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PolaCon NYC - May 17-19, 2024

Updated: May 12





Polaroid Presents: PolaCon NYC - May 17-19, 2024


Ladies and gentleman and everyone above and beyond: We are thrilled to invite you to the SECOND PolaCon to EVER be held in NYC! Instant Film Society and Brooklyn Film Camera are joining forces to bring you the biggest and best PolaCon yet. Please join us from May 17-19, 2024 for three days of instant film delight.


This year, we’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with Polaroid to make PolaCon NYC an event as big as the Big Apple itself! 

 

Polaroid is committed to helping us continue to educate and connect with the instant film community through workshops, demos, challenges, and more though sponsorship and greater on-site participation this year!



The cost of a ticket for the entire weekend of programming is just $50. We don’t want anyone to be unable to attend due to lack of funds, however. If you’d like a discounted or free ticket simply email info@instantfilmsociety.org, let us know how much you’re able to pay for a ticket, and we will get you set up.


We also have volunteer opportunities! If you're interested in volunteering to help PolaCon NYC in exchange for a 3-day pass, fill out the form here!

Click here to join the PolaCon NYC WhatsApp group chat This will be the main channel for official updates, scheduling changes, and more. Participants are encouraged to share images, share plans, and more! The Group will be administered by IFS and BFC. We strongly encourage all Polacon participants to join this group to stay up-to-date, make connections, and enhance the weekend!

Programming will take place through out the city but will be primarily concentrated at venues in the Bushwick, Brooklyn neighborhood, specifically Brooklyn Film Camera and Worthless Studios. If you’re booking hotels or AirBNBs, we highly suggest looking in/around this neighborhood. Other close neighborhoods are: Williamsburg, Ridgewood, Bedford-Stuyvesant.

What can you expect at this year’s PolaCon? Here's our FULL Schedule*:

☞ FRIDAY (Day 1).

11:00 - 7:00 | BFC Backyard Social\\ Brooklyn Film Camera - 855 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11221\\ Slow things down and relax in BFC's backyard with other film photographers. Water will be provided by Liquid Death and vibes will be curated by Polaroid. Stop by to grab all the film you need, see who's around, and hang out for as long as you'd like in BFC's backyard oasis.\\ Open to the public


12:00 - 7:00 | Check-in to PolaCon\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Check-in to PolaCon, get your wristband, and join the fun!.


12:15 - 6:00 | Opening Festivities\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Welcome address from the organizers, workshops, demos, PolaCon Q&A. Shooting stations will be open to the public.


12:30 - 1:00 | Workshop: Instant Film 101 with Martin Souza\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Learn the ins & outs of instant film. Martin will cover instant film history, currently available cameras and film stocks, and tips and tricks for shooting to get the best results.\\ Class Size: 10-25.


1:00 - 1:30 | Demo: “Instant Optics” with Brooklyn Film Camera\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ In this workshop, BFC staff will demonstrate their new line of lenses, filters, and prisms for Polaroid SX-70 and 600 cameras. The release of “Instant Optics” marks the first time that high-quality glass optics have been manufactured for the Polaroid ecosystem in over 40 years!\\ Class Size: 20-35.


1:30 - 2:00 | Demo: 8x10 Polaroid photography with Nick Collingwood\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Join film photographer extraordinaire and instant film guru Nick Collingwood for a demonstration of large format Polaroid photography! Go big or go home. Or just… go to this workshop because you’ll probably learn a lot. Nick's demo last year was a HIT! Highly recommended.\\ Class Size: 20-35.


2:00-2:45 | Talk & Demo: The Democratization of Camera-making with Mario Machon\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Join engineer and camera hacker/builder Mario Machon for a brief overview of the increasing access to, and evolution of, DIY camera-making techniques and materials. A short talk will be followed by a demo and portrait session with Mario’s latest creations.\\ Class Size: 20-35.


2:00 - 4:00 | B&W Portraits with the Polaroid I-2 Camera with Polaroid\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Polaroid in-house photographer Hatti Browse will talk about her experience with the Polaroid I-2 camera and how she’s able to take advantage of all its manual controls. Hatti will also share some of her latest B&W portraits project. Get your B&W portrait taken by Hatti and get a real-life example of the latest chemistry improvements, comparing old and new B&W Chemistry.\\ Class Size: 30-45.


