PolaCon 2018 / #PolaCon3

9/28 - 9/30


PolaCon – the world’s first 3-day instant film photography convention – is back for year three! And nearly every event planned is still free to attend with an RSVP. We’ve been looking forward to this year’s PolaCon since last year’s closing events!

What’s PolaCon like? Read this excellent, comprehensive recap of last year’s PolaCon: http://prymeeditions.com/blog/polacon-2017-recap

And here’s a fantastic, thorough recap of the first PolaCon: http://www.thedentonite.com/blog/polacon-one-denton-texas

This year's event in Dallas (Friday) and Denton (Saturday and Sunday) will feature more than 20 workshops/sessions with guest speakers and photographers, an annual panel discussion dubbed "The State of the Emulsion Address,” a Zines & Things “swap meet” area, an instant film exhibition, pop-up galleries, 8x10 demos and photobooth, as well as film- and camera-specific walks and meet-ups – in addition to more than five unique PolaWalks in distinctive, picturesque areas.

As in year’s past, the finalized schedule will be posted a week before the convention and a limited number of printed programs will be available. Attendees should check the FB event page or Instant Film Society’s Instagram account and our website on the mornings of DAY I, II and III for any “official” last-minute additions, deletions or cancellations.

All of PolaCon is free to attend. However, some venues have limited “seats” or standing room, so most events will only be open to RSVP’d guests. Attendees should register through the Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/polacon-2018-tickets-49162316813

WHERE TO STAY IN DENTON? Denton is located 40 miles north of Dallas, 25 miles north of Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) airport and 36 miles north of Dallas Love Field (DAL) airport.

Denton has a number of great affordable lodging options – located within a 2-mile radius from the historic downtown "Square."

Trust us, you’ll want to stay as close as possible to the Square. The area surrounding the Courthouse on the Square is packed with affordable restaurants, coffee houses, two fantastic record stores, bars (from dive bars to drafthouses to upscale cocktail bars), clubs, boutique stores and antique shops, one of the best used book stores in the U.S. (Recycled Books, Records, & CDs) is housed in an old opera house, several live music venues, Midway Mart, colorful murals that make for fantastic backdrops, J&J’s Pizza (open ‘til midnight) and the charmingly picturesque Beth Marie's Old Fashioned Ice Cream & Soda Fountain. (And Tortilleria La Sabrocita and Dix Coney Island will both be open 24 hours on Friday and Saturday.)

PolaCon isn’t some fancy pants book-a-room-for-you convention it’s more of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” kind of event. So, whether you want to crash on a couch at a friend’s place or on a king-size at one of the many family-friendly hotels, Denton has everything from less-than family-friendly Interstate-side “cheap motels” to pet-friendly inns and suites to RV parks to charming, picturesque bed-and-breakfasts. If you really want a “Texas experience,” according to Discover Denton, there’s even a scenic ranch with grazing buffalo! (The ranch is gorgeous at sunrise/sunset.)

Click here to check out all the accommodations: http://www.discoverdenton.com/where-to-stay/

Also, Airbnb shows a dozen listings within a 3-mile radius of The Square.

More info on The Square: http://www.discoverdenton.com/what-to-do/shopping/downtown-square/


DALLAS—Friday, Sept. 28

*12 p.m. to 2 p.m. – an “Instant Film 101 Workshop” covering all the films currently commercially available, hosted at Don's Used Photo Equipment. Open to the public; No RSVP required. A great spot for attendees to stock up before the State Fair. Don’s stocks several cool vintage Polaroid cameras, and plenty of instant film from Polaroid Originals and Instax to FP-100C. (Don’s is open until 6 p.m. on Friday for all your film needs.)

2 to 3:30 p.m. Deep Ellum PolaWalk [Check back for meet-up location.]

*3:30 p.m. Deep Ellum meet-up & walk to Fair Park. Meet at 4 p.m. at Cold Beer Company at 3600 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226. Then at about 4:15/30 p.m. we’ll close our tabs and start walking to Fair Park for the big meet-up at Big Tex at 6:30 p.m. (This saves you $15-20 for parking near the fairgrounds.) Open to the public; No RSVP required. NOTE: On Friday, because it’s opening day, fairgoers who bring a full 20 oz. bottle of Dasani water (or any 20 oz. Coca-Cola product) for donation to the North Texas Food Bank can get in for only $9 on Opening Day.

