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a polaroid speaks a thousand words

There is something special and nostalgic about the permanence of a good old polaroid camera when we're living through a time when about 60 million photos in the world are taken each day, as Belgium based photographer Elisabeth Ouni knows. She takes polaroids of the underground greats of Hip Hop for her blog, appropriately titled A Polaroid Story. “APS is a journey through the music. It is the story of a music fan for music fans.”

Photography and text Elisabeth Ouni

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A Polaroid Story


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    This story is for me the proof that hard work, being real and skipping the shortcuts are the right decisions to make. This was the second time I met Kendrick. The first time I had five minutes with him, just enough time to take a picture and get out. His label was impressed with what I did then, and I got an exclusive one-on-one interview during his next visit to Belgium, this was way before all the national press had picked up on him.


  • MISSION /\/\/\Y/\ - M.I.A.

    I had to be really patient to snap M.I.A. on Polaroid. I ended up hanging out with her entourage via a good friend of mine who'd introduced me to her dancer, Cisko. For hours I waited with him, Whiteboy (another MIA dancer), Asma (from Nguzu Nguzu) and Jaime Martinez, her Mexican photographer, who made the gifs of M.I.A for her last album. Her crew was super cool to hang with, though. It was about three in the morning when she finally came out to do the shots and she took it really seriously. I could have snapped ten rolls of film if only I'd had enough with me. She is so much fun for a photographer to work with.


  • THERE HE GO - Schoolboy Q

    This story means a lot to me, because this is the direction I want to take APS in the future. Doing APS over the years opened more doors for me, this is another result of my work and relationship with Kendrick Lamar and his label, TDE, who made it possible to tell my story in the best way possible. I love the documentary style of stortytelling when it's combined with video interviews.


  • DO RE MI FA SOL LA SI DEV - Devonte Hynes

    I met Dev via Theophilus London in Paris a while back and we have been following each other via social media since. He was with Solange during her European tour when she was promoting her album and he was nice enough to make some time for me to photograph him. When we met again, he told me something like “I can’t believe I’m finally going to be on your blog.” That meant a lot for me, because he totally gets what I’m trying to do with A Polaroid Story and he just a genuine, nice guy.


  • (all for) NOTHING - Pharrell Williams

    APS started with Pharrell. At that time I was a huge N.E.R.D fan and I thought that it might be totally awesome to have a Polaroid of Pharrell. People told me it would never work and I don’t like people telling me I can’t succeed at anything. Pharrell was the first ever Polaroid I shot for APS, and after talking to Pharrell about executing your ideas I was inspired to take APS from an idea to an actual concept. I wasn’t happy with my first Pharrell Polaroid, so I had to try tree times. This Polaroid was taken in Amsterdam andis one of my most iconic images from Pharrell I have. I have one huge XXL blow-up of this image and it’s awesome as fuck.

    Pharrell Williams