July 2017 I was on a vacation with my family. We were in Florida staying at my grandparents. Vacations to me mean: you’re not at school and you’re not at work, so now is the time to extra-stress yourself out about being the best artist you can be.
So, I spent far too much of my vacation checking Instagram, trying to “put myself out there”. This decision was not all negative, for at this time I entered a contest through #girlgaze to win a Polaroid camera. I entered the contest with a “hey why not I probably won’t win” kind of attitude (that’s called pessimism!)
So to sum up this story, I ended up winning the contest and by the time I got home from Florida, had a free Polaroid at my doorstep.
Now, I was no instant photography virgin at this point, I was an avid Fujifilm user, aka a white female somewhere between the ages of 13 and 16.
And before you think I’m shitting on Fujifilm I will inform you that photograph above was taken yesterday on a millennial pink Fujifilm camera, by I, a mature 18 year old.
So, I open the Polaroid and read the directions on the film cartridge box like five times. Polaroid film is about 19 dollars a box, I was not about to mess up! With my winnings I received color and black and white film. I decided to be timeless that day and use the black and white.
Above is the second picture I took on my Polaroid (the first picture below was my first). The way this picture was taken went something like this:
Me: *to my sister* “hey can you put this sheet over you and stand on that bed”
Riveting stuff. The picture took about 5 seconds to execute and take, yet when I posted it on Instagram it became one of my most liked pictures of 2017 (don’t get too excited, for me that means anything over 100 likes)
Anyways, the response to the ghost polaroid got me thinking, there’s no formula to a successful photograph. Sometimes I spend hours on photoshoots with my digital camera, only to get no response out of them, to evoke no feeling out of them. Yet, this polaroid, that took me 5 seconds had “something” in it that people felt. And I think that’s all that matters in photography, and art in general.
Below are my Polaroids (first 4 rows) and my Fujifilms (the other rows, you can count) that I’ve taken over the year(s)