No More Magic Photos!

One summer at my previous job, the person planning the annual company picnic decided it would be more fun to have a photo scavenger hunt. In truth it was pretty ridiculous--this was during my personal year-of-hell so I wasn't having fun anyway--and I'm pretty sure my team came in dead last or next to last. (I also suspect some teams cheated.)

But, even though my team didn't get a prize, afterwards there was a raffle and I won one of the Polaroid cameras. I wondered what the heck I was going to do with it. It didn't get any further attention from me until a few months later when Thanksgiving was coming up. Mom mentioned that my brother's girlfriend (now wife) had her son (my oldest nephew) with her (instead of his going to his dad's--my bro is his stepdad). He was seven years old at the time, and other than my toddler niece there would be no kids to play with, which meant he'd get into all sorts of trouble.

Inspiration struck. I brought the Polaroid camera, some posterboard, and some markers. Let's play reporter! We will interview each person at dinner, and ask what they are thankful for. You take pictures, and I'll write things down. Then we taped the pictures to the posterboard, captioned them, and decorated. My mom loved it--she let us hang the posters on the dining room wall. That's when the questions about my switching over to teaching started to come up.

It has been a tradition ever since--and now my niece and middle nephew join in. After the success of the initial run, I mentioned the activity to the person at the office who had planned the scavenger hunt, and she scrounged up some leftover film for me. Which was great, because it was expensive--I was lucky if I could get the cost down to a dollar a shot. Yes, really. I managed to buy a bulk pack last year at one of those club stores and that lasted me a while. Problem was, I went back for more this past December, and they didn't sell it anymore.

The reason? They're not making Polaroid film anymore (#3 on the list). Fortunately, I found two packs of film I had left from the bulk pack, and then as backup I bought the last two packs at Walgreens (cheaper than CVS) a few days ago. There's not much point in stocking up, because the film expires. I have enough for Easter, and hopefully for next Thanksgiving as well. I just have a feeling it's going to be impossible to get more after that.

Guess I'll be switching to digital next year--and that's only if my oldest nephew is still interested. His sibs would still be too young for me to hand over my digital camera to them.

It just won't be the same, though.


Lizzie said…
That's kind of unfortunate. The end of an era, I suppose... But that sounds like such fun!
Kate P said…
Oh, yeah, it is so much fun. . . especially when we try to come up with comments for the baby! I think I put down "No comment" next to his picture at Thanksgiving. That cracked Oldest Nephew up.
nightfly said…
Luckily, the digitals are really come down in price. You can get a perfectly reasonable snapshooter for under a hundred bucks, a cheap backup digital card for about $20 (you can fit about 1000 high-quality shots on a 2GB card), and the prints cost 19 cents a pop at Target. (Or, you can download them directly to your PC for free, and print them yourself if you don't mind a reduction in print quality.)

But yeah, it's odd to think that nobody will make Polaroid film anymore.
Kate P said…
True, 'Fly, I've been using a FinePix that cost around $100. It's just not gonna have that instant gratification the Polaroids had, and as I mentioned above, I'm a bit more insecure handing that camera over to one of the kids than I am the Polaroid one. Plus I'll have to make sure there's ink in my parents' printer! :)

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