9/24 - 9/26


Mark your calendars for Sept. 24, 25 & 26 and start making plans for the return of PolaCon! This time, we're back in-person!

Welcome to The Instant Film Society's 6th PolaCon aka #PolaCon6.


A word to new members and attendees about how IFS’ events roll out. This schedule is past the development stage and is now fixed, yet this “plan” is also fluid and by no means comprehensive. In fact, there will be many surprises developing for attendees this weekend. And, as you may have heard, we like to shake things up.

Also, like past years, to maintain the organic, analog feel of the event, all ‘start’ and ‘stop’ times for workshops, sessions, guest speakers, demos, etc. are flexible and serve more as guideline for presenters and attendees to assemble. So, show up early and stay late.

And attendees should check the Instant Film Society’s Instagram on the mornings of DAY I, II and III (as well as your email you used to RSVP) for any “official” last-minute additions, deletions or cancellations.

FILM & CAMERAS: Do you need to have an instant film camera to attend PolaCon? No, you don’t. But, to participate in the Scavenger Hunts, you will need to borrow or buy an instant film camera. If you want to buy one, then head to Denton Camera Exchange, Garland Camera Repair & Photographic Imaging, Don’s Used Photo Equipment or Photographique (each shop has an assortment of cameras and films to choose from). For those who need to stock up on film in Dallas on Friday, Garland opens at 9:30 a.m. (stocks a variety of Instax and Polaroid films), Don’s Used Photo normally opens at noon, but will open on Friday at 10 a.m. for PolaCon attendees (Don’s stocks all sizes Instax, but no Polaroid. Tons of other films for film photo geeks.) and Photographique opens at 11 a.m. (Polaroid only). 

Then, on Saturday, Denton Camera usually opens at noon, but Armand will open the shop early from 9 to 10:30 a.m. after Day II’s first #PolaWalk for attendees to stock up.  (Polaroid and Instax, several formats)

Also, speaking of Scavenger Hunts, the guidelines for both will be posted on Instagram and on Facebook in the event page when the lists are revealed. All entries should be new images shot on instant film this weekend – no old frames. Other than the Four Seasons entries, which does allow for images from the past year. Entries may be shot on any new or expired films from Polaroid, FujiFilm, Impossible, Polaroid Originals, etc. (Sorry, no ZINK! Even if the camera is branded as a “Polaroid.”) Also, no digital images printed as film, so, no Instant Lab prints allowed. And no Instax Share SP-1 Smartphone Printer frames allowed. Our esteemed judges want to see your in-camera creations.

The lists for both the “EPIC! Instant Film Scavenger Hunt” and the “State Fair Scavenger Hunt” list and instructions will be revealed between 10 a.m. and noon on Friday on the IFS’ Instagram account (@instantfilmsociety) and on our Facebook page. Feel free to shoot the same film, or mix and match types.

An Instant Film Retrospective Exhibition featuring IFS members from across the globe will be on display this weekend, and for the coming week(s) during open hours from Friday to Sunday at The UNT CoLab space (207 N. Elm, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, on exhibition until 10/6) as well as at Harvest House (331 E Hickory St., open daily from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., opens at noon Saturdays and Sundays, on display until 10/18).



DALLAS: Friday, September 24 [Forecast: 88-57 °F]

8 a.m. Day I Post sent with any updates.


10 a.m. Scavenger Hunt and other contests post. For the State Fair list, attendees have 12 hours to shoot frames to enter, but then another 12 hours to post your entry. See posts for more details. 


10 a.m. The State Fair opens (then closes at 10 p.m.). Sometimes parking and walking to Big Tex can take a while – see map. Plan some extra time to traverse Fair Park.  


High noon to 12:15: The 10th Annual Rain-or-Shine #PolaWalk and Scavenger Hunt at The State Fair of Texas will officially start at Big Tex at noon, but we won’t “walk” until about 12:30 p.m. 

NOTE: Meet us *BEHIND* Big Tex! Look for the large rainbow umbrella. And a bunch of fellow instant film photographers. (You should see the back of Tex's boots. NOT on the side facing the toes of his boots.)

12:15 p.m. – A quick “Instant Film 101 Workshop” of best practices followed by a “camera circle” where attendees chime in and swap pro-tips and “lessons learned the hard way.” 

12:30/35-ish p.m. Start #PolaWalk to the Midway.


3:30 p.m. Meet behind Big Tex – look for the rainbow umbrella. Meet other attendees, swap IG handles, show-and-tell cameras, etc. (We’ll meet back at Big Tex again at 6:30 p.m. for those who arrive later)


6:30: Meet behind Big Tex – look for the rainbow umbrella. (Latecomers can meet-up back at Big Tex again at 8:30 p.m.)


The map of the fair:


DENTON: Friday, September 24


 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. An Instant Film Retrospective Exhibition featuring IFS members from across the globe at The UNT CoLab (207 N. Elm, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) 


5 to 7:?? p.m. For those who arrive later or who skip the fair, head to Denton Camera Exchange (117 Piner St.) from 5 to 7-ish for an informal “happy hour” hangout (in and around) the very photographable camera shop. (We recommend: Grabbing some refreshments or snacks next door at Midway Mart or Mi Casita.)  

8 to 10 p.m. Patio meet-up in/near Denton’s “Beermuda Triangle.” Stay tuned for precise location in Day I post. There will be food truck(s). 


