My interest in Polaroid is very much driven by nostalgia. My father, a retired engineer, and now almost 80 years of age, was always obsessed by things of a technical nature, and in some ways, related more to science and technology, than he did to other people. Of course, I love him, despite his shortcomings and lack of patience as a father. I wish he had the ability to teach me things, such as how to photograph. I am pretty much completely self-taught. We always had cameras in the house, including the Polaroid Land Camera Model 230, and a gorgeous Nikon FE-2. I now have both of these, and photograph with them regularly. My father really, to this day, just did not have the time or the patience to teach me nuances, techniques, idiosyncracies, etc. of the cameras. I am thankful, however, for the memories of my childhood that he captured and preserved with these cameras. And as love of a parent should be, I love him unconditionally. Fathers in the 60’s and 70’s did what they did back then- worked hard, and were excellent providers- that is how he showed his love.
Forty years later-a different era. My son has told me he is interested in photography, as he has grown up with Daddy taking pictures of his childhood, and growing up. Not only did he receive a Canon PowerShot digital camera for his birthday, but as you can see above, he knows what Polaroid photography is, and has even taken Impossible photographs of his father. With a OneStep CloseUp. It may be a few more years before he is handling and using the 230 or 240, but he will. As I continue to wrestle with Impossible films, and their native challenges, he has taken maybe one of the nicer series of photographs with Impossible materials so far in this household, certainly much nicer than my results. The built-in close up filter of the One Step works wonderfully, and he even knew that the oval cutout is designed to help frame portraits. If a seven-year old can take great portraits with Impossible film, well, maybe he is well on the way towards becoming an accomplished photographer.
A personal note- if you have children, photograph them, but more importantly, photograph WITH them. And teach them the craft. It is truly wonderful and gratifying to see the world from the mind of a child. And, as Paul Simon once sang, in “Bookends”,
“Long ago it must be, I have a photograph
Preserve your memories, they’re all that’s left you.”