Big Old Polaroids

Forbes magazine just did a great little writeup on the massive 20×24-inch Polaroid Land camera. Only seven were made, with four of them remaining in useful existence. If you’ve got the budget—close to $2000 a day and $200 per exposure—you can rent the camera for your next shoot. If you’re looking to differentiate your work in this increasingly all-digital world, I’d say you can’t do much better than a mammoth 20×24-inch Polaroid original. See what some renowned photographers have done with the camera online. Jennifer Trausch, mentioned in the Forbes story, takes the 20×24 on location to shoot in the real world—not something often seen with the cumbersome machines. William Wegman popularized the format with his series of portraits of his dogs, and Elsa Dorfman is perhaps the photographer most closely associated with the format as she has one in her own studio. Each of these photographers is worth investigating, and if you have the good fortune to see original 20×24 Polaroids in a gallery or museum near you, be sure to search them out. They’re unlike any other photographic format you’re likely to have seen before, nor ever will again.

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