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  • Writer's pictureAllie Moroney

5 Things I've learned from Polaroid Pictures:

My husband is a hobby photographer, but actually more like a semi-pro. I'm not biased– please refer to any nice photo taken of me. It's all him! #proudwife

My husband has a variety of cameras for professional photos and also for fun/sentimental photos, namely Polaroids. Even before we were dating, Fernando was known for bringing his polaroid cameras to various events and gatherings within our community. These photos help crystalize the memories and capture events in a distinct way.

Our first polaroid together, BEFORE we were dating. This was the "no, we're just friends" stage

Now in our marriage, we love to bring the polaroid camera on all our adventures and excursions. Whether we're traveling out of the country or simply taking a stroll on the trail behind our home; the photos are tangible ways to help us remember this chapter as newlyweds.

Here's a few things I've learned from Polaroid pictures!

  • Patience: Contrary to pop culture, you don't shake a polaroid picture. Shaking doesn't help develop the photo, only time does. Though shaking the photo makes us feel like we are doing something to quicken the development of the photo. In reality, the shaking is more about soothing our anxiety rather then helping the process along. The art of passive yet active waiting as we eagerly await for things to come into focus... I haven't quite mastered it, yet I like to think with every polaroid I'm one step closer to getting it right.

  • Consistency: Every polaroid picture is a roll of the dice–You never know if the photo is going to turn out. What you see is what you get! It can be discouraging and painful (film is expensive!), but with time you learn that it's not so much about the photo itself but the memory you are making as you are taking pictures. For me, once I got out of a perfectionist mindset, I could enter in an simply enjoy the craft. In that spirit, I've found that naturally the more time and experience I have in taking pictures, the better the results are. Whether it's because the pictures are objectively better or because it feels nice to be free of perfectionism, I cannot say! Yet I can confirm that with constant and consistent practice of taking polaroids is yielding more clear, beautiful, and properly lit photos.

  • Living in the Present Moment: Going off of the consistency point, my husband and I have quite a few photo fails. Yet we never throw away a phot. As we compose albums from our trips and shared experiences, we include the over exposed, too dark, or out of focus pictures alike. I have a special fondness for these pictures because I like to think they capture hidden moments that no spectator will truly understand beyond my husband and I. Love and intimacy are like this– no amount of photos and words can truly capture the connection of two hearts. The photos remind me to live deeply each moment and savor every second I share with those I love.

  • Generosity & Reciprocity: Unlike a digital photo you can share with everyone, only one person takes home the polaroid picture. This challenges everyone to not only be in the mode of giving but also receiving. It's nice to let someone else have the photo, but it's also not bad to speak up and ask to take the photo home. I sometimes struggle to say what I want and keep quiet because often times I think being silent is the more pious thing. Polaroids have been one way the Lord has helped me with letting my "no" mean "no" and "yes" mean "yes," overcoming my fear of speaking my mind and saying what I really think.

I love sharing these photos and more when guests come to our home. I often imagine what it will be like, God willing, when we show our kids these albums. Though we'll be in a digitally advanced world–where in theory they can Google profiles and find libraries of digital photos of us through the years– I think these tangible photos will provide a unique perspective of who we are, where we have come from, and possible bear witness to where God is leading us.

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