My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why US Millennials are taking Polaroid Pictures as Analog Photography back in Vogue

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why US Millennials are taking Polaroid Pictures as Analog Photography back in Vogue

“In the past 10 months we have seen a 75% increase in the 18-25 demographic, with teenagers turning their backs on digital for something more tangible. Over the past six months, we have doubled the volume of films we sell and refurbished more than 30,000 classic Polaroid cameras. Next year, we expect these numbers to double.”

CEO of The Impossible Project, Creed O’Hanlon commenting on the resurgence of interest in Analog Photography and Polaroid Cameras

Polaroid look set to make a comeback.

 All thanks to the Fappening incident, that infamous hack that so rattle Apple that they cut the price on their Cloud Storage as stated in my blog article entitled “US$19.99 1TB Cloud thanks to Apple iCloud Price Drop – Apple iCloud for Windows out to counter Bad Press from Celebrity Hacking”.

This as oddly a new trend is developing among Celebrities; taking pictures using Polaroid Cameras instead of with their smartphones as reported in the article “Why stars love Polaroid’s retro chic: no risk of embarrassing uploads on the net”, published Saturday 8 November 2014 14.19 GMT by Tess Reidy, the UK Guardian.

As The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco said while endorsing the trend towards Analog Photography, quote:  “Polaroids are the way to go. No one can get those.”

Now to be fair, dear reader, I usually ignore whatever these self-obsessed Celebrities in the US of A and elsewhere do. But since their world ever so often intersects with Technology Trends ever so often, I’m forced to acknowledge their existence.

Especially if the trend they’re starting is one that I’d predicted way back in May 2011, when I’d predicted an increase among Millennials (ages 18 to 28) in Analog photography due to the more original and authentic feel of the photograph as predicted in my blog article entitled “Analog Photography a hit with Millennials - Digital Cameras in Katy Perry's Teenage Dream”.

Analog Photography back in Vogue - Passion for Analog Format among Millennials gets a boos from Privacy-loving Celebrities

Polaroid, the company founded back in 1937 that popularized the Snap and instant print camera that developed the picture after it was taken, died a slow death along with Cameras that used Film in 2001. Bankruptcy at the hands of Digital Cameras, however was a mask for the continued desire to print film yourself, just with more control over the creative process.

So to me, it’s no surprise that Polaroid’s and Analog Photography in from the 70’s up to the 90’s are making a slow comeback. Just like Anonymous chatrooms in the form of Facebook Rooms as described in my blog article entitled “Facebook launches Facebook Rooms - The 90’s Return as Facebook faces competition from Anonymous Mobile Social Networks”.

Or even the US$450 Blackberry Classic, that set to land this Wednesday September 17th 2014 as declared in my blog article entitled “US$450 Blackberry Classic coming December 17th 2014 – What the Blackberry Q20 has become with QWERTY Keyboard and Android Apps”.

But as far back as 2011, Millennial (ages 18 to 28) began taking an increasing interest in Analog Photography Techniques, possibly fascinated by the variety of Analog effects that give pictures that glamorous look from the 1940’s that Digital Filtering Techniques just can't duplicate. Polaroid’s and cameras with film are expensive and so is the developement kit needed to make them work.

 But interest in doing Analog Photography courses among students at Wiltshire College in England as an example is duly noted by Wiltshire College Curriculum Manager for Media, Visual and Performing Arts, Paul Bryant as an example of this trend, quote: “For me, there is still something about them. They [Polaroids] cost a lot more and this makes people think carefully about how they are composing or structuring an image and so you are actually thinking a lot more about what you’re doing.”

In so doing, many Photograph students are rediscovering the love for Analog Photography that popularized the art of Andy Warhol, David Hockney, William Wegman, Chuck Close, Lucas Samaras and Marie Cosindas in the 90's.

Aside from actors like Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco, singers like FKA twigs, Lana Del Rey and Miley Cyrus are into the 90's Nostalgia to quote freelance photographer Stephanie Sian Smith: “Young people today are more nostalgic than ever and they love the old film look – hence the rise of Instagram. The cameras look cool and the pictures remind us of something from the past.”

Polaroids making a Comeback – Millennials leading the Charge yet again as Celebrities go Retro

So it's ironic that the Privacy concerns of the Celebrities of the 21st century thanks to the smartphones with Cameras that are now killing off Digital Cameras is reinvigorating a return to Analog Photography and Polaroid’s. Interestingly, leading the charge is Grammy award-winner Taylor Swift and her latest offering, 1989, which has artwork that feature a photographs taken using a Polaroid artwork and CD's that sport imitation Polaroid’s splashed across their visible surface.

Polaroid’s are beloved as they are the most convenient form of Analog Photography.

Not to mention original and a slight throwback to the 70's, the same era that the Bellbottom Jeans came from according to the observations of CEO of The Impossible Project, Creed O’Hanlon, the company that's resurrected the Polaroid, quote: “The classic square white frame is probably the most instantly recognizable printed photographic format. A new generation of photographers is embracing it because – unlike digital photos – they’re distinctive, one-off, and tangible.”

This love for nostalgia among the Millennials that's been bubbling since 2011 which the Celebrities like Taylor Swift are adopting is fanning the flames of desire for Polaroid.

CEO of The Impossible Project, Creed O’Hanlon  that took over the production of Polaroid’s in 2007 as reported in “The Polaroid revival”, published Monday 5 April 2010 15.52 BST by Sean O'Hagan, The UK Guardian states that he's actually noticed a 75% increase in Polaroid Sales among Millennials (ages 18 to 28) and more than 30,000 requests for refurbishing of Older model Polaroid Cameras.

So is this a Celebrity Fad or genuine Trend that the Celebrities have adopted from their Millennial (ages 18 to 28) counterparts? When I start seeing Polaroid Cameras back in Jamaica I'll declare it's the latter; right now this is all just a throwback to the year 1989 as per Taylor Swift's Album cover!

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