DENTON—Saturday, Sept. 30 [Forecast: 88-57 °F]
*8 a.m. – #PolaWalk for the early risers: Mural walk ‘round the Square with @InstantDenton


9 a.m. (open ‘til 6 p.m.) — Visit the fine folks at Norman Roscoe at the historic Evers Hardware Building at 109 W. Hickory St. (N.R. prints our T-shirts, and they hosted us in the back of Evers Hardware for the first few PolaCons).


9:15 to 9:30 a.m. Meet back at Denton Camera Exchange (DCE) before heading on a few choose-your-own walkable adventures we have arranged


9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Hangout, work on scavenger hunts, or choose-your-own-adventure #PolaWalks

*11 a.m. Meet at DCE before another mural-heavy #PolaWalk lead by local IFS members down Hickory St. to Harvest House (which opens at noon).


*noon-6 p.m. "Zines & Things Swap Meet" opens for creative types to buy, sell or trade instant-film-related personal works such as photobooks, zines, original ‘Polaroid’ images, "small" prints (no larger than 8x10-ish), pins and any other instant-film-related art. (Yes, yes, expired/rare film packs are OK too.)

*noon-6 p.m. An “8×10 Photo Booth” with Armand Kohandani of Denton Camera Exchange


*noon-1 p.m. Special 12:12 Session with @cromschu and other members 


*1-2 p.m. Bryan Rieth of Retrospekt


*2-3:30 p.m. @ZanePollard will present a talk, then a demo followed by a Q-and-A on the opensx70 system.

*4:30-5 p.m. Demo at the “8×10 Photo Booth” with Armand Kohandani of Denton Camera Exchange. 


*5 p.m. “Scanning, printing and enlarging your frames using a DSLR” demo & talk with Steve Reeves (of MakeShift Photography).

*6 p.m.-7 p.m. DINNER BREAK! Grab a bite to eat at one of the numerous fantastic restaurants on or near The Square. (We’ll meet at Rubber Gloves at 8 sharp for photography-themed karaoke!)

*7-7:45 p.m “Twilight & Neon at Night” #PolaCrawl around the Square focusing on sunset/dusk & neon.


7:45 p.m. Stop what you’re doing and head to the showcase/afterparty at Rubber Gloves where we’ll have hung a few cool vintage backdrops setup on the patio, as well as a couple instant film photobooths. Join us for a live music showcase of (mostly) local solo performances sure to be unforgettable followed by a dance party. 


8 p.m.-10 p.m.  Don’t miss the photography/film/camera-themed karaoke at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios (Speakeasy room) with Johnny DuBiel. 


*9 p.m.—2 p.m. Patio stage at Rubber Gloves. 

Join us for four remarkable solo performances, followed by an after/dance-party:

Nicole Marxen [of Midnight Opera] {solo electronic industrial doom pop} https://nicolemarxen.bandcamp.com/album/tether


Tatsuya Nakatani (avant-garde sound artist, composer and percussionist)



  1. Buttrum (captivating, unforgettable tape collage/industrial noise-scapes)


Formless Ocean (solo rhythmic electronics & noise by Randall Minick [of Felt & Fur//Python Potions])


Dance-party until close w/ DJ DreamLover69 (techno-acid-house-industrial-EBM-electro)


Doors 8

First set 9

Cover $5 (Free for RSVP’d PolaCon6 attendees. Ask for your IFS stamp at the Zines & Things SwapMeet.)



DENTON—Sunday, September 26
8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Choose your own adventure for breakfast and coffee on/near the Square. 


*9 to 11 a.m. – Meet-and-greet hangout at the Instant Film Retrospective Exhibition featuring IFS members from across the globe at The UNT CoLab (207 N. Elm).


11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Rubber Gloves (409 E. Sycamore)
11-noon Hands-on Cyanotypes session for kids of all ages with @danieltrodrigue

Noon-1 p.m.  Lift/transfer demo with @theoryofbrian) 

1-1:30 “2021 State of the Emulsion Address”


*1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. A meandering #PolaCrawl back toward the Square past nearly every food truck worth visiting in Denton.

3 to 4 p.m. Rendezvous for one last patio meet-up in a top secret location with fantastic lighting, murals and areas for snapping frames. Stay tuned for Day III post. 

*4 to 6 p.m. Pizza wrap-party at DCE


NOTE: For IFS’ sixth annual free 3-day instant film photography convention, a few cool planned sessions fell off the list at the last minute, and, sadly, several usual featured IFS photographers can’t make the trip this year. But with more than 20 sessions and five walks, members and attendees will have plenty to keep them busy. If you know of a photographer who you think should present at #PolaCon2018, then DM us on FB or IG.


Legal mumbo jumbo that we have each year (even in the precedented times): This is a free event comprised of meetups that attendees choose to attend at our host venues. Each attendee is responsible for their own actions and behavior to, from and during any IFS or PolaCon event and attendees waive their right to sue any IFS member or any host of these free events, sessions and meet-ups. The Instant Film Society does not accept responsibility and expressly excludes liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for: Any illnesses, injuries or accidents that occur during or immediately after the events, or loss or damage to any personal property left unattended during an event organized by IFS. Also, be advised that this event and related activities may be photographed and recorded to document the event by a documentary filmmaker and by local media. By attending you agree to allow your likeness to be used for any legitimate documentary purpose by the event organizers or local media.