Polaroid pictures might be a phenomenon of the past, but one New York City photographer is using them to document all of his celebrity encounters.
Rick DeMint, who has a day-job in finance, started the project in October, 2003. Because he's a comedy fan, he first tracked down and photographed Michael Ian Black.
In the first year he shot dozens of portraits, and by 2004, he started the website Portroids to give the photos a home.
"Polaroid gave that instant and tangible memento of the experience, and it also gave me the opportunity to have it autographed on the spot," says DeMint.
He tries to get everybody to sign the photograph, although sometimes they don't have time or refuse.
"It started as a fun way to chronicle my life," he said. "As it became more and more known it has given me professional photographer credentials."
He has a hard time picking his favorite, since he estimates he has taken about 2,000.
"Mostly my favorites are based on the interaction surrounding my taking the photo," he said.
"In the past year I've gotten to meet some comedy legends: Gene Wilder, Joan Rivers, Tim Conway, Bill Cosby, Carol Burnett and those interactions add a special memory for me to those photos."
"I also love a picture I took five years ago of Kerri Kenney giving me the middle finger. It never fails to make me smile."
His collection would make any comedy nerd jealous.
So how does he find all these famous people, and get them to sign their picture??
Some of the interactions are random, and others are pre-arranged.
"I've shot photos on the street, at events, red carpets, stage doors, press rooms, before/after interviews I've done with them, backstage, and at planned photoshoots," said DeMint.
Sarah Jessica Parker
He's also shot portroids of his wife, friends, and New York City comedians, including many performers from the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater.
A gallery in New York City is featuring 160 of DeMint's polaroids in an exhibit running from Jan. 16 — March 27. So if you like them, you can go check them out in real life!
The exhibit backed by Impossible, who manufacture and sell new analog instant film for vintage polaroid cameras.