Polaroid Still Has the Magic of Instant Photography

Snapshots, Featured


As soon as I awaken in the morning, my hand reaches for my iPhone, iPad or computer, where I look at LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more. I share relevant posts and visuals, make comments, connect. I can show my work instantly to people very far away, and I like that.

While amplifying my client’s events and projects all over social and traditional media, adding iPhone and DSLR images to help tell those stories is a helpful addition to making sure the story is seen.

But, as a hobby I have started shooting with my Polaroid again. I just love it. For some reason “instant photography”, or Polaroid photography, is magical. As a little girl I had the white Swinger camera and to this day have images taken at my parties, from age 13. I wish I still had that camera!

I feel more like the true creator of the photograph with my Polaroid. With it, I don’t edit in Lightroom or with the Waterlogue app, I don’t crop, and shooting the picture really makes me concentrate on the composition.

This is my 1972 SX-70. I bought it on eBay and here I am opening the package. I just had to take pictures of it. The fold away design is just gorgeous.

Nancy Moon's SX70

Here are some of my favorite photos taken using my 1972 SX-70.

Bromeliad by Nancy Moon on SX70


SX70 by Nancy Moon


SX70 by Nancy Moon


SX70 by Nancy Moon


SX70 by Nancy Moon


SX70 by Nancy Moon

Edwin Land founded Polaroid and invented instant cameras in 1948.

New York Magazine senior editor Christopher Bonanos (pictured with me below, in a Polaroid picture!) wrote this compelling book, Instant: The Story of Polaroid, chronicling the history of Polaroid as a company – from its first camera to its collapse sixty years later. It’s a must-read. The Impossible Project purchased old Polaroid factories and today manufactures instant film compatible with my Polaroid camera.

Polaroid Book, taken at Impossible NYC


Christopher Bonanos with Nancy Moon


SX70 Film PX70

This is our refrigerator, stocked with film. Next to the butter.


Polaroid Cartoon

My mother sent this cartoon to me this weekend, how appropriate for my blog this week.

You may agree, the vintage look of instant photos is undeniably appealing. If you’ve used a photo app on your smartphone, you know how many options you have to transform your digital snapshots into images that look dated. Digital photographers go to great lengths to alter images to match the aesthetics of an instant photograph. For me, however, creating these photos in their original form is what makes me happy.

If you have an old camera up in your attic or buy one at a flea market, put in a roll of film and see how the vintage version feels to you.



29 responses to “Polaroid Still Has the Magic of Instant Photography”

  1. Gil Effron says:

    Nancy, thanks for the stroll down Memory Lane. These cameras were indispensable in the studio, too. It was the only “instant” proofing system we had to know that lighting and composition were correct. And you are correct. While I can use my iPhone and send a photo digitally, I can’t hang it up on the bulletin board next to my desk without taking the time to print it.

    • Nancy Moon says:

      Hi Gil, thanks so much for your comment. I’m delighted it brought back memories. It’s all becoming trendy again. If you still have your original cameras, lucky you!

  2. lorie says:

    moon,,,love it,,,especially the opening of the camera,,the refrigerator with the film and butter and the nostalgia,,and most of all you !!!Talented in many ways my dear pal xxxooo

  3. Karen Nedler Quinn says:

    Nancy, what fun! I was just trying to remember where my Polaroid camera might be. I think it’s in storage somewhere and I just might have to go hunt it down! I love all those shots you took with it. Got a kick out of the cartoon your mom sent!

  4. Kate says:

    Great blog post! Just one point – The Impossible Project does not produce “Polaroid instant film” but, instead, a completely new product. Granted, it’s still instant film that works in Polaroid cameras, so the distinction might be a nitpick.

  5. Carole M Gentry says:

    Lovely post, Nancy!

  6. Yes, I really like those Polaroids. Are these the instant shots you’d slip under your armpit to warm up to hasten development? I never owned one of these cameras but I sure would have fun with one now! Thank you for whetting my appetite Moon! xo S

    • Nancy Moon says:

      Hi @suzibanksbaum:disqus, hope you get a chance to use an instant camera sometime. And yes, under armpit to warm it up. Thanks for reading.

  7. Nicole' Eaddy says:

    Great Polaroid piece Nancy! I used to have one as a child and I wish I had mine also. HSN recently featured a Polaroid Digital Instant Camera which I wanted to order so badly. By the way, did I ever mention I was addicted to the home shopping networks?!?! 😮 heee heee…. Anyway, love your photos as always. xoxo

  8. laura says:

    How fun!! Love how these pics turned out ~ and you are right- what a cool case!! Keep up the fun and magical work that is such your signature:))

  9. Mara McEwin says:

    How cool! I love polaroids, and your case! I love how you start your day. I can relate. I know you still consider photography your hobby, but boy Nancy, your photography really blows me away. I absolutely love it. And it is soooo professional. it is amazing that through each capture you post, your wonderful character shines through in such an exceptional way. Really wonderful. xx

    • Nancy Moon says:

      @maramcewin:disqus thank you so much, the photography really makes me a better PR person, that is for sure, I’m glad I have this blog!

  10. Jacqueline Boone says:

    Love this post, Nancy! And Polaroids for that matter as well. I think what I enjoy most about polaroids and film photography is that your capture matters. It’s not like on a phone where you can shoot 3-5, immediately see, and choose. I remember making each shot count as a kid because film was expensive. Polaroids were especially fun!

    • Nancy Moon says:

      @jacquelineboone:disqus Thank you, JB! Imagine each roll of 8 polaroid prints being $24. It certainly makes you pause. And compose. And I like that a lot.

  11. nini Ninina says:

    I feel the same way about the instant photography as you do Nancy. It’s something completely different, no editing, no copies, just me and a lot of focusing on what to capture and what not to. Difficult task but oh so rewarding when you get that perfect shot. Isn’t it?

    I really love the Polaroids you chose to share with us here. Those still lives are gorgeous, especially the “life is good” one… I think it should be made into prints.

    I wish you many many pretty shots and loads of joys of finding the good stuff worth taking pictures of 🙂


    • Nancy Moon says:

      @ninininina:disqus I’m so happy to hear from a real Polaroid pro, thanks for taking a look. I’m still learning a lot, and go through a lot of film, but worth it in the end. Do you live near me, I think you are on other side of the globe. Would be fun to shoot with you. Thanks.

      • nini Ninina says:

        oooh my, I’m no where near being a pro 🙂 (although it sure is a very VERY nice thing to hear, thank you! )…. unfortunately I’m from the other side of the world yes but if I wouldn’t be…. we’d definitely be going out for a fun shoot/tea/cakes together!

  12. sara moulton says:

    This post is a good reminder that some of the best things aren’t digital. I’ve been looking into an Instax. I love your Polaroid camera- it’s classic. Thanks for sharing!

    • Nancy Moon says:

      @saramoulton:disqus I have the instal mini 25 (so cute and little and crisp) and the instax 210. Go for it, and share! Thanks for commenting.

  13. Jeff Goins says:

    Uh, yeah. This is awesome.

    • Nancy Moon says:

      Hi Jeff, thank you for commenting, means a lot to me! Tribe Writers has been good for me. Have to run to write my 30 minutes, 500 words!