Making a Living with Polaroid

Making a living with Polaroid

Two things still with us after we considered them long-dead: Polaroid and Polyester. Here and in many parks of Guatemala you can still find polaroid photographers making a living with their instant-print photographic film and cameras.

Did you own or use a polaroid camera in your lifetime?

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  • Meg

    What a cracker that you combined Polaroid and Polyester… Love it!

  • We actually sold ours at a yard sale several years ago but we have all the pictures we took with it in a box in the closet. Alot of them are of our children when they were very young. They were all the rage back then like digital is now because you could see your picture almost instantly. Those were the days. 🙂

  • Jerry

    Ah the perils of Poloroid… Yes, I owned one and took some photos with it, but the resulting low quality, short lived photos were not worth the expensive film. I remember when they first came out and were all the rage, one of those “must have” items. (Yes, I am getting old!) I am now taking digital photos and love my digital camers.

  • WK

    I received a polaroid for my first communion but films were too expensive for my young budget!!!

  • 🙂
    i never owned a Poloroid. but it still can be seen in the traveling spots….its convenient when forget the camera.

    shanghai daily photo

  • Sally

    LOL – just like sompopo, I sold mine at a garage sale quite a while ago.

    The best “instant photo” I have is one taken at the Acropolis in Athens about 1989, taken by an old man with one of the old b&w cameras where you put the black cloth over your head etc etc!

  • Yup, I was given a Polaroid camera when I was a kid. i still have it but can’t find the film cartridges in any shops. A couple of years ago I bought a Fujifilm instant camera but I gave it to a friend. It’s there on her shelf, not doing anything but collecting dust. I should ask her to ‘give’ it to me.

  • I’m still in the contemplative mood — after reading your post about the female tourist and indigenious women. I wish I had known when I traveled to Guatemala (only once but the experience was incredible and life-changing — a type of hands-on education, unavailable to many, as you astutely pointed out) the power of the photograph. Something I took/ and take for granted (except when jerked upright — by your thought-provoking blog). I wish I had thought to invest in and bring a polaroid camera with me — so I could have taken a picture and given a picture. I was ignorant of the fact that the people who so fascinated me and who I so wanted to photograph (elegantly dressed indigenous ladies and indigneous men with smart feather caps and unusual shoes) did not own photographs of themselves nor have the means to obtain such. How selfish of me to take their picture (without asking b/c it didn’t occur to me I was being rude) and then be surprised when they asked for small change in payment. Seeing these polariod photographers now, I wish I had been aware and could have given a very small gift of a photograph to the people I met — whether I took their picture with my camera or not.

  • Meg, welcome back. With a little more time I could have done it well.

    Sompopo, somehow I can just imagine you with your polaroid camera.

    Jerry, I wonder what will be the shelf life of the digital photograph. What do you think?

    WK, these photographer sells their polaroid photos for about US$2.00, so it must still be expensive.

    Jing, polaroid cameras are indeed very convenient. You should get one for the experimentation.

    Sally, I guess these polaroid cameras came in all sizes and capabilities.

    Edwin, I guess you should ask her to ‘give it back’ for cleaning and testing.

    Lessie, I love your idea. I believe we own a polaroid and a holga. I will try to give photos as tokens of my appreciation. I already do that in a limited basis now. I have given many of my photos away as gifts.