Shake it like a Polaroid picture…While you still can

By on April 9, 2008

Amanda Cupelli sat in her dorm room, surrounded by photographs of friends from home which cover the otherwise white and dull walls.

“What do you mean they are discontinuing Polaroid cameras?” she asked, promptly standing up from her unmade bed to look for an answer.

Cupelli, a freshman at Quinnipiac University, went on to say that Polaroids are something that give instant gratification, while at the same time are classy. “Some of the best pictures I have ever taken have been on Polaroids,” she said.

Since 1948, the masses have been utilizing instant photography with a camera that pushed out photographs in the blink of an eye as excited faces watched it develop within a few minutes.

Polaroid fans such as Cupelli will have to stock up on film for their cameras, enough to last them the rest of their lives.

Two years ago, Polaroid stopped making their famous cameras for consumer use, and one year after that they ceased production for commercial use.

According to a Feb. 8 New York Times article, the company said that as soon as it had enough instant film manufactured to last it through 2009, it would stop making that too.

“I think that the technology is old fashioned and fun,” freshman Kim Ciorciari said. “It is unfair that they are completely taking it away.”

In an effort to keep up with the times of digital photography, the company will now concentrate on downsizing their production units and focusing on the creation of Polaroid digital cameras and printers.

Polaroid has been around for more than 60 years, and according to, the company “pioneered instant photography.”

And despite filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001, Polaroid plans to revamp their company and bring it into the digital era.

“For decades, the name Polaroid has been synonymous with white-bordered pictures,” said Tom Petters, chairman and owner of Polaroid in a press release. “Change and innovation have always been, and will continue to be, an integral part of this business.”

The company plans to enter the digital age with technology such as a photo printer the size of a deck of cards. The device can be used to print out pictures from a cell phone or a digital camera without the use of an ink cartridge or printing ribbon.

However, this new technology may not serve to be a replacement to the image that is associated with the name Polaroid.

The company has been supplying industry professionals with the means to use photography in their careers without the worries of batteries, developing chemicals, or computers.

In fact, the Bioanthropology Research Institute at Quinnipiac frequently uses Polaroid instant technology in remote sites to take pictures of mummies.

“We’re incredibly despondent,” said Jerry Conlogue in the Chicago Sun Times. “I don’t really feel that there is going to be a replacement for it, which is a real problem.”

Doctors use the Polaroid camera to take pictures of medical issues on their patients, without having to worry about the uploading process on the computer. Photographers very often use the technology to set up their shots without wasting their own film, getting the lighting and position just right.

Still, some consumers are embracing the change that the photography company will go through.

“I think it makes sense that they are moving on. You can do so much more with your photos when they are digital,” freshman Audrey Guida said.

Furthermore, Cupelli understands the change. “Every other industry is going digital and wireless,” she said.

Polaroid’s efforts to catch up to the wireless corporate world will be their last effort to have a profitable year, which the company hasn’t had since their creation of their top-selling I-Zone camera in 2000.

Freshman Allie Maietta, who is a fan of the Polaroid cameras, such as the I-Zone, said: “Why do they have to get rid of the old? Why can’t they do both?”

Polaroid is one of the last photography companies to make their products entirely digital, despite the age of innovation the country has entered.

Polaroid is confident in its efforts to switch its focus to the digital world of photographic technology.

“Dr. Edwin Land, the founder of Polaroid, reinvented this company many times through its 70-year history – from polarized lenses, to eyewear, to the iconic instant camera,” Petters said. “With the digital instant printer, Polaroid is revolutionizing the magic of instant printed pictures for the 21st century, and helping ensure the rich legacy of Polaroid lives for another 70 years and beyond.”


About Kaitlyn Anness