If you're worried about suffering from post-festival depression after the madness that is going to be Oaktopia, fret not. More fun events are on the way. PolaCon, the brand new convention that focuses on instant film photography, will be in downtown Denton on October 1st and 2nd. The event is put on by the Instant Film Society, Denton Camera Exchange, and FilmPhotographic (Jason Lee's co-curated film photography group). Read on to find out more about this festival and how you can take part.
PolaCon is a free event that wants nothing more than to share the love of all things instant film. Instant film is a photographic medium made popular by Polaroid in which images develop on the film directly after shooting without the need for a darkroom.
So whether or not you have an old Polaroid (or new Fuji) instant camera laying around, you'll want to stop by even if it is just to bask in the enthusiasm these folks have for this medium. Although, for folks with even the slightest bit of a ventured interest in photography history, this event is a must.
We talked to organizers Daniel Rodrigue and Armand Kohandani about the event and we're already pumped. Photographers from well beyond the boundaries of Texas plan on coming down to Denton for the weekend and we don't blame them. The planned programming is pretty enticing even for those without an interest in instant film.
Attendees can expect exhibits such as special guest speakers, panel discussions, camera swap meets, demonstrations, workshops, instant photo booths, walks and much more. You can check out the full list of programming here.
PolaCon officially kicks off at 4 p.m. in Deep Ellum on Friday, September 30th with a meet-up followed by the 5th annual PolaWalk at The State Fair of Texas. However, the majority of the event will take place in Denton over the course of Saturday and Sunday (October 1st and 2nd) at both the Evers Building (where the Norman Roscoe pop-up shop is) and the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center. Saturday will see all sorts of different events and interactive experience and the weekend concludes on Sunday at the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center with the release of Jason Lee's photobook from Refueled Magazine and some additional talks. You can find out more on the book with our recent interview with Chris Brown, the owner/editor of Refueled Magazine (no, not that Chris Brown).
The Instant Film Society is one of the main organizers of the event. IFS was founded locally in 2012 to increase awareness, accessibility, and understanding of instant film photography which was at one point believed to be on the way out, but has seen a large resurgence in recent years thanks to companies such as Fuji, New55, and Impossible Project.
Saturday and Sunday of PolaCon are free to attend, however, some workshops, how-to demos, and guest speakers will have limited seating and be restricted to RSVP's guests due to venue limitations. Attendees are encouraged to register through Eventbrite to make sure that they have a spot for special events such as workshops and demonstrations.
So dust off your SX-70, head over to Denton Camera Exchange to buy some film for it and hang out geek out with us about instant film next weekend in Denton. Your scanner is gonna get some heavy-duty work afterwards. We're hopeful that this event will be a big stepping stone to Denton having a museum of photography one day.
PolaCon's Denton days are October 1st and 2nd. Events are scheduled from 10am - 6pm for both days. Saturday, however, will also feature a PolaWalk that begins at 8am at West Oak Coffee (we hear there will be discounted coffee for attendees, too). The various events will take place on or near the Denton square including the Evers Building and the Patterson-Appleton Arts Center. For more information, follow the Instant Film Society's FB event page.