After a stroll down Beiluogu Xiang or Wudaoying it seems like the norm to stumble into a restaurant or cutesy shop with walls plastered with Polaroid pictures from elated customers. I jumped on board the trend of taking instant photos too but wasn’t sure where to buy film anymore, as most information on the Internet was outdated. After a long hunt for myself, I decided to write this updated and Internet-generation-friendly lowdown on where to stock up on everything that you need to enjoy taking your own Polaroids.
Although the Polaroid Corporation, the company that first patented Polaroid cameras and made them available to the masses, was the pioneer of the medium, Fujifilm cameras have since taken off and are much, much cheaper and more accessible than its predecessor.
If you know what you want, and you don’t need to see it or try it before you buy it, Taobao offers many cameras and types of film at good prices. You can get one of the cute pastel Fujifilm mini8 cameras for RMB 428, or different sets with film and accessories at slightly higher prices. In terms of film, the plain white film costs approximately RMB 70 for a double pack (20 sheets).
In terms of fun film with different prints, just search for ‘fujifilm 相纸‘, and a bunch of different options will appear: Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh, funky patterns, you name it, Fujifim has created it.
To set up an Alipay account to pay for your Taobao goods, check our instructions here. If you want to use Taobao without Alipay, check here. I’ve also on multiple occasions used expattaobao.com, a service that will help you place your order, while you pay via PayPal. Easy!
The selection on JD.com is pretty similar, but I prefer to use JD.com because not only do you not need Alipay and can you pay on arrival, but you can also have it delivered the next day if you order before 11am.
IRL: Wukesong Camera Market (Wukesong)
Wukesong Camera Market is still alive and buzzing, although the location isn’t ideal for many of us. There are a handful of Polaroid shops that sell film and the cameras, mostly selling double packs of black mini film at RMB 70, and themed film at RMB 50.
Daily 10am-4.30pm. 40 Wukesong Lu, Haidian District (8811 9797)
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on November 16,2015