Flash from the Past: Return of the Polaroid Camera

In the age of everything digital, who would have thought prints would make their way back into the 21st century? The classic Polaroid camera of the 50’s has returned in a faster, more agile, and user-friendly form. Despite the facelift, these new instant cameras are still as charming as their predecessor. It’s no wonder these devices have made a comeback and have become popular gift ideas to capture moments between loved ones.


The original Polaroid cameras of the past can usually be found in vintage shops, specialty stores, and perhaps your parents’ basement. Now, the new modernized devices can be found amongst all major retailers. Why has this device made so much noise again after decades of silence? Here are a few snapshots as to why:


These new cameras serve as a reminder of simpler times when rent, job security, and fake news weren’t consuming our mental well-being. These devices have a way of taking you back to your childhood, when the biggest problem in life was if those Scooby-Doo Valentine’s Day cards for the class were socially acceptable.



Just as with the original Polaroid camera, the prints of the new devices still eject within seconds of taking the photo. However, you no longer have to “shake it like a Polaroid picture” as OutKast might prefer and then wait several minutes for the photo to fully develop. As one can assume, that routine became quite tedious especially after the introduction of digital photography. When digital made its way into the world of photography, it quickly became accepted as the cheaper and easier way to take photos. Now, with their new technology, instant cameras of the modern age have become the perfect combination of “cheap” and “easy” paired with the original crowd-pleasing ability to quickly obtain a physical memoir.


One and Done

Do you have that friend or significant other who insists on taking the same photo thirty times while slightly adjusting their pose each time? Well, no more burst mode bandits with these! The instant cameras provide the perfect mix of whimsical fun and efficiency. No one wants to waste a good print, and nothing’s better for a print from an instant camera than the raw state of the moment. Because of all this, you won’t be blinded by flash over and over again anymore.


With the original Polaroid film, a chemical reaction occurs when light first hits the film. This causes the photo to develop more over time. With Valentine’s day coming up, this gift can spark a similar response amongst the bond of you and your loved ones. Picture-perfect memories easily brought to life in tangible form has brought the past to present.

Author’s Pick

I recommend the FujiFilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic for the old souls out there who want the look of the past but the technology of the present. It gives you a deliberate look of an early 1900’s photographer coupled with the technology of the modern era. Knowing I’m a lover of all things vintage, my boyfriend bought this one for me as a gift. I’ve used it for various occasions and have even had the option to use color or black and white film! It’s been a fan favorite at social gatherings as well – everyone wants a souvenir from a great evening!

camera-fuji-fujifilm-instax-mini-90-neo-classic-tan-1_1FujiFilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic, $130-$200

Nina Kooroshfar is a San Francisco resident born and raised in Monterey, California. She studied marketing and now works at a tech company in Silicon Valley. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, exploring the vintage charm of San Francisco, and learning about different cultures/languages.




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