The images shown here are authentic polaroid captures of the Making the Moment team. We had our annual holiday shoot last week in our Westlake, Ohio offices, and I used only the Polaroid OneStep 2 to capture our staff team.
I grew up with a Polaroid OneStep camera [ the original OneStep was my very first camera as a child, and because I was a weird ass kid, most of the polaroids I have from my childhood are strange composites of my action figures simulating hostage negotiation scenarios ].
Although our team has access to a wide variety of modern photographic tools and fancy pants lenses, I was in a a squirrelly mood and chose this analog tool to do the job.
After spending an entire day producing the images on this blog I noticed a few things;
- After 8 hours, I had only produced about 30+ usable images
- Most of my captures were incredibly out of focus
- Most of my imagery was over / under exposed
- Each pack of film was inherently unpredictable; completely different from the last in character and exposure
- I had to work very slowly to understand the results of my efforts [ each capture took 5-10 minutes for to develop versus my LCD screens immediate feedback ]
- I could only capture one image at a time, so I was forced to be more precise in my efforts
And more notably, I noticed this phenomena; Each viable image produced [ and even many of the “throw-aways” ] became a tangible wonder. Awe and exclamation was found amongst of us as the film slowly appeared before our eyes. Our fast paced office would slow down, gather around each frame, and pass each physical print around, spending time in admiration [ both of the print and ourselves ]
Best yet? No one stopped to critique themselves or their appearance in these pictures. This is what I normally hear when people see a picture of themselves;
“Guh… My nose is big”
“I hate my smile in that one”
“my one eye is bigger than the other”
Those were not phrases I heard spoken. Instead, I heard the following;
“I love that”
“That’s so cute”
“Can I keep that?”
Later that evening, well after our shoot had finished, it occurred to me that there was something special about the “real” of analog, the
imperfection of film that our fast paced digital world had robbed us of.
Deeper than my musings on digital photography and analog imaging I came to realize a deeper truth that the polaroid captures had helped me to see about humanity.
Just like a Polaroid, human beings are an unpredictable creation; a glimpse of perfection marred with technical fault. Like any analog creation, we are a bit unfocused, and can easily lose our brilliance and vibrancy as the world wears on us. Small creases, stains and smudgy fingerprints are left on our souls as we are handled by those nearest and dearest to us.
And just like the metaphorical polaroid, all of us carry beauty and glory despite the obvious flaws.
As I leafed through the Polaroids, and thought on the dearness of the people I work alongside, I realized that We [ at Making the Moment ] are not exempt from the Polaroid dichotomy of treasure and tragedy.
Every award-winning image we are known for is the result of fearlessly failing elsewhere. On the editing room floor of every cinematic masterpiece are reels of underexposed out of focus footage. See us bonding and having fun at the office on our Insta-Story? Yeah; we fight over who will clean the dishes or take the trash out too.
The truth is, Making the Moment is not perfect. Just like you, we’re real people; Carrying a mix of potential and pain.
This simple and honest perspective on ourselves transformed our holiday card this year. Rather than the well meaning and oft-mentioned “seasons greetings” that most holiday cards profess, we are inviting our clients, industry peers, and colleagues to embrace the authentic freedom found in a humble view of art, life, self, and others.
- Do you see someone’s shortcomings? Look for their success; seek after their hidden glory.
- Do you portray a perfectly polished persona to those nearest? Courageously enter into the risky territory of humble authenticity.
Possibility. Potential. Hope. This is what drives us.
Adventure with us; not only in our art; but in a pursuit of a better version of ourselves this coming year.