About a week ago, I got in contact with Daniel Rodrigue, the journalism & photography instructor at Brookhaven College.   He had seen a post about the PolaWalk that I was hosting at the State Fair and after a brief telephone conversation, we decided to meet up.   When we did, he and I instantly clicked.   We’re both like-minded individuals and the passion that we share for instant photography is one in the same.   During our meeting, he asked me if I would mind talking to his students at his Photography 1 class about instant film & The Impossible Project.  After some thought, I quickly agreed and it was decided that I’d meet with them the following Tuesday.

I messaged The Impossible Project and they were ecstatic that I had the opportunity to help spread the word about instant film and would send some promotional material for the students.  I was really excited for the students and also very grateful for the opportunity from Daniel.

I’m not a public speaker.  However, I’ve been inspired to talk a lot about this medium.  It’s moved me in a way that no other facet of photography has.   It’s incredibly unique and the company that provides it, is just as much.

Following my meeting with Daniel and my conversations with TIP, I wrote a three page introduction about the company and its films; history, how to use it, special techniques and finally, closed it with a little bit of motivation to help spread the word.

Tuesday came along and I was fully prepared with everything that was needed.   I had a handful of cameras to show & use, Impossible Project film, an emulsion/lift transfer kit with examples, cork boards filled with many of my favorites Impossible images and finally, the confidence needed to pull this off.   This was my FIRST public speaking event.   I would by lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.   I woke up very early that day and was hyping myself up all morning.   I knew I had the knowledge to give them, but more importantly, I hoped that some of the inspiration I’ve gotten from using instant film would rub off on them.

When I got to Brookhaven, Daniel was all smiles and very excited for his students.   I brought in my box of goodies, gave Daniel a poster from The Impossible Project and started organizing all of the material.  Students eventually started to make their way into class, and I could tell many of them were enthralled with some of the images I brought.   It made me happy and also was a little calming to see the excitement that was brewing.

Ten-thirty rolled around and I began the class.   I started off talking about why I like instant film, how it’s completely different than using digital and the ways it can help improve your skill set.  One of the main reasons I love instant film, is that it forces you to slow down.  When every shot really counts and burning images, like one does with digital isn’t an option, you think about EVERYTHING (light, exposure, composition, the development temperature, etc.)  You inherently become a better shooter because of this.  Doing this day in and day out, with every image you take, increases your awareness of what is needed for a successful image and improves on your ability to take great images.   Slowing down helps you to produce quality images a lot more frequently.

Teaching Brookhaven students about Impossible Project film
Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Teaching Brookhaven students about Impossible Project film
Teaching Brookhaven students about various Polaroid cameras
Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Teaching Brookhaven students about various Polaroid cameras

I had an hour for this portion of the class and I was going to meet back up with the photography club at 3 o’clock to show them how to perform emulsion transfers & lifts.  At this point, I had talked and answered questions for about 20 minutes, shown them various cameras that I use, but I really wanted to get some cameras & film into the hands of these people.  Sometimes seeing & feeling what it’s like to shoot instant film, is what it really takes to push people past the tipping point.   I went over how to shield their images, how to shoot the camera and off they went!  The energy was palpable!

Armed with a handful of Polaroid One Steps, some PX-680 CP and PX600 film, the students ran outside and started snapping away!  Daniel and I raced around, trying to find the groups of budding photographers that were snapping off instant film as if it were going out of style.   Integral film was blazing out of these cameras.  It was a sight to see!  Many of the other students around campus were looking and I’m sure wondering “Why did I not take a photography class? Polaroids?!? ”  Strangers were walking up to Daniel asking him what was going on.  It was greatness!

Enjoy some of the images they took …

 – Students, if you would like credit for the images you took, please email me and describe which one/s are yours and I will add credit (first & last name) to your image – 

Photo: Adriana Salazar
Photo: Adriana Salazar
Photo: Adriana Salazar
Photo: Adriana Salazar

Photo: Adriana Salazar
Photo: Adriana Salazar

Photo: Jennifer Chevallier
Photo: Jennifer Chevallier

Photo: Brian Finch
Photo: Brian Finch

Some of the images I took of the action …

Unfortunately, it was nearing the end of the hour and the students had to get to their next class.  We found most of them and regrouped for a quick photo.

I asked the students if they would mind if I held onto to some of the photos to scan for a blog post.   All of them wanted to keep them (of course) but I assured them that I would bring them back within a couple of days.    We spread out an assortment of photos that were taken and took a quick snapshot ..

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue
Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Happy students!
The bounty of images!
Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – The bounty of images!
Photo: Justin Goode - RAWR! The Brookhaven Bear!!
Photo: Justin Goode – RAWR! The Brookhaven Bear!!

