Great photos start with your film.

Polaroid instant film is filled with chemistry that's sensitive to temperature. If your film is too hot or too cold, it can change how your photo will turn out. Store your film flat in the fridge between 4 – 18°C (41 – 65°F) to keep the chemistry in good condition. When you are ready to use it, remove it from the fridge, and let it sit for at least one hour to adjust to room temperature.

Bundle up.

Load your film before you step out into the cold. This will protect your film from moisture or a sudden drop in temperature. Polaroid film works best between 13 – 28°C (55 – 82°F); anything lower and your photo can emerge with a greenish tint. Tuck your loaded camera into your coat so it can stay insulated with your body heat, or invest in a camera bag for extra insulation.

Find the light.

Winter means more clouds and shorter days, so light can be trickier to find. Natural light and your camera flash are two tools to combat this. When you’re shooting outside, we recommend keeping any natural light behind you and using the flash to highlight your subject. If it’s a very gloomy day, try black and white film with the flash to boost contrast.

You can find natural light inside too. Nestle in close to a window and pull open the blinds. Just don’t forget to keep your camera steady on a tripod or resting on table to skip the camera shake—especially if you’re not using the flash.

Take, tuck, and love.

Polaroid photos need to develop somewhere dark and warm — particularly in winter. Once you’ve taken your photo, let it rest under the film shield for a few seconds. Gently roll back the film shield, and place the photo inside your jacket pocket, or underneath your arm to help the chemistry develop. Follow the development time on the film pack. And no matter what you’ve heard, never shake your photo.

Keep your photos fresh.

For the first 30 days, keep your photos out and away from direct sunlight to let the chemistry dry. After that, you can store them away in a photo album, photo box, or display them in a photo stand ready to flick through next winter.

Make the most of winter.

Photography: Akisome, @mypolaroidstore, Maxime Fardeau, Brian Bruno, Retrospekt