A letter to the Doc

Dear Florian ‘Doc’ Kaps,

I just heard you decided to step down from CEO and retire from The Impossible Project. To me this is significant news. A decision that makes me thankful for instant film. Here is why.

It all started April of 2010, even before then, I read and signed up for Impossible Projects launch newsletter. April came and I was shocked by what was announced an all new monochrome integral film. Then July came and color PX70 Color shade was announced. At this point in my life this news was not necessarily mind blowing amazing. I was only 17 at the time. I was only one year in into my goal of learning photography. Analog mediums to me were not the rage. Rather the medium I was forced to use, as I could not afford a digital body. Not until late 2011 did analogue make an impact on me. I had bought my first digital body and was not blown away as had imagined. Rather, I was under whelmed by the blandness and repetitive nature of shooting digital. So December of 2011 Impossible was having their annual advent calendar. By this point, film was taking a first place seat in my life but not yet instant film. I was only following the movement very closely. One of the advent calendar days, Impossible had a buy one get one free coupon code. That is when it began and everything changed. A friend of mine, knew how much I had been wanting to try this new film out so she bought me a pack. I still remember what I got, three boxes of PX680 Gold Frame and one box of PX600 Gold Frame. I even have a photo of my first pack, from the early days of instagram and the Iphone 3Gs



My first ever Impossible Project photograph…


Which then led to this…

Francisco Chavira, SX70 Sonar, Old Generation px680 Gold Frame + ND filter

Francisco Chavira, SX70 Sonar, px680 Gold Frame + ND filter

Which has led me to today


These four packs changed everything. My vision became more refined. I became less ignorant to the options of mediums I had. I started to appreciate photography more. I started to care about the things you can hold. Things that take time and effort. Things worth MY time. In an era of everything speeding by and tiny attention spans. I started to want to take the time to compose 8 photographs and be successful at it. It helped me refine my trigger finger and ultimately my vision. The Impossible Project film opened my world to explore people and amazing work. The idea of making an image in camera with no way of further fixing it in post enthralled me. In the end this film led me to make friends and get them addicted to it. Its one of the reasons Justin and I are such great friends. I helped pushed him to try it and we both are grateful for it. This film is also the reason Chris and I are friends and why we run the Snap It See It blog. This film, is how I connect with people and the reason why I work on this blog everyday. This film, is the reason why I have the chance to connect with the amazing people over in the New York Impossible space. This film is why I know Anne Bowerman, the lady that always answers our emails and crazy ideas. This film is the reason why the 600 on a 600 project exists! Without it, 225 instant film loving photographers would not be connected and sharing their visions. This film, is more then just film its a silk that connects people all over the world into the most amazing creative web.

So, to hear that the man behind one of the ways I enjoy life is retiring is saddening, yes, but also invigorating. This man has constructed an engine that will never stop, only continue and get bigger. He has resurrected a once dead medium into something once called impossible. As for myself. I am grateful. I can no longer imagine my life without instant film. The things to come for this Impossible are big. Next month, the 2 year anniversary of PX70 Color Shade FF, we shall see the Instant Lab.  A device that will touch many and help keep my addiction strong. I know  in the future we will see new films that will continue to get better and help us produce amazing images. I have to thank the Doc for your hard work. Dedicated priceless years of your life to give us this amazing product. Doc, you will be missed but I know that you have left this company in capable hands. I know without a doubt you made Edwyn Land proud.


Francisco G Chavira


Impossible Project 

Press Release

Florian ‘Doc’ Kaps Announces Retirement From The Impossible Project


Florian ‘Doc’ Kaps, the popular driving force of The Impossible Project, has today announced his retirement from the Austrian-based analog photographic company he founded.


The Impossible Project rose to prominence in 2008, when it bought the last factory in the world manufacturing Polaroid film. Impossible quickly became the film brand of choice among those with a genuine love of analog instant photography and classic Polaroid cameras, thanks in no small part to Doc’s entrepreneurialism and evangelistic zeal.

Headquartered in Austria, with a creative hub in Berlin, The Impossible Project now has wholly owned operations in six countries.

In August of this year the company will launch its first two camera products, the Instant Lab and the Pinhole, the development of both of which were initiated and overseen by Doc. He has been travelling almost constantly demonstrating the new products to the press, potential customers and even fellow designers. Last week, he was in Cupertino to give a talk to Apple’s team on Impossible’s brand values and the products that have evolved from it.

“It has been an exhausting few IMPOSSIBLE years,” says Doc. “In the last six months, I have flown all over the world inspiring investors and customers with the future – not the past! – of analog instant photography which is embodied in our new products. I have also been offering my input and inspiration to a completely new senior management team – as well as a new creative team at our Berlin studio – so that they can continue to evolve the company and its products and keep analog instant photography relevant to younger generations.”


He adds, “I hope to continue to maintain a close relationship with the company I founded and I can’t wait to see the response of customers, new and old, to the products which I have helped create for it. But the time has come for me to step back for a while, spend a some much-needed time with my family, and think about other challenges I might wish to take on in the future.”


His presence at the company will be greatly missed.  As Impossible’s new Chief Executive Officer, C. C. O’Hanlon says, “Doc is one of the photographic industry’s few genuinely colorful and charismatic figures. He has directly engaged and inspired hundreds of thousands of photographers to remain connected to analog film – not just instant film, but all formats. Without his Herculean efforts and enthusiasm, the joy of analog instant photography and the usefulness of millions of classic Polaroid cameras, would have been lost forever.”


  1. Thanks for writing this, and thank you Mr. Kaps! I got into instant photography just a few months before Polaroid discontinued the film. Without Mr. Kaps’ vision and tireless work, the love affair with my SX-70 would have ended long ago. Sad to see him go, but looking forward to the further adventures of Doc.

  2. the gnu says:

    Would be nice if it was really because of spending more time with his family.
    Heard it otherwise

    • We will take it a face value and leave it at that. We appreciate all he did for this movement and wish him all the best.


  1. […] In case you missed a couple of our big posts this week, our very own Francisco Chavira wrote a letter to Florian “Doc” Kaps who, sadly, stepped down from his position at The Impossible […]

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