hey! Big Shot!

A Polaroid ‘Big Shot’ ad in LIFE magazine

Toronto. The term  “Big Shot” meant someone of importance in business or politics. However, when I was young we used it as a derogatory term for someone who was puffed up by his self perceived importance.

In this April 30, 1971 LIFE ad (a two page spread just before page 46), Polaroid named a specialty camera ‘Big Shot‘. The camera was inexpensive (under $20 US) and designed for one thing – portraits (and to sell Polaroid film, of course). Simple to use and easy to get decent prints, the camera had a fixed focus and a rangefinder. Step up to your subject then step back until the two images merge and you are in focus (the Big Shot shuffle)! An always on flash (uses battery-less Magic Cubes) had a large translucent panel to soften the lighting and complement any subject.

Thanks are due to George Dunar for sharing this bit of trivia which he found while investigating photographic history as recorded by magazine advertisements some 50 years ago, before digital photography and smart phones became the norm they are today.

This entry was posted in history and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.