Instantly in love

In Film, Guest, Instant Film
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Just recently, I realised it has been a decade since I bought my first Polaroid camera in a thrift store. I’ll never forget the feeling of great anticipation the first time I loaded the Polaroid 600 film, clicked shut the film compartment, and watched as the dark slide automatically ejected from the rollers.

To my surprise and delight, the camera still worked! This small piece of recent history was not just my first instant camera, it was the first instant camera I had ever touched. I knew fairly quickly, this wasn’t just a lightweight plastic camera that I had in my hands, it was a compact device that possessed all the wonder and magic of photography and I was instantly in love.

The Polaroid 636 Closeup has a few quirks that I’ve come to expect when shooting with it, but, as many other instant shooters will agree, quirks in photography are all part of the charm.

When I started planning this post, I had an idea that I would shoot a series of polaroid images by the river then destroy them in a soup of seaweed and river water. Hoping to retain as much depth of image during the souping as possible, I intentionally bypassed the flash and tried for slightly darker images than I would usually shoot with this camera. However, as each shot slowly developed and I impatiently snuck a peak here and there, I knew I would not be souping any of them. More than ever before, I recognised and appreciated this simple camera’s capabilities. After shooting the 636 Closeup on and off for 10 years, I had found my new favourite settings for this sweetest of cameras.


Rivers of Perth, Western Australia, 2024.

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