Franklin, North Carolina
Over the years I’ve learned that enjoyment is rarely purchased and if so, it’s most likely illegal in many states.
That said, it would be melodramatic to account that a recent eBay purchase of a POLAROID EE100 SPECIAL changed my life … but it’s getting close to right.
Sure, as technology improves and file sizes increase the purchase of a 20 or 30-year-old instant film camera – with questionable lens quality and film availability – could be viewed as a mistake, misstep or $20 donation to the eBay either.
She, ‘the SPECIAL’, is not really special to look at. She’s chunky. She’s kind of awkward and kind of smells like the musty New Jersey basement she was housed before her Colorado delivery.
Purchased during what would become a 36-hour long marathon video editing session I quickly forgot that a bid was even made but I’m thankful that it had.
This EE100 forced me to focus on why a photograph was being taken in the first place. It even forced me to reevaluate the word ‘take’ in regard to photography. This instant film camera leaves behind not a hard drive full of ones and zeros but a physical artifact that you can hold, touch and pass along to others.
I’ve written about the artifacts photographers leave behind before and still believe that it’s a deeply important factor to calculate when evaluating your own work and why you do it.
Since my own work and career started with a fascination of recording events, launched by the documentation of my own family, I find it fitting and noteworthy that the EE100′s first images – in presumably decades – would be of my family and those artifacts that they have passed along to me.