Snap & (don't) Shake, it like a polaroid pictureee
For decades, taking pictures and developing film was almost a painstakingly slow process. The first photograph ever shot (title View from the Window at Le Gas) in 1826 took an agonizing eight hours to expose.
By 1839, that eight-hour exposure dwindled to a concise 15-minutes, and by 1948 with the introduction of instant cameras, exposure time was instantaneous. For decades, casual snappers and professional photo enthusiasts alike were taking multitudes of pictures and shaking out the images to share with friends and family.
Fast forward several years to the ringing in of the Millennium, and we were introduced to digital cameras in the early 2000s, followed by phone cameras in the late 2000s. As a result of the new digital trend, polaroids had essentially lost their beloved place in the photo industry …
That is, until now …
A Throwback That’s Trending
With late Millennials searching for a sense of what life was before the digital world, the polaroid fad is back and reaching epic hipster proportions, along with an influx in 90’s fashion and 80’s synth inspired pop music. Perhaps with so many of today’s youth growing up in the intangible digital era, they’re turning to products that are physical, one-of-a-kind creations that can be tangible keepsakes.
So with the reemergence of polaroids, what are some things to keep in mind so you can better preserve those captured moments? Here’s a quick rundown of ways you can preserver your polaroids:
- Avoid direct sunlight, moisture/humidity and drastic temperature changes
- Hold your polaroids by the edges to limit the amount of dirt and oil from your hands damaging the image
- Before storing your photos, let them dry (completely) for a couple weeks to limit any coloring issues
- Be cognoscente of the type of album you’re using to store your photos. Certain materials like PVA or PVC or magnetic albums (yes, they’re a real thing) can lead to early photo quality degredation over time.
- Store them in a dark, temperature regulated storage space – nothing that can get damp or humid
- Store them opposite of how you would vinyl records, nice and flat because side-storing categorization can increase the propensity for them to yellow
- Keep the scissors and razors away. Cutting polaroids can damage them.
- Just like you should avoid printing photos on acidic paper, you want to avoid storing them in boxes that contain any acidic materials
- Don’t listen to Outkast and “Shake it like a polaroid pictureeee.” Have patience and let the image expose itself. Violently shaking the polaroid can cause various portions of the film to prematurely separate, creating blob-like blips in the final image.
So if you’re looking to ditch your smart phone camera and throw it back with this blast from the past, make sure you follow these simple polaroid best practices to get the most longevity out of your captured memories.