(Part of « the contemporary meaning of photography » series)
Finally Edwin Hebert Land the creator of the original Polaroid instant film process has won the war over Kodak. Its idea of instant photography succeeded with the combined introduction of the smartphone and the web facilities of our digital world. You can call it the digital Polaroid of our time. And nobody can contest that simple fact and even the idea of an instant print picture has been revived by nostalgics, by artists or by web fans and many commercial opportunities have been taken by small entrepreneurs like the Impossible group or by big industrial machine like Fujifilm.
So doing digital « Polaroid » was really the future of popular (instamatic or instant) photography. And it works at the gigantic scale in our modern demography. The tools are available, affordable and easy to operate with good picture results in standard situations. There will be no coming back to the despair of many traditional camera manufacturers.
Today instant photography is becoming an expression of ourself in the context of our life and surrounding. It interact with our close friends and relatives. It definite our style of living. It express our thinking, our reaction and our endorsement of the moment. It confirm our presence in space and events. It leave a fugace trace of ourself into our instant world, a trace that will be almost certainly obliterated the next moment. But this is part of our today world and the success of the medium. This world is about constant change more than evolution. It is like fashion and photography is fashion.
It isn’t a question if instant photography is good or bad because it fulfil deeply a need of interpersonal communication in a society that have idealized individualism as a main way of life. Those who don’t need it will simply ignore it as a way of expression because and it is still the beauty of it you can choose to participate or not to this instant world.
So what the most popular way of doing photography? You dont need help to find that answer! Just look simply into your pocket or your bag!