3:00 - 3:45 | Talk: Shooting Polaroid Film Behind The Scenes with Joan Michel\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Join photographer and YouTuber Joan Michel for a discussion and Q&A about her experience shooting Polaroid film behind the scenes on film sets, and at the Met Gala. If you want to get better at shooting Polaroid film in high-pressure and fast-moving situations, this is for you!


4:00 - 4:45 | Talk: The 12:12 Project with Cromwell Shubarth\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ The 12:12 Project is an international instant film collective that consistently pushes the bounds of creativity on the medium of instant film. Learn all about the 12:12 Project from one of its organizers and artists Cromwell Schubarth and a selection of other 12:12 Project photographers.


5:00 - 6:00 | Workshop: Natural Light Portraits with Bret Watkins\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Join Bret for a hands-on workshop where you’ll learn how to make the most out of natural light and take your Polaroid portraiture to the next level!\\ Class Size: 10-25.


6:00 - 7:00 | Dinner Break\\ Make some friends and grab food at one of the many great nearby restaurants.\\ Open to the public.


7:00 - 10:00 | Karaoke!\\ Haven Lounge - 683 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211\\ Come and sing your heart out with us to kick off the first night of PolaCon! Karaoke is a years-long staple of PolaCon and we can't wait to let it all out with you. Bonus points if you pull off a song with "instant" in the title or that references analog film. Haven Lounge also has two pool tables. It's spring, let's sing!\\ Open to the public.


10:00 - ??? | Choose Your Own Adventure\\ Enjoy Bushwick’s many nightlife options within walking distance from the event. Bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and more!\\ Some Suggestions: House of Yes (night club), MoonRise NYC (night club), Carousel (groovy bar), Jupiter Disco (funky bar), Left Hand Path (cozy bar), The Johnson’s (hipster dive bar).\\ Open to the public



☞ SATURDAY (Day 2)

11:00 - 7:00 | BFC Backyard Social\\ Brooklyn Film Camera - 855 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11221\\ Slow things down and relax in BFC's backyard with other film photographers. Water will be provided by Liquid Death and vibes will be curated by Polaroid. Stop by to grab all the film you need, see who's around, and hang out for as long as you'd like in BFC's backyard oasis.\\ Open to the public


12:00 - 7:00 | Check-in to PolaCon\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Check-in to PolaCon, get your wristband, and join the fun!


12:00 - 6:00 | The Main Event\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Workshops, Demos, Talks, Panel Discussions, Zines & Things Swap Meet, Vendors, and More! Shooting stations will be open to the public.


12:00 - 12:45 | Talk: Polaroid History with Chris Bonanos\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Join Chris Bonanos, author of "Instant: The Story of Polaroid" for a fascinating dive into the history and technology of one of America's most impactful and creative companies. Chris is an absolute wealth of knowledge; we highly suggest this talk for anyone interested in Polaroid lore.


1:00 - 2:00 | Demo: Get to know the Polaroid I-2 Camera with Polaroid\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Join Polaroid and try out the I-2 camera for yourself in a studio setting! Participants will each be given 1 pack of B&W 600 film and Polaroid in-house photographer Hatti Browse will be there to assist and provide tips.\\ Class Size: 30 (participants will be drawn by lottery if more than 30 attend)


1:00 - 1:45 | Talk: Restoring a Polaroid Photo Booth Q&A with Wesley Landson\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Find out how Wesley beautifully and carefully converted a vintage Polaroid Spectra photo booth to shoot Polaroid i-Type film. Each part of his machine has been lovingly restored and is truly a magnificent sight to behold. Hop in and have your instant photo captured in this fully functioning Polaroid photo booth.


2:00 - 2:45 | Workshop: Self Portraits & Photo Shoot Conceptualization with Sophia Love\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Join experimental photographic artist Sophia Love who will guide you through her process for making the perfect instant film self portrait. Discover how she conceptualizes shoots, and get a chance to snap your own self portrait in one of her created sets.\\ Class Size: 10-25


3:00 - 3:45 | Talk: Polaroid Creativity and Manipulations with Rhiannon Adam\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Join us for a chat with London-based photographer, author, and soon to be passenger to the Moon, Rhiannon Adam. Rhiannon is the author of the indispensable book "Polaroid: The Missing Manual, The Complete Creative Guide".


