When we millennials, and even older generations, think of them, pictures of women in high-waisted shorts, peace signs, and big ‘80s hair come to mind. Most people don’t even realize that Polaroids are still possible today; they just know that they fell off the face of the earth once the twenty first century hit. However, with FujiFilm and the Impossible Project, instant photography is possible! (Note the pun!)
With FujiFilm producing the Instax Mini series, instant photography has been a huge hit for young people, weddings, and other events where people want to have quick, tangible snapshots, instead of boring smartphone pictures. Many people have jumped on the instant photography bandwagon and have “rediscovered” the almost lost art. But, there has been a common misconception that has been seen time and time again on social medias, in stores, and in publishings.
The photos that come out of Instax Mini cameras are not Polaroid pictures, and the device used to take said photos is not a Polaroid camera. Though both cameras produce instant photos, they are two completely different things.
Polaroids were very popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s when people were capturing life as it happened and didn’t have any social media platforms to post the pictures on, so sharing actual photos was the social part of media. However, in 2008 Polaroid decided they were going to halt all production on instant photography for good because of the lack of consumers. When the last factory was days from closing indefinitely, the Impossible Project bought it out and reinvented film for Polaroid cameras. Since then, instant photography with the camera that was once considered “outdated” has been on the rise with new and improved film.
FujiFilm and Impossible film are the leading products for instant photography these days. However, they are NOT the same. The Instax Mini series cameras are smaller, more colorful, and cheaper. Polaroids are typically older, larger, and the film is more expensive. But, the vintage look that is on each photo taken by a Polaroid makes it all worth it. Instax photos are smaller (unless taken with the Instax Wide 300, then it is even bigger than an Impossible photograph!) and wallet-sized. Polaroids are larger and almost a square shape, comparable to a 4×4 print… almost. Though digital photography almost ruined it in the beginning of its escalade, instant photography and gratification still overpower it in the long run.
So, pull out your high-waisted shorts, find some scrunchies, tease that hair, and throw up a peace sign because Polaroids are back and better than ever! Instant photography is here to stay this time around. Find an old Polaroid or purchase a Fuji Instax Mini and rediscover the art that is instant… And remember, Impossible is now possible!
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