Steven Read Polaroids


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Polaroids or instant film is part of the DNA of fashion photography. They have represented a type of authenticity in an industry that subsists on fantasy. Their purpose is to show things exactly as they are. Originally instant film was used to test lighting set ups before shooting on traditional film but was adopted by model agencies to represent their models as they really are.

With digital technology replacing analog films in virtually every application in photography it has become an affectation to shoot film and specifically polaroid. I love shooting polaroid concurrently to digital because it gives me a physical artefact from a shoot that exists primarily on a screen. It’s almost magical to see the chemical process happen and an image slowly appear. There is a character to the final result. One of my favourite possessions is my polaroid wall because its such a tangible representation of my career. It’s a real and concrete validation that I’m a photographer.

Words by Steven Read

Model – Tilly Smith @ Premier
Photography – Steve Read
Styling – Jay Thapar
Makeup & Hair – Lauren Alice