In a world of fast food, instant messaging and children growing up way too soon, people are seeking something more permanent. A way of preserving memories in more than just their smart phone's iCloud. While the instant film camera may have been synonymous with the nineties, the release of Polaroid's Onestep 2 at the end of this year could herald in a new era of physical photography and even a revival of 35mm film. To celebrate instant film's comeback, here is a list of five reasons why everybody should get hold of one of these fantastic cameras.
1. The Novelty Factor
'Oh, is that one of those Polaroid cameras?' I have heard this phrase countless times at parties and you will too, mainly because the originals are the size of small laptops and not very subtle during a game of beer pong, but also because they seem incredibly rare and fascinating. The idea of holding a physical photo in your hands which is impossible to simply delete appeals to so many people. Furthermore, the photo becomes more valuable, you can't simply snap away until you find the perfect pose. No longer is the question whether you’re Nikon or Canon: it’s now a case of physical or digital.
2. A Gateway to Film
The instant film camera is the perfect mid-point between film photography and digital. Fifteen years ago, you’d be taking your 35mm film canisters down to Snappy Snaps to have a patient photo technician trawl through your blurred and accidentally thumbed pictures to find maybe four shots which are correctly exposed, and actually appear to be deliberately taken. With the instant film camera, you retain the instant pleasure of the digital DSLR camera, however you find yourself holding your photographs, as if freshly picked up from the photo development room. Although the film is expensive and most of these cameras only have limited manual functions, the instant camera is perfect for those wishing to dip their toes into the world of film photography.
Watch the laptop-sized birdie!
3. Instant Instagram Filter
We all love to take edgy pictures of a perfect skyline or our beans on toast, but what if the optional filter used by the social media editing tool was imposed onto every photo taken? A little impractical, granted, but with every picture comes a fresh batch of nostalgia. With your instant film camera, gone are the hours on Photoshop trying to find the best film effect. You already have it. Transport yourself back to the 90s simply by taking a photo with your instant camera. You can now use the hashtag #Nofilter and while your friends may be skeptical, you'll know that you snapped it with your Polaroid.
The instant camera does not cure camera shyness.
4. The Vintage Accessory
Polaroid knows their market. They know that the people looking to invest in instant cameras are those that think a typewriter would make a cool ornament in their home, or smoke a pipe because it looks edgy. These are stylish people. Polaroid's new Onestep 2 is bright and colourful. It is a statement and if you attach a sweet leather strap, the instant film camera becomes an instant fashion accessory.
Do you love scrap books? Are you always looking for the next craft project on Pinterest? With digital photography, you need access to a printer, photo paper and editing software to be able to effectively transform your fabulous DSLR snaps into objects to hold in your hand. With instant photography, you can spend less time printing and more time planning your next artsy project!
My favourite photo that I've taken is on my Fujifilm Instax 100.