The modern equivalent of Polaroid?

Kodak Instant Print of a future art director on his Big Wheel. (Taken with an iPhone.)

Everyone loves Polaroid prints. The shape and format is iconic. The quality wasn’t that great. You couldn’t really enlarge or frame the prints. And the camera itself didn’t offer anything that even remotely resembled bells and whistles. But the great thing about Polaroids was that the moment you took a picture you were ready to share it.

The iPhone and other camera phones are becoming the modern equivalent of the Polaroid instant camera.

The photographer in me hates my camera phone. The iPhone camera has 2 megapixel image quality, no flash, no zoom, no control over exposure. My digital SLR is far superior as a camera. And yet, I still take pictures with my iPhone all the time. Why?

It’s because I want to share what I’m shooting. Right then. I take a shot of something and I’m able to email it to someone, post it to an online gallery or Facebook. I’m not planning on making prints or enlargements. I’m not expecting great lighting.

I am capturing a moment and sharing that emotion immediately. Just like with the Polaroid.