I Miss My Polaroid

I really miss my Mom’s old Kodak Polaroid camera. I still think the technology is awesome, even with today’s technical wizardry cameras.

Today,  most of us have digital cameras which allow us to see exactly what the picture will look like, easily delete ones we don’t want, and choose the ones we want to post, email and print at home with ease.

My first camera had film which I had to bring to a photo development store and wait for a week to get back. With doubles. It then got fancy and you could pay a little more to get your pictures in “one hour” which to me seemed to revolutionize photos. I had both the “disc” you just popped in and then felt more like a real photographer when I had a camera that used real film.

But my favourite camera by far has to be the Kodak ‘Instamatic’ Polaroid camera.  This was clearly magic to me. You clicked the button and the picture came out RIGHT THEN! The excitement came in the 20-30 seconds it took to really develop in front of your eyes.

This trumped the above mentioned camera styles for me. Who cares if you can delete and take dozens of pictures of the same thing? Candid, real photos capture the moment much more honestly in my opinion. Seeing the results immediately also seems to match today’s culture as well. We are an instant gratification society – no waiting, take the picture and go. What could be better? The Polaroid fulfills both modern societal interests – reality and the need for now.

But I guess what I really miss is not just the camera, but the memories connected with it. This is both literal and metaphorical. Literally, the pictures from my childhood are priceless and my memories cherished.

Thinking about the sounds of the camera and how it worked are equally important. When the camera came out, we knew it was an occasion to remember, because we were told that it could be expensive to buy the film and flashes, so we were creating an important family memory. I remember being showed how to load the film, which one to buy in the store and even the flash bulbs that clicked into the top of the camera. I remember what ours looked like (brown with accordian type flaps on the side). I remember what ours sounded like – from the click of the button to the sound of the picture coming out with our newly recorded memory.

I remember so much about that instamatic Kodak Polaroid camera. I guess the whole experience of an instant memory goes by so quickly. It was my Mom’s camera and I guess I just miss my Mom.


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