You sit displayed on my top shelf, among the stacks of used sketchbooks and potted plants. Your masterpieces of small, less than perfect photos scatter my apartment that, like yourself; appears to belong in a past era. But just like I adore that apartment for its quirky flaws, I adore you.
Maybe its the nostalgia of holding physical photographs that I used to fill albums and cover scrapbooks with, or the way your small photos appear perfectly famed when I pin them to my wall. But either way, there is something about your photos that can’t be replicated through digital devices or even with the small and colourful, modern Polaroids.
I love the uncertainty in how the photo will turnout during the suspenseful time between clicking the shutter button and awaiting the image to develop. And I love the way even the very best images are unsaturated and grainy. And the not as great ones appear as abstract, sometimes unrecognizable shapes, that I still proudly hang with my collection.
But my favourite thing of all is that you don’t put up with the modern norm of taking 100 pictures to find the perfect one. And as much as I admit that I am occasionally guilty of this, and sometimes scroll through my iPhone pictures questioning why I have 27 near identical photos of my coffee, there’s something so satisfying about the simplicity of only having a one shot chance at the perfect photo that you give.
It’s easy to get used to the idea that it’s almost necessary to take as many photos as possible before finding your favourite. And maybe you will post that one on Instagram or Facebook, or maybe it will never leave your oversaturated collection of other images on your phone. But regardless of the end result of the photo, the idea that you experience every significant moment through your phone screen in order to get these photos, really takes away from the experience itself. I witness so many people at concerts and cafes, or spending time with friends and family, and rather than living in the moment and really listening to their favourite song live, or enjoying their meal that looks delicious while its hot, their finding the perfect camera angle and making sure they have a couple pictures for themselves, one for their snapchat story, and then you can’t forget about adding one to your Instagram story! Then you add the perfect caption and geotag and filter before you can post any, because everyone must know how interesting what you are doing is!
And as I said, I will admit that sometimes I fall into this trap and find it pretty satisfying when your picture turns out looking like it belongs on a fancy Instagram bloggers account. But with you Polaroid, you get one chance and I find that no matter how the final photo turns out, it always feels like the perfect shot!