This week is a special one for film lovers around the world as it’s dedicated to the unique and historic photographic innovation we all know and love: the Polaroid. Introduced by Edwin Land in 1948, it sparked the amazing instant photography format which now spans over six decades and continues to inspire the international photography community.
For our own tribute to this revolutionary medium, we rounded up some of the most impressive Polaroid works ever to grace our virtual pages and some inspiring insights from the talented photographers who took them.
From Simone Carollo:
Which elements of shooting (instant?) film are you drawn to the most?
“Definitely the results. Even if I were to embrace digital photography, what I love most about analogue is the texture, the tones of instant film, the whites and blacks of the photographic films, the camera obscura, and the photographic papers. There is a certain satisfaction when you shoot on film; I believe there is more heart there.”
Describe your shooting routine.
“It’s nothing special. If I shoot with Polaroid cameras I shoot like 24 photos, very slowly. I take a lot of time, as I don’t want to waste my shots. I usually work alone with my subjects, so it’s always a mess if I need to use a reflector. But it’s fun for both.”
From Leanne Surfleet:
If you had to choose a movie that defines you both, personally and aesthetically, which one would it be?
“The first thing that came to mind was ‘The Virgin Suicides’ directed by Sofia Coppola. It would define me personally as it relies heavily on the theme of nostalgia and that’s just me almost constantly, and aesthetically because it’s just so dreamy.”
From Alberto Polo Iañez:
When we asked what he felt went into making a great collection of shots, he answered:
“Even the smallest of elements can be crucial and can give you the right amount of inspiration to carry on. We ourselves are the most significant part of the process; we have to set and train our minds in order to find inspiration in the most insignificant things. We simply need to look beyond the surface.”
From Amanda Mason:
“I love the dream-like nature of the film, the depth of detail, and the little flaws and glitches it creates. I’m not overly zealous about using film as a means to an end. However, think that film offers this depth and nostalgic feeling that cannot be recreated digitally. For the same reason, I still listen to vinyl.”
“I see the instant film format as my paint. I have an idea, and I generally execute it with instant film. Living in Sydney now, I am generally inspired by nature, the wonders of little things, and try to create photographs that express my deep love of this connection and the beauty held within it.”
When asked to speak about her personal approach while working with instant films, she answered:
“When shooting instant film, the preparation is important. With only 8 shots in a pack, I try to minimize loss as much as possible. Every shot should be considered over and over again as there is not much room for wastage. It still happens all the time of course; sometimes, I have used a few packs just to get the shot I have in my head, and it makes me twitch for every shot that gets unused. Even with this pack, there are images that I think, “Oh that could be so much better,” but I’m sharing the whole set, so there you have it.”