Picture Frames, Picture Framing and Picture Framers' Blog

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Shoot, print and frame your Polaroid photos

Before digital cameras were invented, there were the analogue cameras. These had rolls of film which captured images and you later took to a photo store or lab to get developed and printed.  A very few of these had the capability of developing and printing photos after waiting a few seconds. Polaroid was the most famous.  If you’re a bit of retro freak or are simply curious about these contraptions, you can buy one cheaply enough on eBay or Amazon for under $50. With one of these you can instantly print a small size photo,  3”x3”, 3”x4”, 4”x6” and frame it in a small picture frame  as a birthday gift maybe. This small photo frame may need to be custom made photo frame or a custom window mat because of the relatively uncommon small image size. And by the by, with these analogue ...  cameras  you cannot click “Delete” as you would with a digital one, so make very shutter click and frame count. Polaroid was invented way back in 1938 by U.S. scientist E. Land who invented light-polarizing lens. His Company, Polaroid, then became the Apple of its time, iconic for instantly developing photos.  In the early 1970’s  when trouser flares and the Swedish Abba group were the coolest of cool, Polaroid introduced its famous SX70Camera, motor-driven, automatic, single-lens reflex instant camera.  In those days people normally waited a week or a fortnight to have their photos developed and printed, and if only that for that reason alone, Polaroid was revolutionary.  The Company tried to evolve with the times and in the early 1990’s was one of the first manufacturers to manufacture digital cameras, but it failed against bigger and more powerful competitors. A decade or so later is sought bankruptcy protection.  The internet, coupled with the rising tide of digital cameras, destroyed what little demand remained of its instant film cameras. But let’s dwell a little more on how to picture frame Polaroid prints. As mentioned before,  you can try to frame these yourself with a small matted photo frame. Or you can have these custom picture framed. This of course is more expensive, but it tends to set off the image so much more better then a ready-made photo frame. On technique is to float-mount these. The Polaroid image has the effect of raising the print from the background, thus giving it that “floating” appearance.  The last point to consider is that original Polaroid prints are likely to be 20 or more years old and may have sentimental value. If you don’t mind permanently mounting them in the frame and you’re never going to remove them the ordinary hard-tack double-sided tape like Scotch 3M 929 may be used. On the other hand if your print is precious to you, consider having it mounted with archival corners, or reversible archival tape. These two methods will allow you to remove the original print form its backing, should you need to do so, as in when you’d like to make copies. Have fun, Polaroider!


My Polaroid does small prints in 4"x6" format. This size is fairly common and 4"x6" photo frames and clip frames and can be ordered online from this site under the Photo Frames, Small Frames and Frameless Clip Frames categories.
Giordana P. - 20 Jan 2018 09:49 pm
Polaroids can still be found cheaply enough on the internet, and so are small photo frames, but the film is expensive! I couldn't find any cheaper that $30 film packs from the US!
Walter S. - 5 Sep 2017 02:39 pm

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