Once the king of pop-shot photography and, for decades, a mainstay of professional photographers who used instant prints to check their studio lighting set-ups, Polaroid Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Minnesota-based company is seeking protection from creditors while it restructures.

As Polaroid CEO Mary L. Jeffries told CNN, “Our operations are strong and during this process Polaroid will ship products to our retail partners, work with our suppliers and contract manufacturers to fulfill retailer demand…”

Polaroid’s fortunes, as the name that became synonymous with instant gratification for the photo-snapping masses back in the 1960s and 70s, waned rapidly as the popularity of digital cameras exploded over the past five years.

Earlier this year, Polaroid announced it would phase out its professional products, sending traditional artistic and commercial photographers into a panic to go digital.

Polaroid has tried — with only limited success thus far — to adapt itself to the digial age, offering a family of digital imaging products including cameras, photo printers, digital photo frames, scrapbooking software and mass storage systems.

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