PolaCon shakes up photo scene

The Instant Film Society’s PolaCon returns to North Texas.

By Elena Walker
Contributing Writer

Polaroid pictures are no longer photos you only find while digging through your grandmother’s trunk. This vintage trend is making a comeback with Polaroids returning to shelves. North Texans have an opportunity to join this developing trend with PolaCon2017: An Instant Film Convention, which will take place Sept. 29-Oct.1.

The free three-day convention will be filled with workshops and guest speakers in Dallas and Denton, Texas. Though the convention is free, registration is required because some workshops will have limited seating. Attendees can get tickets on the Eventbrite page bit.ly/PolaCon2017.

First-day activities will begin at 4 p.m. in Deep Ellum with a mini #PolaWalk to Fair Park, according to the Instant Film Society’s Facebook event page. Activities will also be held in Denton for residents who do not want to go to the State Fair of Texas.

Steve and Erin Reeves, two Brookhaven College continuing education instructors, said they will be involved in the State Fair #PolaWalk and a Neon-at-Night Crawl in Deep Ellum Friday night. They will also lead a demonstration on pack film and a segment on scanning and printing instant film.

Saturday and Sunday events will be held in Denton at different venues, such as Evers Hardware Building, Denton Camera Exchange and Patterson-Appleton Arts Center. Workshops and polawalks will be held throughout the event.

“One of the programs that we’re excited about is the small press, zine sharing that’s going on Saturday,” Steve said.

“All these people who are experts in the field are doing workshops,” Armand Kohandani, owner of Denton Camera Exchange, said. More than 20 film- and camera-specific workshops covering different aspects of instant film from basics to advanced techniques will be available, according to the Instant Film Society’s website.

Kohandani said his business will be involved in PolaCon2017 and will be changing things up from last year. Kohandani usually uses his truck as a mobile film studio, but this year, things are different. “I think we’re going to set it up as a mobile art gallery,” he said.

Steve said the best part of PolaCon last year were the people. “These are all people that have a passionate love for instant and analog film, and many of the people in attendance are accomplished and extremely talented artists. Having so many people like that in one place is very special.”

The only thing negative about PolaCon is that it is being developed right before your eyes, Kohandani said. “[There is] too much fun to be had and not enough time to do it all,” he said about PolaCon.