“Oh my god, is that a Polaroid?!”
I must’ve heard that a hundred times while covering various Pirates games at PNC Park on Sundays during this baseball season.
It was, in fact, a Polaroid.
With real Polaroid film (recently re-acquired from Impossible) and its original flash attachment that still fired successfully all 10 times I used it.
To be specific, it was a Polaroid SX-70 Model 1, made from 1977 and into the 1980s. The model lasted longer than the uniforms the Pirates wore in the late 1970s, the same uniforms they wore when winning Game 7 of the 1979 World Series, the same uniforms they’ve been wearing for Sunday home games the past few seasons.
Photographing these games this way felt different (obviously). Instead of carrying around a ton of heavy gear and long lenses, I was free to frame my shots. (The shots weren’t free; each photo costs around $3.) I had to get close.
Thankfully, players were incredibly receptive to the idea. David Freese stopped and asked about my assignment. Starling Marte, a guy who has undoubtedly been photographed a million times by hundreds of photographers, wanted to make sure he could get a copy of the Polaroid. Even the new guy, Chris Archer, asked for portraits with his teammates.
I had an absolute blast making these pictures. I hope you have as much fun looking at them as I had taking them.