The rumors began to stir a couple of weeks ago on social media, and then, the news hit; the beloved Fujifilm FP-100C is nearing an end. And my heart hurts a little just thinking about it.
For some of us this film takes us back to our childhood. But for me this film takes me back about 8 to 10 years ago. I was helping my god parents with a garage sale. I found a box with the Polaroid Land camera 103. We had no idea if it worked, but I was told I could take it if I wanted. I did some research, talked to a few of my favorite instant film shooters and was off. I ordered a battery and a case of color and black and white film.
The 103 and my Canon dslr were almost ALWAYS with me when I was out for an adventure. If we have photo-walked together, you know what I am talking about. A comical moment was during a Shutter Sisters walk in San Francisco’s Chinatown. There were NO trash cans anywhere and by the time we made it to our dim sum lunch, I had my jean pockets STUFFED to the brim with the peels of my peel apart film.
I think this camera has stirred more conversations with strangers than any other camera I own. I know for certain it landed me a job as a second shooter with one of my favorite wedding photographers when I stilled lived in the Reno-Tahoe area. And I think it is probably the camera that has taught me the most about patience and slowing down as I shoot – frame, focus, reframe, refocus, check the frame again, check the focus again, click…. pull…. wait.wait.wait….peeeeel.
I also think it will be the camera the kids remember me with the most. I photograph them with my dSLR iPhone regularly, but with the Polaroid, I have to ask them to pose. I have to ask them to sit in a specific light and place and, “please hold still for me”. Something that I don’t say to them any other time, unless I am cutting their hair.
So as I was reading about the possible end to an era, I found a trail of hope. A link to an article and a blog where I read about Doc. This is the guy who is on a journey right now (as I type this and as you read this) to help SAVE this film. And I am following along with him on his adventure to the Fuji Film factory. And I signed the petition (and you should too). I have hope that we can keep this medium of photography alive. Because the photos I and so many of you take with this film are so much more than a snap shot in time. The images here are art, they create connection, they open up conversations and develop friendships.
Keep fighting that fight and shooting the light, Vanessa