Polaroid and Magnum Photos Join Forces to Celebrate Imperfection

Two stalwart names in photography, Polaroid and Magnum Photos, have launched a collaborative partnership, “The Next Imperfectionists,” to discover the next generation of photographic storytellers and showcase the creative possibilities of instant photography. As part of the partnership, the first ever between Polaroid and Magnum, renowned Magnum Photographers Jim Goldberg, Newsha Tavakolian, and Enri Canaj used the Polaroid I-2 instant camera as part of new black-and-white photo projects. Polaroid I-2 “Photographing with the Polaroid I-2 is a unique experience. Its slow process requires time to interact with the subject, light, and angle before pressing the button, making it special to me,” says Canaj, who used the Polaroid camera to explore cultural, societal, and economic shifts in his project “Albania Homecoming.” © Enri Canaj © Enri Canaj
© Enri Canaj Tavakolian’s “Mount Damavand Community” project looks at two remote communities living around Iran’s Mount Damavand, the highest peak of the Middle East and West Asia. “While you’d expect sheepherders and nomads, those living around the crown of Iran’s plateau come from all layers of society,” the photographer says. Just two hours from Iran’s capital, Tehran, the region invites people who want to be very close to nature and avoid the hustle and bustle of the major metropolitan area. © Newsha Tavakolian © Newsha Tavakolian © Newsha Tavakolian Goldberg’s “Augusta Community” project looks at the hidden spirit of the American South through its residents. Goldberg, inspired by Michael Disfarmer’s Heber Springs portraits, as well as the White River portraits by photographers Hugo and Gayne Preller, photographed a diverse range of people and became ingrained in small, local communities. © Jim Goldberg
© Jim Goldberg © Jim Goldberg “We are thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership with Polaroid. By combining the unique visions of Magnum photographers with the tangible and meaningful medium of Polaroid photography, we are ready to explore new realms of creativity and spontaneity,” says Marine Merindol, Magnum Photos COO. “This collaboration promises to redefine the boundaries of instant photography, bringing unparalleled authenticity and immediacy to our storytelling, and to more photographers out there.” Through the Magnum Photos and Polaroid partnership, the companies hope to inspire photographers to embrace imperfection and focus on the story. “There’s no such thing as a perfect a life, nor a perfect image,” says Tavakolian. “Beauty isn’t just in pretty moments; it’s in the moments you can’t plan for, in mistakes, in our everyday. It’s everywhere. That’s what I truly believe,” adds Goldberg.
Polaroid believes its instant cameras reflect this spirit of spontaneity. Its I-2 camera, the first instant camera with built-in manual controls, is a compelling tool for talented photographers who are focused more on capturing moments than pure image quality. Polaroid also wants to see what all photographers can do. Until August 12, 2024, photographers can submit their portfolio (digital, analog, or Polaroid) and an idea for an empathy-inspired story to Polaroid. Selected photographers can win a Polaroid I-2 camera, a selection of film, and a mentorship from Magnum photographers. Winners will be announced on August 26. Image credits: Polaroid and Magnum Photos. Featured image, from left to right: Newsha Tavakolian, Jim Goldberg, and Enri Canaj.

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