Saturday, 5 July 2014

Basking in Polaroid Nostalgia

Grasping a physical memory in your hands, with the ability to present it in a myriad of nostalgia-inducing ways, is, in my opinion, far better than ambiguously scrolling through your iPhone photo library in search of that shot. You have the ability to scrapbook these photos using whimsically-patterned tape; to peg them onto a string of fairy lights across your bedroom or to frame them proudly by your bedside. 

Polaroid cameras have a distinct nostalgic feel about them. It's a very 90s association, of long hazy summer days and blurry memories. Of late night laughing and pictures that capture the silver lining of the day. 

And so, within the region of 3ooo memories stored away in my iPhone picture library, I used the power of my remaining £6 in my PayPal account and combined 24 digital squares of colour and my avid affection of Polaroids to produce these whimsical handheld memories.

The cauldron of these creations goes under the name of 'Printic'. And do you know what's handy about this clever cauldron? It's an app. E-commerce at its finest, I say. You no longer have to queue up alongside the dreary eyed civilians invading your local Boots photo printing service counter. No more fretting about hunting down the hand sanitizer in your bag after touching the germ ridden photo-selecting touch screens. 

Nope. You can order these to salvage your morning-commute boredom, purchase in the half asleep state you fall into after a long week or simply when your great-great-great aunt Frieda is waffling on about how grown up you've got in the midst of a family party (I wouldn't worry too much about feeling rude-your great-great-great uncle Bob probably has her secretly swimming in a pool of champers.)

The message of the app is simple: "We print your memories". Rather though, they print your memories, treat you to free international shipping and deliver them in a pretty orange envelope. But there's more. It has the option to select photos from your camera roll, your Instagram feed, DropBox and Facebook (although who would want to get those awkward Facebook photos you've been tagged in printed is beyond me).

I ordered 24 glossy prints which cost me in the region of £6. That's 25 British pence per shot, which makes me pretty darn happy. I also love that I'm contributing to the penny pot of a lesser known organisation revolving around reviving the long lost affair with instant (ish) photos.

I'm all too enamoured by how quaintly quirky they are. They satisfy my cravings for all things retro without having to venture too far into the wild side of life. Recently I have been the teasing target of the week: my friends telling me that I never take risks because I constantly sit comfortably on the safe side of life. But does this disprove their taunts? I can, and have, lived on the wild side of life (very very briefly). Yep. I entrusted a random app with my Paypal details and bought some stuff for myself. Ha. Living on the wild side of life? Aced it.

The question hovers above me: what exactly am I going to do with these 24 pretty documents of my 14 years? I'm not sure yet. I might scrapbook them. I might buy minuscule photo frames and display them proudly around my bedroom. I might let them reside in my books as nostalgia-inducing bookmarks. But you know what I won't be doing with them? I won't be hiding them away in the folds of my iPhone gallery. I'll thrust them under people's noses and remind them of the true meaning of life, with the smell of old photo albums radiating from them.  I'll let them revel in the fresh air and let my grandchildren pour over them with eager eyes in years to come. But most of all, I'll treasure them no matter what.

Find me (not literally of course):

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