After you've printed a polaroid photo, let it sit flat to dry for a month. It may seem like a long time but giving the chemicals time to settle and finish their reactions will prevent damage to the image. You can still look at the photo during this time—it just needs to sit flat.
We recommend allowing at least 1 hour to allow your film to return to ambient temperature before shooting.
Keep Polaroids out of direct sunlight, moisture (high humidity), and temperature fluctuations. When you're handling Polaroids, hold them by their corners with clean hands. Oil and dirt from your hands can damage or smudge the photos. Let images dry for several weeks before storing them.
Don't put Polaroid film under direct sunlight and it will last for decades. In some earlier batches, the film would erode from moisture and heat. The life of Polaroid film is much longer now thanks to technological advances. But we still recommend keeping developed film cool and dry just to be safe.
How to avoid:
- Ensure your film is not expired.
- Shoot your film at room temperature: 13-28°C (55-82°F)
- Use a film shield. The film shield will protect your photo from light during the first few moments after exposure. Film shields are available in our online shop, here.
Not properly shielding your photo after ejection from the camera. The camera's lighten/darken slider being positioned too far towards lighten/white. Shooting in low temperature conditions. The subject being too close while shooting with flash.
Don't Shake Your Polaroid Pictures
The structure of a Polaroid is a series of chemicals and dyes sandwiched between layers; if you shake your print, there is the off chance you might create unwanted bubbles or marks between some of the layers, causing flaws in the final image.
Do not freeze your film packs! This will damage the chemistry and prevent your film from working properly. Be aware, also, that frequent variations in temperature could cause moisture-related damage. When getting ready to shoot, we recommend allowing film at least 1 hour to return to ambient temperature.
In the heat, IP pictures will develop with an orangeish hue, and generally develop a bit faster in my experience, and develop with a blueish hue in the cold.
Every pack of Polaroid film is stamped with a production date; the date your film was born. This is located on the side of the film box. For best results when shooting, we recommend using your film within 12 months of this production date.
Ultimately, making sure that photos are kept safely in an ideal environment is one of the best ways to prolong their life. Polaroid photos can last decades when they're stored in a dry, cool, and dark environment like an acid-free photo box or album.
Dark, Dry, and Cool Storage
Store them in a safe place that's dark, dry, and cool. Avoid exposure to UV light or extreme heat—those two elements alone will rapidly destroy any film or photo. Keep your photos safe in the darker areas of your house or in containers that protect them from the sun.
After the first few moments have passed, your photo can be removed from under the film shield. The photo is still sensitive to light, however, and should still be kept shielded from strong light sources until it has developed further. For example, you could keep your photo: Face down on a table.
If your subject is standing in a big room with a lot of empty space behind them, the background will be entirely dark in your photo. Adjust the exposure switch/dial on your camera more towards white for brighter results.
You can't. Once the pack is inserted, it spits out the light guard that keeps the rest of the film from being exposed, so once you open the back of the camera to swap a pack, the rest of the pack that's loaded is toast. This is the nature of a film camera, and there's no way to put the lid/tongue back on the pack.
Do all instant camera prints fade? This is something which we can clear up straight away: Polaroid Originals prints and instax prints will not fade any faster than any other kind of photograph if they are stored properly. However, storing these prints properly requires slightly more care than regular photographs.
Issue: Yellow or Purple cast on Polaroid films. Polaroid film has traditionally been a victim of color temperature. From the most early days to The Impossible Project to Polaroid Originals, most pictures I've seen have been on the reddish side (low color temperature) rather than the bluish side (high color temperate).
If you know you won't be using all your film straight away, it's safe to store it in your fridge — as long is the temp is below 10 degrees Celsius. When you take the film out after storing in the fridge, wait at least 12 hours so it can reach room temperature. Opening it while it's still cold can damage the film.
Below 13°C (55°F), photos tend to emerge over-exposed, lacking color contrast and with a green tint. When shooting at lower temperatures, let your images develop in the inside pocket of your jacket or somewhere else close to your body.
Store Processed Polaroids Upright
“Finished photos should also be protected, ideally in an album or box stored in a dark, dry place that isn't exposed to extreme heat or harmful gases,” said Broster. And don't just throw the rare photos in a box if you want to cherish them for years to come.
Avoid taking Instax pics in the mirror
Your snaps will turn out dark when you shoot in the mirror. So before you use your Fujifilm Instax Mini 8, remember to avoid taking pics directly in the mirror, window, TV, or any surface that reflects light.
Note: if you do cover the flash outdoors, do not cover the exposure sensor (the two holes beside the flash). If you do, the camera won't be able to read the light conditions properly or suggest the correct brightness setting.
When either the electronic eye (which sees the picture and decides which exposure to use) or the shutter mechanism (which needs to accurately open and close, letting just the right amount of light into the camera) are not functioning properly, the resulting image will be incorrectly exposed.