May 13, 2021

Langreck: Polaroid photos make a comeback

Growing up I was always interested in photography and how the process of bringing a photo to life from film took place. However, my career passion belonged to writing.

Even though I knew when I grew up I wanted to be a writer, I was still interested in photography and trying to achieve the perfect photo, which is why I participated in the 4-H photography project throughout my time in the youth organization.

I was always excited when my dad let me use his work camera that he used to take pictures of farmers and their operations and take a few pictures with it.

I remember that I used to love going with my dad to drop off film and then going back to pick up the photos.

He would let me and my brother keep the empty film containers — and let me just tell you they can hold anything, from corn kernels to skittles to coins.

As much as I enjoyed the chance to use my dad’s camera, there was one camera I always dreamed of having: the instant camera that would print out a picture within seconds of taking it and slowly turn from black to the colors that were in the photograph.

The closest I ever got to one as a kid was my grandparents’ Polaroid camera that no longer worked, so they put it in the cabinets where toys, books and dress-up clothes that we could play with were stored.

Let me tell you, the fake photographs I pretended to take with that broken camera would have been contenders for national photography awards.

Although I never had the camera I wanted growing up, I did get a job that allowed me to both write and take pictures.

I saved up and bought a Nikon, so I could work on my photography skills, even when I wasn’t taking pictures of FFA members or livestock operations.

While my Nikon is still in great condition — and what I use when I’m on the job — over the weekend my childhood dream finally came true.

In preparation for my upcoming wedding, I was thinking of cute ideas to capture moments that the photographer might not be able to get. I discovered the new line of products that has helped bring the instant camera back into society when I was out shopping.

My fiancé and I ended up purchasing it, and let me tell you, I proudly wore that Polaroid camera with the thin black camera strap the whole time we were mini-golfing with the kids.

I actually took a few pictures that turned out quite well, but I think the best part about it was explaining how the camera worked to the kids and how it was like the digital camera of our time.

They literally wanted me to take pictures of them all night, but the film still costs a bit, so I took a group shot of them.

Ashley Langreck

Field Editor