Suggested Reading: Instant Love

I dont know about you, but I love small coffee table books. Last year, I picked up  a book from Amazon titled “Instant Love: How to Make Magic and Memories with Polaroids”.  As with any photography book, the first thing I did when it arrived was flip through to see all the pictures. I was truly amazed at the quantity, the quality and variety of images chosen is for the publication. I honestly think there is something for everyones taste in this little book.

Instant Love is a collaboration of three friends. Jenifer AltmanSusannah Conway and Amanda Gilligan. We had a chance to talk to Susannah and ask her a few questions. But first, a small video put together by these ladies to introduce the book.



What inspired you to put the book together?

It was Jen’s idea originally. She first approached us with an excited email, asking if we’d be interested in collaborating on a book about Polaroids together. We knew our photographic styles were complementary so it really was an immediate yes from both of us. The three of us are completely obsessed with instant photography and we honestly just wanted to share that love with the world in an inspiring — and useful — book.

 How did the three of you meet?

Like a lot of photographers do these days — on Flickr. I honestly can’t remember how I first came across either of their photo streams but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was through something to do with Polaroids 🙂 We all followed each other and gradually the occasional comment on a photo morphed into the occasional email and reading each others blogs, connecting in the way you do in the 21st century.

What direction would you like to see instant film take and what would products would you like to see hit the market?

I don’t imagine there will ever be a public-wide return to shooting with film, but I do love that there’s a thriving community of instant shooters out there. I have high hopes that The Impossible Project will keep making film that continues to get better and better. It would be amazing to see a new SLR instant camera — an SX-70 2.0! Instax cameras don’t fill me with as much excitement, however, but I’m glad the film is so readily available as I plan to buy an Instax for my nephew when he’s old enough.


The layout of the book is such that you dont have to read it start to finish. It is broken down into chapters that cover The Basics, Composition, Light, Storage/Display and my favorite section, Projects. There are also several Inspirational Portfolios and a complete Resource section with numerous websites and photographers to keep your browser happy.

In the Basics section, they cover several film types and the camera models that shoot the various films. Everything form classic 110 models and 250’s to the famous SX-70, Spectra and 600 models that were popular up until Polaroid stopped making film. Even the Fuji Instax gets some love in the book.

The sections on composition and light will help everyone from the seasoned pro to the beginner understand this medium of photography even more. If you have ever wondered what to do with your images after they have been shot, well fret no more, these ladies have you covered with some great ideas.

Now, my favorite section of the book, Projects. This is where I think the book shines. Transfers, emulsion lifts, double exposures, ceramic tiles and time-lapse/ recording video of development. All covered, step by step, ooh baby, (insert NKOTB soundtrack here) with material list and images.

I highly recommend adding this book to your collection if you havent already. You can pick up a copy here. And, the fine people over at Chronicle Books have given us a copy of the book to give away to one of you. Just drop us a line on our Facebook page, give us a shout on Twitter, or simply tell us on here, why you love instant photography. We love hearing from you guys, and someone, Monday morning will get a free copy of Instant Love. 





  1. I’d love to be th lucky one to receive that book 🙂

  2. Tara Stallings says:

    This looks really cool! I love instant photography because of the instant gratification 🙂 The oldest kiddo and I have a pair of Land Cameras that we use, and it’s nice that he enjoys it too- gives us something to do together!

  3. I love my kids seeing something develop before their eyes! It’s like magic to them! In turn seeing this makes me realize the magic over and over again of photography!

  4. This is so inspiring! I love that instant photography is so fun and so easy. There really are no excuses, it takes no time at all to create art, capture a memory, or share a sweet little novelty print!

  5. I love seeing precious memories appear before our eyes, it has more beauty and holds the essence of the capture more than multiple digital photos can.

  6. OOh, sounds like a cool book! Now I just need to get an instant camera!

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