Before digital cameras and our beloved Instagram, memories were captured in analog instant photography. Polaroid, one of the most popular companies to produce analog instant photography cameras and film, stopped doing so due to advancing digital technology; but can we still capture our favorite moments with the brilliant cool and warm hues that we did with analog instant cameras? The founders of The Impossible Project turned an “Impossible dream into reality- allowing instant photographers to continue their craft!
What is the Impossible Project?
The Impossible Project is a company started by passionate former Polaroid employees who wanted to keep the art of instant film photography alive. In the world of analog instant film, The Impossible Project does it all! Based in the last of Polaroid’s production plants for integral instant film, the company has saved “300,000,000 perfectly functioning cameras from becoming obsolete!” The company also develops and improves film for these cameras, producing new generations of instant film that are more vivid than the last!
The Impossible Store
The Impossible Project’s online store and store locations provide everything you need to create gorgeous instant photos! Through their shops, you are able to buy restored Polaroid analog instant cameras models including the Polaroid 600, SX-70, and Image/Spectra camera, and film to go with it (in either black and white or color). The company also sells tools that help with preserving, altering, and enhancing the quality of your photos!
The Impossible Project is constantly working to bridge the gap between the old with the new. You can now get the beauty of a Polaroid analog instant photo inside of different colored frames (as opposed to the classic white frame the photos were originally enclosed in). The company has also recently developed the Impossible Instant Lab, a device that can convert photos you’ve taken on an iPhone (4, 4S, 5, or 5S) or iTouch (4th and 5th Generation) into an analog instant photos!
Events and Exhibitions
On top of selling equipment necessary to take analog instant photos, The Impossible Project promotes the work of various photographers through exhibitions at their various store locations! These eye-opening exhibitions feature various artists such as Claire Oring, Foster Huntington, and the analog enthusiasts of The Impossible Project NYC staff. The company also hosts events such as product expos, workshops, and even tours of The Impossible Project factory in Enschede, Netherlands. Upcoming events and exhibitions are posted on the Events page of the company’s website.
Are you a beginner interested in becoming an analog instant photographer, or someone who just wants to learn new techniques? The Impossible Project often holds workshops at their different locations for people that want to dive into the world of analog instant photography. These hands-on workshops and are offered for everyone from beginners to children!
I had an amazing experience when I attended the Impossible 600 Workshop at the NYC location in July of 2011. The workshop, which lasted for 3 hours, brought together photographers of all skill levels to learn about taking photos with the Polaroid 600 cameras. The instructors, extremely passionate about their craft, also answered questions that ranged in topic from how to keep photos from overexposure, and how to properly store your photos. The Impossible Project provided Polaroid 600’s for use during the workshop and one free pack of PX 680 Color Shade Film, which we used when the instructors asked us to take the streets of SoHo and take a variety of different photos (e.g. still life, landscapes, etc.).
On top of the an excellent hands-on learning experience, the workshop allowed people who have a love for Polaroid photography to network! We exchanged tips and shared our photos with one another. I recall meeting a very enthusiastic woman who had bought multiple cameras when the last Polaroid analog instant film lab was in the process of shutting down. She sold me my next camera, a fully functional Polaroid SX-70 camera!
If you want to learn more about The Impossible Project and taking analog instant photos, I highly recommend attendance of an Impossible Workshop of any kind. Workshops are listed on the Impossible Project’s Events page, here.
The Impossible Project’s website features a blog where artists can come together, post their work, and talk about their love of the craft. As a viewer of the blog, you are able to see galleries of various artists, tutorials, events, product reviews and more! You are even offered a view of the inner workings of The Impossible Project’s factory- through the scope of a Polaroid lense, of course.
The Impossible Project is dedicated to keeping the art of analog instant photography alive- providing every possible resource for the art’s photographers! To learn more about the company and find a store location near you, visit The Impossible Project’s Website.