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Ah, the polaroid. A long lost tradition. Instant cameras have been commercially available since the late 40s, and were all the range in the late 20th century. People were thrilled at the opportunity to take their own photographs, but over time this eventually got replaced by obsessing over multiple images on a mobile phone. Gone was the instant capture of single moments when you were happy or you saw something stunning. I think it's time to bring that back, albeit in a more minor role.
I was first properly introduced to the idea of taking polaroid photographs in my second year of college, hanging out with my arty friends. When they were kind enough to buy me a camera for my birthday, I finally realised exactly how fun it is. We spent days going on adventures and taking pictures and creating collages of all the fun we'd had. Those were the best days, and we probably wouldn't have had so much fun if we weren't being artistic with it. Since beginning my own adventures with an instant camera, I decided it was time to share that feeling and that joy which comes with holding in your hand the perfect image capturing something that just happened. And that's something that you can keep forever, to remind you of that moment.
Not only do you get this feeling of instant gratification from the picture you just took, but seeing yourself or your surroundings or your friends in sepia tones, where the colours seem more romantic and beautiful than they are before you is a precious experience. If you have never shot on a polariod, all I say is that if this is something that you have never tried, maybe it's time you did!
If photography is an interest of yours, which if you're reading this article I assume it may be, experiencing a wide variety of different ways to capture your images is so important to help you develop your unique sense of style. Whether you usually lean towards film or digital, experimenting with polaroids is so much fun, you may just find yourself accidentally in love with them. Creating memories is always a wonderful idea, but sometimes this kind of memory feels worth so much more than something digital, for reasons that allude me.
In the end, it may not be for you. Polariod cameras are expensive, and the price of film can be, frankly, extortionate—see if you can find someone who does own one, maybe hire one. While it not being your thing might put you off, there's no harm in trying, just once. Nothing looks better on the pages of a scrapbook than a selection of polariods you took. No digital enhancing, no worrying about whether or not it looks just right. Only fun, happy shots from a day out (or in!).
When you're outdoors in the sunlight and you take a polaroid of yourself, it just always seems to come out in prettier colours and everything looks so beautiful. I feel so confident posing in front of a polariod, the shades and the shadows and the vintage touch and the not-quite-big-enough-to-see-my-imperfections images. Your surroundings, too, look more vibrant, with less blemishes. Everything just seems so much happier.
At the end of the day, nothing can quite beat the feeling of instantly holding in your hand a piece of art you just captured. If you are not already familiar with this feeling, all I can do is recommend that you try it! It's not encouraged enough, anymore—living in the moment. Photographs today are carefully planned out, staged, stressed over. This way there is none of that. You take one, maybe two pictures, and then you're done. In my opinion, that is natural and perfect. There is no better way to capture a true moment of your life, to cherish forever.
So go out there, on a bright, sunny day, and shower the grass with stunning images with those classic white frames. Make art and create something happy.