How to Make Money With a Polaroid Instant Camera

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In the late 1900s, before the advent of digital camera technology, Polaroid instant cameras were all the rage. You could take a picture and watch the black film develop into an image right before your eyes. Polaroid discontinued its famous camera in 2008, but you can still use its popularity to make money.

  • Contact your local Small Business Administration Office to find out whether there are any legal requirements to run a photography business in your area. There may not be any, but it's better to check than to owe fines.

  • Buy a Polaroid instant camera and Polaroid instant camera film. Since Polaroid discontinued sales of these items, you're more likely to find them on sites such as Amazon, eBay and Buy than in stores. Ask the buyer whether he's stored the film in a cool, dark place, which is the best way to ensure that the film is usable for as many as two years past its printed expiration date.

  • Check out books on photography at your local library. Learn to take quality pictures with the camera in different lighting and from different angles. Polaroid instant pictures were popular in informal settings, not formal portraits, but you should know how to minimize mistakes to save film.

  • Advertise your photography skills in local publications, emphasizing the fact that you take pictures with a Polaroid instant camera. Offer to take pictures for prom, birthdays and other events where candid photos become keepsakes. To capitalize on the nostalgia of the camera, advertise in places that cater to people who came of age between the 1970s and 1990s, particularly younger people who may never have owned a Polaroid instant camera. These people are the most likely to reply to your ads for the sake of having novelty pictures that appear to be vintage.

  • Charge customers a set amount for each photo, keeping in mind that you must at least recover the cost of the camera, film and legal fees. Photo booths often charge $1 or $2 each for similar pictures, so charging much more than that may discourage business.

  • Post ads to sell the camera and any remaining film if you decide to end your business. Due to the popularity of the Polaroid instant camera, you may be able to sell it for more than you paid for it.

References

  • Photo Credit David Woolley/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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