And hello instant prints.

I just sold my Sony RX100 camera to a stranger who replied to my tweet that it was up for sale. Why? I don’t remember seeing any of the hundreds of photos I’ve taken with it in my hand to simply enjoy. And to be more specific, enjoy in my hands to see and feel. Ok that didn’t sound right—but you get the point.

Instead, just like many of us, it’s in our hard drives or in the cloud like Facebook, Google+, Flickr. Like many of us, we simply take photos on our phones, edit them with Vsco [seriously, you’re not using this? More on that later..], and then upload them to Instagram. 

And coming back to Vsco now, the filters simply emulate film. So why not just try shooting film?

It’s expensive. Yes, I know that. Doing the math, it’s $0.75 per print. A memory card for $20 holds hundreds of 18 megapixel images—I also know that. But that isn’t the point.

While this post is not a review of this great camera, I’ve realized it’s a review of how we take photos.

We’re constantly online. Just like how I’m writing this post on Tumblr and how you’re reading it. Yet, we beg to experience places and different surroundings. We want to unplug and just be with our friends and family. Oh that’s right, I need to check-in first, take a photo with my phone, wait, be sure to edit it first, upload it, and then wait to get our Likes. 

I’m guilty of this. We all are. 

While we are accustomed to taking pictures to show to others where we’ve been, who we’re with, what we’re eating, etc, we’ve forgotten to simply shoot for ourselves.

It’s the simpler pleasure of having and holding a moment that is only dear to us. A photo that is private until shared with someone next to you and a story that explains what’s happening in that very photo. The art form of storytelling is what I see is being lost if not forgotten today. And no, writing a long blurb as a description with hashtags doesn’t count.

To me, $0.75 is worth it for that one photo of a time that I want to remember. Because I’ll be honest with myself: I don’t randomly just turn on my computer, connect my 12TB hard drive, go to my archives and start reminiscing.

When I have kids, I want to grab the album, sit on the couch and tell them that I went karaoking in Japantown in San Francisco with my close friends to celebrate my company 8:45a’s first year anniversary. And yes, there was plenty of soju and beer to go around.

Post originally on my blog:

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<a class="ot-hashtag" href="">#hangoutsonair</a>Agnes Lee and Jane Park

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<a class='ot-hashtag' href=''>#hangoutsonair</a>Agnes Lee

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<a class='ot-hashtag' href=''>#hangoutsonair</a>Agnes Lee
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