Portraits for a Better Beehive Instant Film Holiday Photo Booth

October 28, 2016

For me, only one type of holiday photo is the king of nostalgia and offers the warmest of regards, and that’s one made on instant film. When I was a wee blonde-haired onesie-wearing toddler, my mom worked at Polaroid. So just about every old photo of me during that time has that iconic white border. I especially cherish the Polaroids of the fam and I—an Austenado of smiles and gift wrap—in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas morn.

Because of these seriously nostalgia-ridden feels, the next Portraits for a Better Beehive fundraiser will be the most unique yet: a holiday-themed instant film photo booth!


What is Portraits for a Better Beehive?

Portraits for a Better Beehive is a pop-up photo studio whose proceeds benefit Utah nonprofits; it’s an opportunity to give back, and receive a photo for yourself. I launched Portraits for a Better Beehive in 2015 as a way utilize my art for the greater good, and it’s been amazing to see the community respond. Each pop-up studio is held at a different location, with a different theme, and a different nonprofit. After three such fundraisers, the community has raised more than $1,000 for Utah nonprofits. 


A Holiday-themed Instant Film Photo Booth!

The 2016 holiday edition of Portraits for a Better Beehive will take place at cityhomeCOLLECTIVE on Sunday, November 13th, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Proceeds will be donated two Utah nonprofits, the Utah Food Bank and Candy Cane Corner. Read more about the nonprofits and the fundraiser sponsors at the bottom of the page.

Come to this one-day-only studio and make a one-of-a-kind photograph for your holiday card, or just for fun. Deck yourself out with our holiday props, ranging from Santa hats and reindeer antlers to colorful boas and oversized sunglasses (bring your own onesies, though, ok?). If you don’t want a holiday-themed photo in front of the snowflake backdrop, no problem; we’ll make an instant film print in the hip interior of cityhomeCOLLECTIVE.  

Pay $25 for each instant film photo booth print (I’ll take two photos, just in case someone blinked). Proceeds will be donated to the Utah Food Bank and Candy Cane Corner. You’ll get the Instax wide print, and we’ll also scan the image on site so you’ll have a digital copy to use for your holiday cards and to post on social media.

Instant film has been making a big comeback recently, and I love it. Watching little kids’ eyes get big as the film develops has me fascinated with the magic of photography all over again. But it’s not just me. I’ve been commissioned for several instant film photo booths, and folks flip out over the prints. That’s why I think they’ll make for a funky season’s greetings and remain a timeless keepsake for you and your family. 

Together we can make a social and economic impact and help our community this holiday season. I hope to see you all on Nov. 13!

RSVP on the Facebook event page


How the instant film photo booth will work:

  1. Visit cityhome COLLECTIVE (645 E. South Temple, SLC) on Sunday, November 13th, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. No appointment necessary—just show up
  1. Worried that you’ll have to wait in line forever? Pledge to pay an additional $15, and contact me with your preferred time. Then, skip to the front of the line when you arrive!
  1. To get this sweet deal, you must like Austen Diamond Photography on Facebook or Instagram. I know—details, details
  1. Pay with cash, check, or credit card
  1. Dress up with our holiday-themed props (or bring your own), and plan for your shoot to take 5 minutes
  1. You say cheese, I go click, and then you wait 90 seconds for your print to develop
  1. We’ll scan the Instax print and email it to you immediately. Now, you’ll have a digital image that you can post on social media or use for your holiday cards



Is it cool if I bring my dog?

If your furry friend is well behaved and potty trained, cityhomeCOLLECTIVE says that you can bring him or her.

Can I reserve a time slot?

Yep! If you’re worried about waiting in a line, and you want to get out the door quick-like, for a scant $15 pledge, you can reserve your spot. Just send me a message and request your time.

Will I be able to make a holiday card while I’m there?

We will scan your instant film print on site and email you the digital file. Pick up a 10% off discount card from Artifact Uprising, and use it when you create your holiday card on their website from the comfort of your home. In short, no.

I can’t make it on November 13. Will you be having another instant film photo booth?

Likely, yes. But not this year. This is your one shot so don’t miss it! Also, if you can’t make it, I encourage you to visit the charities’ websites below and donate money regardless!

Which camera and film are you using?

You think I’m going to give you all my secrets??? Well, ok, I will. I use Fuji Instax Wide film run through a Lomo’Instant Wide Central Park camera (pictured above). I love it, because there’s a lot more flexibility than with the Fuji brand instant cameras. I also own some vintage Polaroid cameras, but the film is too expensive to use in such volume!

I want to get my portrait taken and support the cause, but I don’t like holiday photos. Does it have to be so holiday-y?

Nope. Luckily we can take your photo in the hip interior space at cityhomeCOLLECTIVE if you don’t like snowflakes and Santa hats. But to streamline things and to ensure that your photo turns out consistent with the others, I’d encourage you to just get your portrait taken in the photo booth.


More information about the charities:

Utah Food Bank // Founded in 1904, Utah Food Bank has operated under various names but has always remained true to our mission of Fighting Hunger Statewide. Last year, we distributed more than 31 million meals last year to the 423,000 Utahns, who are unsure where their next meal will come from. Even more alarming is that 1 in 5 Utah kids are unsure where their next meal is coming from. Visit utahfoodbank.org to find out how you can help. 

Candy Cane Corner // A holiday store that provides a dignified and empowering opportunity for low-income families and individuals who are participating in programs at the YWCA  Utah, The Road Home, and Volunteers of America, Utah to select new holiday gifts for their families. Find out more by visiting candycanecornerslc.org


A special thanks to our sponsors:

cityhomeCOLLECTIVE // Our friends at cityhome have generously lent us their space and have helped promote this fundraiser. If you’re in need of a real estate agent, an interior designer, or just a really solid read from their blog, go to cityhomecollective.com

Pictureline // The best camera shop in the West, Pictureline is hooking up the Instax film at a low low price (it ain’t cheap) to help keep the overhead low, which means more money for the charities. Buy all your camera gear here, and go to www.pictureline.com

Even Stevens // Even Stevens will provide deelish cookies and milk for attendees! Even Stevens is a sandwich shop with a cause. For every sammie sold, one is donated to a local non-profit partner. Visit www.evenstevens.com to see its locations and partner non-profits.

Lady Scrib // Thanks to Kassie Scribner, the one and only Lady Scrib, for her design and poster beautification. Do yourself a solid and buy an embroidered patch or whathaveyou over at www.ladyscrib.com

Artifact Uprising // Pick up a 10% off discount card from the kind folk at Artifact Uprising, and use it for your stylish holiday cards and prints. Read more about the company at www.artifactuprising.com.

We'll capture honest photos and fleeting moments that bring you back to remember exactly how it felt—the joy, the jitters, the crazy party, the wild love.