I thought this Feburary I’d try a 30 day photography challenge. I like the idea of them as it seemed like a very structured and easy way to explore photography by getting out of your comfort zone and making you think about things in a way you wouldn’t normally.
I had the great idea to make this purely a polaroid challenge too, seeing I had been given the Polaroid One Step + for christmas by my amazing boyfriend, I thought it would be a good way to get to grips with my new camera and have some fun with it.
If it’s that easy, how come you failed?
Well, dear reader, that’s a good question. Firstly I was hit by a few technical things I couldn’t really control. Chosing Feburary was probably the worst thing I could really do for an analogue photography challenge, the light disappeared before 5pm everyday. Seeing as my work hours are normally 10-6:30, it basically meant I couldn’t really go exploring and take some fun snaps that aren’t the exact same route I walk to work everyday etc. Which meant I was taking most of the snaps on a weekend trying to catch up with myself and I was constantly chasing my tail. Also, polaroid camera’s need lots of light when shooting in daylight, so it just didn’t really work with the time of year.
The next problem I encountered was ordering film. It’s an expensive hobby and having 100’s of pounds worth of film knocking around is a luxury we don’t always have. I had some black and white film left over from Christmas but I feel like this is a very specific kind of photography that I didn’t want to use for day to day experimental snaps. I did order some colour film eventually and it took a few days to arrive but by this time I was already doubting myself and my bank balance to use 30 shots on the challenge. (This is basically the life of everyone who owns film cameras, RIP bank balance).
Basically, I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been for this kind of photography challenge and I don’t think I was mentally commited as I could have been. It was a cool idea in theory and I had good intentions but failed miserably in the deliverence. I just wasn’t very happy with the photo’s I created and wanted to spend more time having fun shooting without the pressure to ‘get it right’.
What did I learn from this?
Well, I think I managed to get through to day 10, so I got a third of the way through which isn’t too bad really. I think the biggest thing I took away from this whole experience is it completely rekindled my love for polaroid again. I mean, it’s always been there in the background and I’m sad I put it on hiatius for awhile but it’s back in full swing. I take my polaroid with me everywhere now and I’ve got a little stock pile of film for all my adventures.
I think one of the main things I’ve learned is to be brave and just go for it when you see great shot potential. It’s so easy to get shy and embarrased by whacking out this great big plastic camera that makes a bunch of noise and makes you look like a hipster. But it’s so worth it when you get an awesome shot.
It has definitely made me think more about taking photos, this is one of the things I like the most about polaroid anyway, it really makes you slow down and think about a shot instead of just clicking away on your phone. You line up a shot and think about composition and lighting and wait eagerly to see how it turns out.
But in contrast to this it’s really made me be abit more carefree and just shoot all the stuff I want to shoot. I’m trying to be less precious over film/money and if I want to photograph something, to just do it. Life is too short.
Going forward I’m going to try and set myself 1 theme for the month and share those images. I want to do self portraits next so I think that’s my March goal. I want them to be raw and intimate but I just need to figure out the best way to utilise the self timer function. So watch this space for March photography fun.
I’ll be sharing all of my polaroid snaps as per usual over on my Instagram, so I’d love it if you gave me a follow. I’d also love to hear from you if you have any photography challenge or polaroid photography tips you want to share, as I would love to connect with you!