So this all ends in me doing research, finding out both the Lomography instant and the Fuji Neo Classic 90 instant cameras as reasonable (although much more expensive) alternatives to the instax mini 8 that allowed for things such as turning off the flash(!!!!!), multiple exposures/bulb modes and other features. I added it to my Christmas list anddddddd then last night I got an awesome early Christmas gift of the Neo Classic!!
I tried to resist going to bed without playing with it, but it was hopeless and we attached it to a tripod and ran around my kitchen with lights and my EL wire lined vest I decorated for Burning Man this year for 10 second exposures on 1 instant sheet of film. Wee!!! I also took it with me to work today and took advantage of a short work day to spend some time in old Town Pasadena shooting more photos. I've been trying to make myself talk to random people more and ask to take photos and this camera made the experience easier in some ways since I could just shoot a photo and share it.
(the guy in the car is the Pasadena Flautist)
|(in the top photo you can barely see the spires of the New Harry Potter ride poking up over the trees @ Universal Studios in the lower left corner....)|