Category Archives: Polaroid

My Possibly Impossible Birthday

Have you ever had a birthday that just did not go the way you wanted it to? My birthday was on a Wednesday this year, and weekday birthdays are difficult to make feel special (in my experience.) Yes, there’s usually a weekend birthday-related event, when people aren’t at work, but the birthday itself can be a let-down.

This year, I decided to take matters into my own hands. My sister was at work. My best friend was at work. So my mom decided to help make my birthday better. She wanted to know where she could take me so I’d feel like I was getting to do something that would make me “birthday happy” (that’s what I call it, anyway.) It might not seem like something that a person might choose as a birthday outing, but I told my mother that I’d like to go to Otherlands, a coffee shop in Midtown Memphis. I used to enjoy spending time there when I lived in that area of Memphis, and I knew that something about it would make me happy. I was right. The strong smell of coffee is probably overwhelming when you open the door of any coffee shop, but in my mind, the smell of Otherlands is unique and brings back memories from a very specific time in my life. I was able to sit, sip my coffee, download scans of my photos from England (!!!) and enjoy the Johnny Cash tunes that were playing over the speaker system in the coffee shop.

So why am I writing about this on my blog, where I share anything from wedding photos I’ve been hired to take, to random film camera reviews? The answer is: the second part of my “what would make you birthday happy” answer was “I want to take at least some photos today.” I had a pack of black and white 600 Impossible Project film, I loaded it in my Polaroid SLR 680, and I brought it along with me to Memphis that afternoon. I have a bad tendency to immediately reshoot a photo that I don’t think “turned out right” – which, when you’re using a pack of film with only 8 exposures in it can eat film up FAST! I’m no perfectionist, but if a photo doesn’t turn out the way I envisioned it, I feel compelled to try it again. So one of the things I was determined about was that I would not reshoot any photo that day. I’d just accept each photo as either a success or a fail. Either it worked or it didn’t. And here are the ones I decided were keepers.

“Cheer me up birthday coffee” and my handbag that I bought in England
Technically, this should have gone in the “Impossi-fail” pile. It’s a photo of my old apartment, which is close to Otherlands. We were driving around the neighborhood for old times’ sake, in case there was anything I wanted to photograph before we left the area. Mom told me that I should get out and take a photo. I didn’t think it’d be a big deal. I moved out of that place 3 years ago. But I actually got weirded out and ran out of the driveway as soon as I took the photo! So the fact that this looks kind of ghostly is appropriate, because standing in the driveway taking this photo felt like I’d seen a ghost! And yet, I’m somehow glad I did it

And this is where I fell in love with my Polaroid
This is at Easy Way, an iconic produce market chain in Memphis. I love it there. It’s like going into some country store on a dirt road in Arkansas to get your fruits and vegetables. And by “some dirt road,” I probably actually mean “My Papaw’s house.” He had a little farm in Crawfordsville, Arkansas, and the first time I went to Easy Way, it reminded me of going on his back porch and getting potatoes and other produce he’d grown there. This photo is of my mom picking out “the perfect golden delicious apple.” It just looked so good with her tattoo facing me that I made her pause so I could take the photo. Everything was perfect. And the exposure and focus were so perfect (for once!) that I fell in love with my Polaroid 680 the moment the photo developed.
Birthday me – arm length self portrait of the birthday girl
Birthday dinner. No beer. Just a menu and my mother.

So ends my “Possibly Impossible Birthday.” Except that I had another Impossible Project birthday outing later in the week that will be coming to your computer screens very soon.

Polaroid SLR 680 SE Impossible Project B&W 600 film, black frame July 30, 2014

{Instant Wedding} Kat and Thomas

Pretty soon, I will be posting a mega epic post of photos from Kat and Thomas’s wedding weekend. But first, here are some of the Polaroid/Impossible Project photos I took of all the partying that went on!

First, there was the rehearsal dinner Saturday night at Cafe Keough, located in downtown Memphis

The groom and bride to be!

Kat had super fun sparkly gold shoes

Kat’s brother Kip and his wife Tina

Two of Thomas and Kat’s nieces (from Thomas’s side of the fam.) The kids were fascinated with the Polaroids!

Bride and father of the bride

Thomas and Kat

The next morning, the wedding itself was at Kat and Thomas’s church, St. John’s Episcopal. The ceremony took place during the Sunday morning service. After the service, there was a champagne reception in the church fellowship hall.

A couple of the nieces and a couple of the nephews before the service

Thomas and his dad Tommy at the champagne reception

Friends at the champagne reception

The second reception was at Felicia Suzanne’s downtown – it was a parrrrrtttyyyy!

Well-stocked bar at Felicia Suzanne’s

Thomas’s cousin Large and grandmother Dodie

Wedding cake and desserts table

More friends

Kat and Thomas’s first dance!

Thomas’s dad and sisters Betsy and Ginny

Kat’s brother Preston and his wife Elizabeth

 Large and Dodie

Preston and his dad

Tina and Kip

Some of Kat’s best girlfriends

Thomas’s brother-in-law and nephew Oscar

Thomas’s brother-in-law and niece dancing

Thomas’s niece Blaise, brother-in-law Berkeley , and sister Ginny

Tina and her sister Virginia

I’m really glad I took along an instant camera to Kat and Thomas’s wedding festivities. The photos went down a storm*! I really CANNOT wait to share the non-instant photos and more details with everyone!

All photos taken on Impossible Project 600 films with a Polaroid Sun 660 camera


*That’s a Britishism 

{Instant} Family Photography: The Jobe-Shields Family, Christmas 2013

Well this was a treat!

I’ll share more from my baby session/family portrait session with the Jobe-Shields family soon, but here are some of the instant photos I took during my time with that family this week. What’s cool was, Lisa specifically requested Polaroids after seeing the ones I did during my session with the Jacksons last month. I’ve been loving the fact that I’ve had the opportunity to photograph people with an appreciation for instant film photography! For these, I was able to bring along my Polaroid SLR 680 SE and some of Impossible Project’s newest black and white and color films – actually, the color film is their special “silver frame” edition. I thought it appropriate for Christmas-y photos!

Ezra told me that this was the face he was going to make in all our pictures that day. It wasn’t 🙂

Mommy (Lisa) and new baby Lionel

Ezra, Mommy and Daddy’s #1 boy and big brother to Lionel

Mommy, Daddy (Rob), and Lionel

Lisa’s mom and Lionel

Sweet sleeping Lionel and his bunny

Polaroid SLR 680 SE • Impossible Project B&W 600/Color 600 Silver Frame

{Instant} Family Photography: The Jackson Family, Fall 2013

This is just a peek into the session I did this month with the Jacksons. I brought along my Polaroid 250, to shoot alongside my digital camera. It’s got weird light leaks and can take patience to get the shots just right, but here are the best few instant photos from our session!

The beautiful couple: Mike and Meagan

Daddy and Ezra

Polaroid 250 • Fuji FP-100c

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