I inherited a Polaroid 660 Autofocus (circa 1981) almost 7 years ago. For 7 years, I have had the camera in the closet and a new pack of film in my Amazon cart. I’ve been so curious to see if it still worked since the last time it was used was at least 30 years ago. At the same time, I didn’t want to buy a pack of film (8 shots for $18) and find that it was not functional. So I put it off and put it off.
Finally, last month, I decided to be brave and take the plunge (I had an Amazon gift card which made it feel less risky to purchase the film). I placed my order, waited 2 long days, opened the package, dug out the camera and BAM – I had ordered the wrong type of film. So I returned that order, purchased the right film (600 film), waited another 2 days, and BAM – I had everything I needed for my experiment.
My first hurdle – I had no idea how to operate this camera. Thankfully, there is plenty of vintage camera love out there in the world. I found videos and even the original manual. (The language is quite funny now “Under the direction of a tiny electronic computer, the system – a camera with a built-in electronic flash…”)
Now what to shoot – my kids are my favorite subjects so I headed outside to take a brilliant, beautifully composed vintage polaroid shot of my son. Instead, I accidentally pushed the button while I was trying to decide how to hold it (they are actually quite awkward compared to todays cameras) and out pops an unshielded photo – down to 7.
Let’s try this again! I set up and snap a shot of Jackson golfing in our backyard, I shield it from light, take it inside and wait for what seems like an eternity (6 minutes to be exact). Now to take a peek. I go to a dark corner, lift up the cover and literally squealed with joy when I say that a picture was actually developing underneath.
I took another two shots inside that turned out much darker. The camera works, the flash charges – but doesn’t work. So I can at least use it in ideal lighting conditions and may look into a repair in the future.
The kids, of course, wanted to see the photos right away… so did I to be honest. We are so accustomed to the instant gratification of being able to see a photo the second we take it that waiting 6 minutes to check and another 15 or so to see the full picture is anything but instant nowadays. Still, I couldn’t be happier to know that it works! I’ve already ordered another pack of film. Long story short – my new-to-me polaroid camera inspired the project below.
DIY Polaroid Frame Photo Prop
This is a quick project and cost around $12 for the foam board, contact paper and new dry erase marker.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
1 – 40″ x 30″ white foam board
1 – roll of clear contact paper
1 – black dry erase marker
1- yard stick or measuring tape and straight edge
1 – exacto knife
INSTRUCTIONS (See diagram with dimensions below)
1. Measure 5″ from the bottom, mark and cut so that the board is now 30″ x 35″.
2. Measure and mark 4″ in from the top, left and right sides, and 9″ from the bottom of the board. Using a straight edge cut down these lines.
3. Apply contact paper in strips and trim to edged of board.
4. Write something clever and snap away!