Later on in the afternoon, I taught their photography club how to do emulsion transfers & lifts.   I had made a few examples at my house a few days earlier.

Emulsion Transfer Example
Emulsion Transfer Example
Image Lift Example
Image Lift Example

Once everyone had arrived, we arranged some trays in a sink and I started showing them how to perform a transfer.   For most, if not all of them, this was the first time they had seen anything like this.  I really enjoy seeing people’s expressions, when they see the emulsion become detached from the plastic cover of integral film.   Most jaws are usually dropped once the emulsion starts to separate.  It looks like an octopus underwater!  I wave my arms around, with octopus-like motions, or what I think an octopus-like motion looks like ;-), when I describe the process.

Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer
Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer
Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer
Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer
Photo: Daniel Rodrigue - Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer
Photo: Daniel Rodrigue – Teaching students how to do an emulsion transfer
Photo: Justin Goode - A student peels apart the negative from integral film
Photo: Justin Goode – A student peels apart the negative from integral film
Photo: Justin Goode - A student separates emulsion from integral film
Photo: Justin Goode – A student separates emulsion from integral film
Photo: Justin Goode - Moving the "goop" from hot to cold water
Photo: Justin Goode – Moving the “goop” from hot to cold water
Photo: Justin Goode - A successful first transfer!
Photo: Justin Goode – A successful first transfer!
Photo: Justin Goode - A handful of emulsion transfers
Photo: Justin Goode – A handful of emulsion transfers drying

After I had finished teaching the photography club, one of the students, Scott Mitchell, asked me if he could take my portrait for an article he was writing.  He was going to pitch it to the school’s newspaper later on in the week.   He wanted an image of me, with an assortment of Polaroids taken in their studio.   I dragged the box of cameras in, arranged them on a prop table and he snapped this pic …

Photo: Scott Patrick Mitchell
Photo: Scott Patrick Mitchell

I had the most amazing time teaching these students.   I wouldn’t have done this, if it hadn’t have been for my enormous love for instant photography.  I want to infect people, like a virus, with the passion that I have for instant film.

A giant TEXAS-SIZED shout out to Impossible for providing such an incredible product.  I can’t express enough, how incredibly happy each of them were during this whole process.   Your film just makes people smile and brings joy into this world.  Instant photography is so special.  I haven’t met ONE person that doesn’t appreciate its value.   THANK YOU for enabling me to give the gift of your product to these students.  I have no doubt that I have impacted and inspired them.  I am forever grateful …

Sincerely,

Justin Goode

www.goodephotography.biz

– If you’d like to buy film for your Polaroid camera from The Impossible Project, CLICK HERE – 

31 Comments

  1. Gail Wallace

    Sounds like a life changing experience for you and those students… so proud of you and the incredible impact that you are having on so many people…

  2. Meredith

    Oh my god Justin. This actually made me cry. With complete admiration at your enthusiasm and energy and eloquence. All to get the message about instant film across to a new generation. The results and their faces say it all. This is what photography is all about and this is why I shoot instant. You’re amazing dude.

  3. Justin Goode Author

    Thank you Mom. I’m incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to share my experience with them. If I’ve turned one person on to instant photography and have helped them become a passionate follower, I’ve succeeded.

  4. Justin Goode Author

    Meredith – I would by lying if I told you I haven’t shed a couple of happy tears from this experience myself. It was truly a life changing thing for me. I can’t thank Impossible enough for giving me the tools to help impact these students in such a positive way. 🙂

  5. Lisa Duran

    Astounding, Justin! Hard to believe it was your first time teaching; please don’t let it be your last. You obviously captivated those students which will lead to their continued enthusiasm for instant film. Well done, sir.

    And their pictures…SO good.

  6. I was so sure I left a comment on this earlier. Like Meredith, this post actually brought tears to my eyes. Those photos are incredible, and I love hearing about all that inspiration.

  7. Justin Goode Author

    Lisa – I agree. The images captured by the students are very good. Daniel, the instructor at Brookhaven, is going to have a gallery showing at the school of Impossible images taken at this class and other images they take over the semester. There will be a contest and the selected images will be shown towards the end of the semester.

    I certainly hope it’s not the last time I have this opportunity. It was definitely an incredible experience. Thank you for taking the time and for your kind remarks. I appreciate them both.

  8. Justin Goode Author

    Deirdre – Thank you for taking the time and I’m really glad you enjoyed it too. I hope I’ve inspired more people to talk about this medium and teach it to others. It’s too special not to.

  9. So awesome to see this post… because I was there and part of it! I loved seeing some of my photos up here, and it makes me smile to see that other commenters are saying that they’re great. Thanks so much Justin! You have succeeded- my love for instant photography has been awakened, and will not die : )

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