When Kim asked me to write a guest post for her my first reaction was to squeal with delight and then panic a little about what on earth I was going to write about. After much deliberation I decided that “Why I Love Polaroid” would be the perfect topic… But then I started to formulate an answer and realized I couldn’t have picked a harder subject to write about. I mean, really, what don’t I love about Polaroid?
Nope, can’t think of anything.
So instead of leaving you with the simplest answer “Because Polaroid is Awesome!!!” I’ll leave you with a few special tidbits to help describe my love affair with instant photography.
You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get
To some, this is a frustration, but for me it’s part of the magic of instant photography. It’s the little film quirks that keep me on my toes. The occasional dark streak, the uneven chemical distribution, or the slightly off color. These are things that can happen, but don’t always. When I find myself with a uniquely quirky pack of film I look at what the film is giving me and try to incorporate those quirks into my photographs. Or, like the oh-so over used saying goes, when life gives me lemons, I make lemonade! It is a great way to make myself look at things a little differently and acts as a great inspiration launching point.
Reuse! Reuse! Reuse!
I get major satisfaction when I rummage through a yard sale or a junky antique shop and come up with something beautiful. One of the best things about Polaroid photography is that the medium requires you to find an old camera with a history of its own. Whether your camera has been passed down from generation to generation, finally making its way into your hands, or you picked it up at a yard sale while you were vacationing in Mendocino, CA, it has a unique love story to share.
In the digital age we’re used to snapping a photo and seeing it right away on our little LCD screens. We press the shutter button 100 times just to get one great photo but with Polaroid there is no spray n’ pray. The film costs a little too much and the process requires some patience, but when you do finally snap that shutter the photo pops out right into your hand. Yes, you do have to wait for it to develop, but after 5 minutes you have a beautiful, soft, dreamy photograph ready to be shared with friends or placed into your favorite album.
As a film lover and long time photographer I have come across a lot of great cameras but none of them touch my heart the way Polaroid does. With each photograph I make my heart leaps a little. There is nothing quite like turning over a Polaroid or Impossible photograph to discover that it turned out even better than you imagined it would. One great photograph is enough to make me giddy for a week!