Book Review: Please return Polaroid by Miles Aldridge
By Liz Von Klemperer
Renowned fashion photographer Miles Aldridge’s book Please return Polaroid features reimagined images from his 20 year archive. Aldridge’s images have been featured publications such as Teen Vogue, The New Yorker and Harper’s Bazaar over the past 20 years, and Aldridge has put a new spin on these classic pieces. By altering them both intentionally and accidentally, Aldridge frees these images from their original context. What ensues is a dreamlike, surreal narrative.
“The editing process was pretty gigantic,” Aldridge said in an interview. Aldridge marked, cut, pasted, and collaged pieces together, as well as invited chance encounters and “mistakes” into the process. Sometimes wine, tea, or “whatever I’d be drinking in the studio that day,” would spill on the prints. Aldridge welcomed these unexpected influences. Prints would “get stuck together and peel apart and one image would be transferred to the other,” Aldridge said. Despite the occasional ghostly quality of these images, they are created through the process of play. The viewer is invited not only into a 20-year archive but his process of self-reflection.
Amidst his archive of famous images, Aldridge chose pictures not based on their recognition, but on their strangeness. Please return Polaroid is a mesmerizing, half nightmare, half dream that takes the reader on a wholly original journey.
The book can be purchased from the publisher here.