I am not a wedding photographer nor a professional photographer. I am an amateur with no professional aspirations. I wanted to share an idea with people who might be interested in offering something special to their customers.
Over the past few years I've begun shooting instant pack film on a Polaroid 360 camera. I bring it to parties and take snapshots, etc. Fuji FP-3000B is a B&W ISO 3000 speed film with a 15 second development time. In natural light, low light, and especially with an on camera flash, I've found it to be extremely complementary to people's complexion, features, etc. The pictures definitely look vintage. The very quick development time means that after the shot you can throw a few one-liners and then flash the developed photo to the subject in no time.
It has been such a huge hit! People who rolled their eyes a year ago when I whipped out my digicam are literally begging me to take their pictures. Folks I don't even know are seeking me out from across the room. I've been to a few weddings recently and while everyone is clicking away with a pocket digi-cam, people want a Polaroid.
I find that I don't get enough pictures to take home because everyone wants to keep theirs. I've also found these pictures posted right up on the fridge during chance visits to the houses of remote acquaintances. After I scan and digitize my keepers, I send them to the wedding couples and I've received a warm response.
The fixed costs in bringing this idea to fruition are a competent photographer and a cheap-o camera from the 40's - 60's. The film isn't 'cheap' but it isn't ridiculous. The material costs for snapping 100+ shots would be less than $100. By definition there is no post-processing and no work after the event.
Would the right people pay for this as an add-on to a traditional event photography package? Considering what people pay for cheesy made-in-china favors at weddings, it seems like this kind of take-home gift could be a bargain. For less than $1000 (made-up customer price) they could have their very own 1960's candid cameraman working the room, handing out prints as well as delivering a classy B&W photo-set to the wedding couple as they leave the affair.
This concept is outside the box of traditional wedding photography, no doubt.
1) In our commodified corporated culture, people are so jaded. Everything seems the same. So, when you unexpected start taking pictures with this camera, you get attention.
The print quality is unique because it is a silver contact print. It has a quality that people notice, especially in an age of everything being super-saturated on Fuji Crystal Archive. It is extremely stable and will not degrade.
The point is not to make scans, enlargements, or extra prints. I only give away pictures if people ask me for them. Sometimes I'll take two shots. I let people know I am giving all the prints to the bride & groom. Some they get, some they don't. Each print is singular and unique.
Older folks smile because they remember this type of camera from when they were young. They fondly remember older relatives taking snapshots with it. This goes a long way at family functions. Young people are so numb to the digital revolution they think this process is extremely retro and therefore awesome.
Availability of supplies is a mail order away. The film I recommend, Fuji FB-3000B is not made by Polaroid. There are alternatives and thus a future for instant film.
I prefer the Polaroid 360 camera because it has a detachable electronic flash and built-in exposure control. Manual focus, shutter cocking, film fiddling, and dealing with pack film waste issues are enough controls for me to handle during a party.
Ideally, an assistant photographer would handle this during the reception period. I can't see the primary photographer spending time on this...there is a real wedding album to capture. What would you need to charge to make $100 in consumables and utilization of assistant downtime profitable?