Everyone loves being able to hold a photograph in their hands or see it in person and not on a screen. It’s even more awesome when you can see that photograph just minutes after taking it. I was late to the instant photo game. I missed the whole pack film craze and didn’t really care about it until about three years ago. Even back in 2014, I had pretty much given away a Polaroid OneStep and a Polaroid Colorpack II camera, just because I wasn’t interested.
Not sure what changed, but I started to see shots from the Fuji Instax Mini and 300 cameras that really peaked my interest. In the spring of 2016 I picked up a Fuji Instax Wide 300 camera and used it quite a bit. It took great photos that were full of colour and actually quite sharp. I eventually sold that camera in 2018 due to lack of use. The photos seemed almost too colourful and sharp for an instant camera… almost like a digital photo…if that makes sense. It wasn’t producing the look I wanted from an instant.
Over the past couple years, my photography has taken off in two different directions. On one hand I’ve got into large format photography, and on the other, what I’ll call “low-fi” photography. I started using Kodak Instamatics, bought a Holga and found a Polaroid Sun 600 LMS at at a local thrift store for $5 bucks. Shortly after acquiring the camera shown below, the Impossible Project rebranded to Polaroid Originals and released a bunch of different integral instant film. I had to try it out. By the time I paid for shipping, the cost of a single photo worked out to $5 each… quite cost prohibitive. Plus, the camera had been sitting a while and was spitting out multiple half frames with each shot. I only got 2 photos out of that first pack and calmly placed the camera on the shelf vowing to never use it again.
That is until I did a quick photo series on my camera collection recently. I dusted off the Polaroid 600 and for fun started running the ruined frames (yes, I kept them) through the camera and everything seemed to be working well. I’m also in the midst of planning a NYC trip in June and started thinking it might actually be kind of neat to shoot a couple packs of instants on that trip. I got another pack of film to test the camera out again and everything worked perfectly… giving me the look I want… just not for the price I want. It’s not an everyday camera. Below are some shots from the first two packs of film I’ve run through this camera.