Why Polaroid?

Why Polaroids? 

Why do people still want polaroid photographs in an age when digital camera filters/ photo apps can exactly mimic Polaroid aesthetics?

I’ve chosen polaroids because it goes against everything that is happening in the modern world right now. The digital age is well on its way, and analog technology is dying out. However, I’ve seen that with the norm of having digital technology right now, has actually increased a demand for the physical within the market.

Firstly, a polaroid is familiar with everyone. The white border that covers the picture; ‘a thick strip that acts as a plinth for the picture’ is such an iconic thing in modern pop culture. It has a certain artistic flair about it. I wanted something artistic, and that stood out and to the crowd. Polaroid already had become a mass market commodity back in the 60s. So I knew it was something people were familiar with. Its sexy and people still get excited when they find themselves in ones company.

Why Polaroid? Polaroid is an authentic record of reality. Did last night really happen just because you have a digital tagged photo of yourself on your Facebook? With polaroid you are able to seperate reality from hyperreality through tangibility. Polaroid photographs are tangible thats why its so exciting when you have them in your hand. Its right there, to touch and to examine. Theres a certain legacy with it, a USP. Once you’ve been captured you become part of a long history of artistic images. Time is frozen with this white border, and because ‘you are part of the whole process of the photo becoming an image the whole thing becomes more valuable’.

Susan Sontag explained in her book ‘On Photography’ that photography “is not just the result of an encounter between an event and a photographer; picture-taking is an event in itself”. Through polaroids, I plan to make club photography an event, not a chore. Eliminating, the frequent asked questions by people such as “can we see what the photo looks like; can you take another my hair was a mess”. There will be an element of surprise with every picture, it will be an unrepeatable event. However, the advantages received from it will make it more worth while. Capturing moments in an instant!

In addition, through the use of polaroids, there is not post production costs. I won’t have to worry about organising or editing digital pictures. Also, polaroids just have a certain look that cannot be copied. It’s not dots on a screen, but chemistry on a negative, its more refreshing than taking pictures digitally.


– Susan Sontag (1979). On Photography. 3rd ed. USA & Canada: Penguin Classics. 11.

– Pough Keepsie. (2013). Instant Forever. Available: http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2013/04/polaroid-photography. Last accessed 10 Feb 2014.




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