Mongolian Nomads See a Picture of Themselves for the First Time in Their Lives

We all take seeing ourselves for granted. We're surrounded by it. It happens a disgusting amount. Login screens, buddy icons, Facebook vanity bonanzas—portraits mean nothing. But for these Mongolians, it's an amazing moment. You. Will. Smile. During. This.

As photographers Vanessa Hollander and Wilson Philippe trekked across Mongolia, they whipped out their Polaroid instant camera—a kitschy novelty for us in the west, but astounding for nomads who've never seen their image reproduced. Especially reproduced instantly, in a physical form that they can take with them. This might sound condescending to them, but really, screw us for taking this kind of thing for granted. Photography, whether digital or instant, is completely amazing, and if we weren't so completely trampled down by superfluous technology we'd have the same look of joy on our faces that these people do. [Vimeo via PetaPixel]

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This has inspired me to take my Fujifilm Instax with me next time I go travelling, even thought the problem with Xrays and the film used!