Polaroid Land Camera

Before One hour developing and before digital cameras, if an illustrator needed photo reference immediately a Polaroid camera was used. Many illustrators ,as did I, used the Polaroid Land Camera. I have attached Polaroid reference photos of my family and friends. Many are humorous,especially photos of me.

Clockwise from upper left: Bill Vann,Ted Wright,Curt Simpson and Al Schmiz

Top Carolyn Dyess,lower left Christy Dyess Jones,lower right Mike Dyess

The Polaroid Land Camera had a tab attached to pull the picture out of the camera and a serrated edge on top.In order to preserve the photo an applicator  was supplied in the photo pack . This applicator contained a plastic substance which was rubbed on the photo. If the photo was not covered completely the photo changed color and faded from view.

From the left Rod Williams,My father Zeke Dyess and my daughter Christy Dyess Jones

Rod was a student at Washington University School of Art. We had an assignment to illustrate a story. I also took a photo of my father for this story with my Kodak 35mm camera.It probably took several days to get the prints back from the drug store. The right photo was taken years later of my daughter Christy and was for a commercial assignment. The photo of my father is well preserved and the Polaroids are faded.

John Dyess

Sometimes I was the only model available. Whenever I get too self confident I look at these photos and laugh at myself. I didn’t have a construction hard hat as a costume prop so I used a toy hat to simulate the hard hat. Some photos are priceless.

  1. Glenn Myers says:

    Is that Bill V. top left in the first set?

  2. johndyess says:

    Glenn, Yes that is Bill V when we worked together in the Sixties at Bob Ruether and Associates.

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