manufactured nostalgia


I love Polaroid Film. I own a Sun600 Polaroid Camera, and I have been shooting with Impossible Project's 600 Color Film. When I feel more confident in my Polaroid color skills, I'll start shooting with their Black & White Film.

In a recent conversation with a fellow photographer, we were discussing recent trends in what is deemed popular contemporary photography. My friend exclaimed much of the photography we see in online forums, such as Instagram, is "manufactured nostalgia.” A filtered, improved version of what is really happening.

Manufactured Nostalgia, I thought to myself. I love(d) this term. And guiltily, I suppose my love for Polaroid film is precisely a case of Manufactured Nostalgia. But just the same, I love Polaroid Film. Why? Staging the right shot gets my blood pumping. I wait with impatience and excited anticipation for each photo to develop. I hug the photos tenderly into the crevice of my armpits on a cold day so that the film will develop properly. I have a modern obsession with a vintage phenomenon.

I have also been unequivocally impressed with The Impossible Project in NYC. During my first visit, I nervously waited for the slow elevator to arrive, armed with a host of questions about my camera and the Polaroid process. I asked my questions gingerly, expecting to find bored to hostile employees, and unhelpful and unfriendly service, typical of much of the art and retail scene in NYC. Instead I was greeted with incredibly warm, energetic, knowledgeable and helpful staff. Every time I go, I feel more welcome there. The space itself is beautiful, with great lighting, a mouth-watering array of cameras, great views of Canal street, and great exhibit of photos on display. I highly recommend their openings and parties, I guarantee a great time!

My name is Erica, and I manufacture nostalgia with each of my Polaroid photos.

Soho. December 2013.

Soho. December 2013.