*6:30 p.m. The 7th Annual Rain-or-Shine #PolaWalk at The State Fair of Texas – The 7th Annual Rain-or-Shine #PolaWalk and Scavenger Hunt at The State Fair of Texas will officially start at Big Tex at 6:30 p.m. with a big group portrait. No RSVP required – just a ticket to the fair! The list for the State Fair Scavenger Hunt will be posted just before 6:30 p.m. (Expect delays entering the fairgrounds and aim to arrive at the fair by 6:15 p.m. so there’s a few minutes to hang out, meet new folks, etc.) We’ll start walking after the group photo.

NOTE: Meet *BEHIND* Big Tex! Look for the large rainbow umbrella. (You should see the heels of Tex's boots. NOT the side facing the toes of his boots.)

The map of the fair:

*10 p.m. ‘til ??? For the night owls: Meet-up at Braindead Brewing in Deep Ellum for a “Neon-at-Night #PolaCrawl”— Open to the public; No RSVP required.


DENTON—Saturday, Sept. 29
*8 a.m. – For the early risers: Coffee, Bluegrass and “Instant Film 101” Brief Workshop followed by a PolaWalk [discussing pro-tips and the basics]. Open to the public and instant film photographers from beginners to advanced shooters; No RSVP required.

The remaining PolaCon events require an RSVP via the PolaCon2018 Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/polacon-2018-tickets-49162316813

11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — at the historic Evers Hardware Building (behind the Norman Roscoe Pop-Up) at 109 W. Hickory St. including several instant photobooths, as well as a IFS’ ‘Instant Film Museum.’

*Hands-on “Pack Film 101 Workshop and PolaWalk on the historic town square.

*Photo Journaling: Photo Notebooks for Travel & Everyday

*Impossible I-1 & Polaroid OneStep 2 best practices talk

*Instax best practices panel discussion

* “How-to-Dance the Warhol Big Shot Shuffle” Polaroid Big Shot Pack-Film Session (with Photobooth)

*Wet Plate Photography: The First ‘Instant’ Film”

*Mobile Tintype Studio

* Scanning, Printing (and Enlarging) Polaroids for Prints, Books, Zines, Buttons, Magnets, Etc. Panel Discussion

*The annual “State Of The Emulsion Address” – Live recording of the Film Photo Geeks podcast [5-6 p.m.]

*Show & Tell Session (Bring your rarest cameras, and be prepared to talk pros/cons and best practices)

* An “8×10 Impossible Photo Booth”

*Hands-on demo instant film in a 4x5 camera

*A hands-on workshop/polawalk hybrid on “Using Natural Light”

* “Twilight & Neon at Night” #PolaCrawl focusing on sunset/dusk & neon

1 p.m. to 4 p.m. "Zines & Things Swap Meet" creative types can sign up to sell or trade their instant-film-related personal works such as photobooks, zines, original ‘Polaroid’ images, "small" prints (no larger than 11x14-ish), pins and any other instant-film-related art. (Yes, yes, expired/rare film packs are OK, too. But NO cameras, please.) Watch for the sign-up form link, which will be posted as soon as possible.

*8 p.m. until ? ? ?: Concerts and other cool after-hours events. In addition to many cool concerts at various venues in Denton, IFS will host an acoustic set of some of Denton’s finest singer-songwriters at Evers from 8 to 10-ish p.m.


DENTON—Sunday, September 30
10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Denton Camera Exchange 117 Piner St, Denton, TX 76201

*11 a.m. – Surprise Session with Special Guest Photographer (Guess you’ll just have to get up early to find out who rolls through....)
noon –1:30 p.m. Workshop and demos.


3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Patterson-Appleton Arts Center 400 E Hickory St, Denton, TX 76201

* Pop-up Instant Film Exhibition

* “Which Instant Film Camera is THE BEST?” – Panel Discussion

*  Storing, Scanning, Printing and Enlarging Polaroids – Talk & Demo

* An 8×10 Instant Film Demo & Photo Booth

* The Art of Instant Film – Panel Discussion 

AFTER PARTY AT ARMADILLO ALE WORKS [Same parking lot as PAAC] 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.