Get Into Instant!

By Justin Goode

I am completely and utterly obsessed with instant film. The tangibility, the process, the feelings of nostalgia it can provoke, I crave everything about it. It has become such a large part of my life. Many photographers are stuck using digital cameras and have not seen or experienced this incredible medium. The younger generation has gripped onto the digital world with both hands. Don’t disregard instant film because others say it’s a thing of the past. Choose to explore it as an option for creativity.

Instant film gives you a unique palette in which to work with. The look it produces, just like all types of film, is special and cannot be duplicated by digital manipulations. Forget 1’s and 0’s. Chemistry is where it’s at. By using this medium, you will produce images that are unlike any other.

instant film polaroid examples

One of the bonuses to shooting instant film is the way it cultivates the photographer within. Because of its cost, it forces you to slow down and think about all aspects of the image. Even more so than when shooting 35mm or 120 I’ve found. Once you get past the learning curve, you start to build on your ability to get the shot right, the first time, without having to redo it. Think of each image you take as an investment in your instant education. When you start to ‘get it’, you begin to create individual works of art, which can be manipulated physically if you choose, or left to stand on their own unique qualities.

instant film polaroid exampes

I’ve started the Instant Film Society; an organization created to raise awareness, accessibility and understanding of analog instant photography. Promoting its use through classes, photo walks and events, the goal of the group is to get instant film back into the hands of the masses.

I highly encourage everyone I know to get into instant. Not just photographers, but family, friends and strangers. Instant film is a part of our American history. We need to push it back into the limelight, to help ensure its preservation, so future generations use it and explore its potential.

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