Five years ago, for Mia’s first birthday, I picked up a One600 Polaroid camera at Target and used it as a party gimmick, taking goofy shots of the guests with their party hats on. People signed them with black permanent markers, and we posted the pics on a kitchen wall. Mia loved when we’d hold her up to the photos so she could point to them and tell us who was featured in each shot.
Then I started snapping shots at her milestone development marks — 18 months, 2 years — and adding them to the growing wall. It was easy to whip out the camera and get that immediate tangible gratification you don’t get from digital images. When Isla came along, I vowed to record her development with instant film from one month on — a monthly growth chart. Now I’m in the process of doing the same thing for Liva who just hit the seven-month mark.
Visitors almost always pause at our Polaroid wall and remark at the girls’ evolution; comparing their similarities and differences. And so do I—it’s a visual reminder of how fast the time goes.
The 600 model I have is now extinct and the film it requires costs a gasp-worthy $50 for just one pack of 10 exposures. I’m sticking with it for now because the photo quality is really good, but might invest in the newer 300 model for future birthdays—it produces smaller pictures but it’s much less expensive.