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Tips & Tricks for shooting with Polaroid film and cameras

You have your first Polaroid camera and film: congrats! Read these tips & tricks to take nice photos and to avoid some of the most common mistakes!

1. Temperature

Polaroid Film is best stored in the fridge to keep the chemistry stable.
When it’s time for your photoshoot, take it out and let it settle to room temperature (around 20°C / 68°F).

Cold film = photos with a blue tint. So warm it up a bit, before you head out.

Overheated film = photos with a pink or orange tint. If you’re shooting in the summer, make sure to keep the film and camera out of the direct heat.

 

2. To flash or Not to flash

All Polaroid Cameras will automatically fire with the flash. To disable the flash hit the flash override button.

It’s important to only turn the flash off if there is enough natural light in the scene or the images will be blurry and underexposed, not good. For most indoor scenes we recommend keeping the flash turned on for best results.

Although the flash on all products is reliable, if you are shooting far away from a subject, (or a big group of people in a dark indoor scene for example) it’s quite possible the flash won’t reach them. For this scenario we recommend shooting outdoors with good natural light to ensure everyone is looking tip top.

 

3. Light

The Polaroid Cameras and Film absolutely LOVE light.

When shooting outdoors always shoot with the sun directly behind you or at your side so that your subject is flooded with sunshine. This will ensure your image isn’t underexposed and blurry.

When shooting indoors, try using natural light from windows or the brightest interior lights you can find. Don’t be afraid to move your subject around or play with the lighting to get it right.

If the light is a little bit low, make sure to keep the camera steady, try using a tripod, flat surface or rest on your elbows to avoid blur.

 

4. Nailing the distance

The Polaroid Now & the Polaroid Now+ both have Autofocus. Meaning the camera will choose the lens for you so you can focus on getting the shot.

The Cameras will choose between a Portrait Lens (0.3m - 0.6m) and a the Standard Lens (0.6m - Infinity).

The Polaroid Go has a fixed standard lens, so for the sharpest focus make sure you don’t get too close your subject, around 30 cm is the closest (perfect selfie distance) any closer and your image will be out of focus.

5. Double Exposure

To activate Double Exposure mode double press the flash button, you’ll see a number ‘1’ appear in the display window, this is how you’ll know you’ve entered fun mode.


Take your first exposure and a ‘2’ will appear in the window, after your second exposure the camera will eject your creation.

If you want to wait a bit before your first and second exposure, you can turn the camera off and take your second frame when you’re ready.

Since the film is being exposed to twice the amount of light, it's important not to use too much light in your shots. Consider disabling flash, or using flash in only one shot.

Scenes with lower light, strong contrast and color work best. Avoid white backdrops as they will contribute to the over-exposure.

 

6. Shield it from light till’ it’s in sight

The Polaroid Film is extremely sensitive during the development process.

It’s important to hide images from the light until they are fully developed, face down on a table is ideal. The light can cause issues with colour saturation as well as contrast.

Each camera has a black shield we call a “frog tongue” that covers the image while it ejects, it’s best to keep it under here for a couple of seconds before taking your image out of the camera.

Another important thing to remember is not to bend the images while they are developing as this can cause breaks and defects in the chemistry.


7. Store them safely

Even after they’ve ejected from the camera and fully developed, Polaroid photos are still sensitive especially to sunlight and damp conditions.

Find a cool dark place to store them, ideally a photo album or a shoebox, when you aren’t showing them off to the world that is!

If you are framing them ensure they aren’t in direct sunlight.

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