Design Desk

From the Design Desk: For the Love of Analog Photography

I’ve been knee deep in projects related to Polaroid photography lately, so I was excited to learn about the opening party of a new store/gallery in the Mission, Photobooth. Photobooth is dedicated to showing and promoting analog photography. The existence of this store reaffirms that feelings of nostalgia and romance for creating images with film and instant cameras continue and are widespread.

I stopped by the opening, and the store/gallery was packed! Unfortunately, I couldn’t manage to get one of the fancy cocktails they were mixing up or push through to find out how long the wait would be to sit for a tintype or Polaroid portrait. I enjoyed being surrounded by beautiful images.

The tintype portraits cost $40, and they process them there while you wait. I did get to see some of the portraits, and they are gorgeous! If I can talk my beau into it, I’d love for us to go sit for a portrait together.

Here’s an image I shot in the gallery with my hipstamatic iphone app. Fun, but not quite as interesting as shooting with my Holga or Lomo.

It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up either. A visit to the new shop inspired me to look through some old prints I have stashed away.

Here’s a contact sheet of shots taken with my Holga over a year ago in Naples, Italy. Looking at these fresh, I love the column shots from Pompeii! I should print some of these.

I did print some of these taken at Devil’s Postpile near Mammoth and gave them to a friend.

I find my lomo to be like a party in a camera. The movement and sequences create unexpected, wonderful results.

I always feel like I’m opening a present when I first look in the envelope from the lab. Yes, sometimes a whole roll doesn’t work out for whatever reason, and that can be a bummer after spending the money on processing. However, I do feel like it’s worth it in the end. There’s a quality to the analog image that just isn’t the same with the digital.

Shooting Polaroids is like getting a different kind of present, and the anticipation of waiting for the image to appear is its own kind of magic. The enduring love for Polaroid photography has been evident in the success of our notecard set, Polaroid Notes.

If you, like me, have already sent out at least 2 boxes of Polaroid Notes, you may be pleased to know that we have just released a follow-up, Pretty Polaroid Notes. I seriously love these notecards! I can hardly wait to start sending the new ones. We are lucky to be working with three talented photographers, Jenifer Altman, Amanda Gilligan, and Susannah Conway, whose photos are featured in this notecard collection.

They are also writing our upcoming how-to Polaroid photography book, Instant Love. I’m in the midst of designing that book now.

Here’s one teaser spread for you to see how it’s coming together. More on this book later when it’s actually available. I can’t give it all away yet!

For now, enjoy the Notes, and long live analog photography!

Brooke Johnson
Senior Designer

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