The Polaroid Project



At the beginning of May 2016 while I was still living in Italy I made the executive decision to scrape together the pennies of my lowly wage and invest in something I really wanted and could use over and over again instead of blowing all of my money on pizza, gelato and bellinis. 
I'd always wanted an instant camera, and after spotting the instax mini 8 in a shop window one day in Venice I bit the bullet and parted a fist full of euros, getting myself the camera and two boxes of film. And that was it, I had the camera and 40 shots to take. But I didn't take any pictures, I didn't even put the film in the camera. I don't think I even put batteries in the camera to be honest.

I freaked the fuck out. Holy god the film was expensive. It's not like taking photos on your phone where if they're a bit shit you can delete them or slap a filter on them to make them better. Once you press the button, that's it. That's a shot, gone. And if it's shit then tough luck.

Yes, I was living in Italy and visiting Venice every other day so there were ample opportunities to take photos of something interesting, but it wasn't until the end of May when I took a trip to Paris that I decided to stop being such a little bitch and actually take a photo - after all, there was no point in spending my hard earned cash on something I was never going to use.

The first ever picture I took was of the Eiffel Tower. I'd filled my bag with snacks and intended to spend my afternoon sitting on the grass at Champ De Mars, reading, eating and people watching. Very idyllic. Of course it started to rain and, consequentially, my plans were cancelled. So I wandered around for a while and then, on a whim, whipped the camera out of my bag and took my first photo.




You can see it above, it currently serves as the cover of my 2016 album (if you're looking for a way to store your instax mini pictures, these are the albums I use) and following the theme, the first photo I took in 2017 serves as the cover picture for new album I've started for this year.

In total, I managed to fill 58 slots in the album in 2016. I took significantly more pictures but, being the generous little soul that I am, gave a fair few away to friends to keep. In the end, some of them did turn out a bit shit (namely the drunk selfie I tried to take in the mirror, you can't turn the flash off so you can imagine how that went for me) but overall some of the shittest of the bunch have the best memories attached to them.

As time has gone on I've got less uptight about using the oh so expensive film, but still prefer to save it for something worth photographing. That's one of my favourite things about it to be honest - instead of taking a hundred selfies on my phone I'm focusing more on capturing things I really want to remember. 

Now that it's 2017 I intend to do better and take even more pictures this year - I've already stocked up on film, and given that I have a head start of about 5 months compared to last year I think I'll probably manage it.

It's something I really want to continue, building up an album for every year. I never intended it to become a sort of project, but it ended up being so. I'm slowly scanning them onto my laptop, one by one, which is tedious but it's the easiest way for me to share my snaps online which I suppose is the one downside of instant prints. I'd also like to have a back up of my memories just in case. You can see them here or by clicking the 'polaroids' link at the top of the screen. 




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