If you are an instant photography veteran my revelations may not be for you, but I confess that I am a late comer to instant photography. I never photographed with Polaroid when instant photography was in its prime, even though I photographed on film through the 1980’s through to the early 2000’s. Even when I started shooting a Holga in 2010 I managed to miss the resurrection of Polaroid in the form of the Impossible Project. It was not, in fact, until the end of 2019 that I photographed my first instant photo on Instax.
Instax. For many, that word would conjure up images of kitschy, bulky cameras with plastic lenses, or some slightly better glass-equipped offerings from Lomography and MiNT, if one has the dough. Regardless, the appeal of the instant image is perennial – who can resist watching their shot emerge from the milky depths behind a plastic window? It is the perfect compliment to both digital and roll film, perhaps even a very welcome distraction into a wholly different workflow and approach to shooting.
I know what you’re thinking. A Polaroid article on 35mmc, whatever next. I did have to twist Hamish’s arm to get this included. However before you reach for the flaming torch and pitchfork let me attempt to convince you why I believe these cameras, in this instance a Polaroid 690 should be included, and how they share the similar attributes to the other cameras we love to read about on this very site.