Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Shot in the Dark

Last Friday my daughter had her 13th birthday party and at her request we brought a Polaroid camera. That Polaroid is going to discontinue making film has been much in the news lately, although less noticed is the fact that the company actually stopped making the cameras a year ago. It all seems to signify an end of an era as emotively as the passing of the Walkman or brick size mobile phones, but what I noticed in my brief moment as a tween party paparazzo, was how much the Polaroid camera specifically contributes to the event.

One of the things I’ve learned from working with The Sartorialist is how important the approach is. Make the right approach with your camera in front of you and you’re much more likely to get a good picture than if you suddenly whip it out. Bring out a Polaroid camera and everyone’s ready for fun! (And you're no longer the intruding parent, you're now just support staff.)

The other thing I noticed as I was pretty much shooting in the dark (you can’t see much through a viewfinder in dance light conditions) was how beautiful the randomness of the hastily grabbed moment is. It was the revelation of street photography that the chaos of everyday life was just as arresting as the compositional order of the decisive moment, but as always - getting to experience the progression of art historical aesthetic development through your own family snaps is always an unexpected pleasure!


Anonymous said...

wow, fancy party.

isn't polaroid trying to sell off the manufacturing rights for the film? in addition to having a serious cult following, it's pretty much essential for the fashion industry in model castings and whatnot, right? i hope someone else picks it up because i'd be sad to see it go.

Joanna Goddard said...

"And you're no longer the intruding parent, you're now just support staff" = hilarious.

looks like a great party, and what lovely photos!

Anonymous said...

This is such a marvelous snapshot of that age.

Grownup. Not grownup. Carefree. Not carefree. Confident. Not confident.

Lovely and sweet.

-- desertwind

Anonymous said...

Oh! And, of course, also...

The boys here. The girls there.

-- d'wind

jen said...

i love how these as if they could be 20 years old - that's what polaroid does. i admit i am sad it will no longer be an option. or if so, an expensive one.

polaroids are the new daguerreotypes.