Photo Book Review: Instant, The Story of Polaroid

From the 50s into the 80s, nearly everyone had a Polaroid instant camera at home and most of our family pictures were captured with one. We all had a great time with this ingenious device because it was easy to use, economic and provided fast results. Polaroid cameras were also an indispensible tool of pro photographers before the invention of LCD screens and the ability to “chimp” the shot.

It all began in 1937 when Edwin Land (founder of Polaroid) transformed his garage startup into a billion-dollar business. It was in 1943 when the idea for an instant camera was born and it wasn’t very long before Land made it a reality and a fixture of American popular culture. Instant: The Story of Polaroid by Christopher Bonanos provides the reader with a dramatic behind-the-scenes glimpse at this innovative company and their extraordinary inventions. Bonanos explores Polaroid’s fantastic rise to the top of the photography industry and their fall into bankruptcy in the 2000s with the aid of colorful illustrations, including the company’s iconic branding and marketing efforts. Neither gone nor forgotten, Polaroid continues to produce instant (and digital) cameras that are just as much fun now as they were back then.


Instant: The Story of Polaroid; by Christopher Bananos; Princeton Architectural Press; $24.95 (ISBN: 978-1-61689-085-8)


More info on the book here.