Instant cameras: back in style as vintage


What goes around comes back around with trends, and instant cameras are no exception. Instant cameras, once seen in the past as modern-day technology fad for those of Generation Y, is now a retro find for those of the Millennium generation.

With the advancement of digital technology, photography has revolutionized in the past decade due to the invention of smart phones, editing apps and capabilities of instant feedback on social media, people of all ages are quickly taking, editing and posting their photos in minutes to share with the world. But what happened to the spontaneity of picture taking? Instant cameras can assist you in capturing a moment in time that can’t be deleted or edited, and that’s what makes them super cool.

Alex Klemovich, junior in photography and gerontology, said she has owned a Polaroid instant camera before.

“I think it’s fun that they’re coming back in style because it’s just another way to take pictures,” Klemovich said. “It’s a good way to get fast pictures that you get to see and hold them right away. It also creates a unique look to each picture that gives it its own charm.”

Using instant cameras may be kickin’ it old school, by achieving a semi-good quality picture and having to purchase the extra film and batteries, but can be fun in the way of writing a handwritten caption on the photos, buying different color photo frames, or putting them in one of those new photo albums designed especially for Polaroid pictures. “Piception” or taking a digital picture of an instant picture is also an amusing idea that’s a common photo trend on social media sites. It’s all about making the viewing process in photos more personable.

Morgan Foitle, senior in photography, said she enjoys the capability of quick printing time instant cameras offer.

“The quick developing time is very cool, in comparison to developing actual film, which can take ages,” Foitle said. “The quality of Polaroid cameras are not ideal, but again, it’s for a fun and quick use.”

The cameras themselves range in prices, depending on where you find them and the condition and quality. Sometimes you can find a good steal at a garage sale or pawn shop if you’re looking for more of a vintage find. A modern design that’s popular among those who want a smaller design is the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 that prints smaller-sized framed photos. For those that like more of a color-pop in their photography should invest in a lomography style instant camera. Instant smartphone photo printers are also a new invention for those who want to avoid the actual purchase of an instant camera and want their iPhone photos made into instant photos.

Lauren Shaw, sophomore in finance, said she owned an instant camera once when she was younger.

“I think the smartphone printers are a better investment than the actual cameras because iPhones will be more of a long-term product and it’s a lot more convenient because it’s with you all the time and a lot of people use iPhones to take pictures rather than cameras nowadays,” Shaw said.

But Foitle said she still prefers the actual instant camera itself.

“I think smartphone printers are cool to have, and maybe a bit cheaper option, but takes away from actually owning a Polaroid camera,” Foitle said.

But despite your preference, instant cameras and photos are making a comeback for photographers all over; while they shouldn’t necessarily replace digital photography, they should be an addition to it.