4:00 - 4:30 | Demo: Polaroid Film-Pack Masking with Carlton Bright\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Join photographer and artist Carlton Bright for a step-by-step demo on the art of Polaroid film-pack masking. Carlton has been working creatively with Polaroid film since the 80's and will show you his techniques for turning instant film into instant art!\\ Class Size: 10-25


4:00 - 4:45 | Workshop: Instant Film Arts & Crafts with Lora O’Shaughnessy & Alexas Monroe\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Try your hand at an assortment of instant film arts & crafts. Lora and Alexas will guide you through everything from Polaroid manipulations to destructions to emulsion lifts. Join in the fun, bring some Polaroid images that you'd like to manipulate, and transform your instant film photos into unique works of art.\\ Class Size: 10-25


5:00 - 6:00 | Talk: The State of the Emulsion Address with Daniel Rodrigue, Ben Fraternale, Joan Michel, Bret Watkins, Sophia Love, Cromwell Schubarth, and Kyle Depew\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ A PolaCon tradition! Join this wonderful cast of characters for a panel discussion and Q&A covering a variety of instant and non-instant film related topics. Got a question you'd like to ask the panel? Bring it on! This crew is ready for you. God bless the United States of Emulsion.


6:00 - 7:00 | Dinner Break\\ Make some friends and grab food at one of the many great nearby restaurants.\\ Open to the public


7:00 - 8:00 | Instant Photo Booth with featured photographer Ryan Rudewicz\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Get your photo snapped by one of New York’s hottest instant film photographers! Ryan Rudewicz is a two time Glam Award winner for NYC’s Best Nightlife Photographer. Dress to impress, join the party, and make some instant memories!


7:00 - 10:00 | PolaParty!\\ Worthless Studios - 7 Knickerbocker Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237\\ Drinks, dancing, entertainment, and a sumptuous surprise! Beer will be served and shooting stations will be open to the public. Let's celebrate the end of PolaCon's main event with a bang!\\ Very special musical guest to be announced.


10:00 - ??? | Choose Your Own Adventure\\ Enjoy Bushwick’s many nightlife options within walking distance from the event. Bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and more!\\ Some Suggestions: House of Yes (night club), MoonRise NYC (night club), Carousel (groovy bar), Jupiter Disco (funky bar), Left Hand Path (cozy bar), The Johnson’s (hipster dive bar).\\ Open to the public



☞ SUNDAY (Day 3)

12:00 - 2:00 | Photo Walk: DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park with Ben Fraternale\\ Meet at Pebble Beach + Bridge Park (near the Manhattan Bridge)\\ Shake off your hangover and meet-up with fellow bleary-eyed PolaPals in Brooklyn’s beautiful DUMBO neighborhood. The Brooklyn Flea Market will be there to enjoy and some of the most iconic views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline are visible from this neighborhood’s vantage point.\\ Open to the public.


1:00 - 7:00 | BFC Backyard Social\\ Brooklyn Film Camera - 855 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11221\\ Slow things down and relax in BFC's backyard with other film photographers. Water will be provided by Liquid Death and vibes will be curated by Polaroid. Stop by to grab all the film you need, see who's around, and hang out for as long as you'd like in BFC's backyard oasis.\\ Open to the public.


2:00 - 4:00 | Photo Walk: The Fabulous 5th Ave Fair with Rick DeMint\\ Join photographer Rick DeMint for a photo walk through Park Slope's annual "Fabulous 5th Ave Fair", a huge street fair spanning 18 blocks along 5th Ave (from Sterling Place to 12th Street). Vendors, music, performances, and more! Meetup location TBD.\\ Open to the public.


6:00 - 8:00 | Wrap Party\\ Brooklyn Film Camera - 855 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11221\\ Gather together, share the work you made over the PolaCon weekend, and relax around a cozy fire in BFC's backyard. PolaCon is over but the friendships we made will endure! Stop by for one last beer and say goodbye to the beautiful people you met over the weekend.\\ Open to the public


*times and locations subject to change


Please stay tuned to this page for updated programming and scheduling as the event nears.


ABOUT THE ORGANIZERS

Instant Film Society (IFS) was founded in 2012 with the mission of increasing awareness, accessibility and understanding of analog instant photography. For over a decade now, IFS has been a community pillar for the instant film community in the US, hosting get-togethers, photo walks, and (of course) PolaCons!


Brooklyn Film Camera (BFC) was founded in 2015 by former employees of The Impossible Project (now Polaroid). BFC is one of just a few remaining institutions to specialize in the restoration of vintage Polaroid cameras. They teach classes and workshops, curate a gallery of film photography that rotates monthly, and design accessories and optics for vintage camera systems.


Thanks to our Polacon NYC Sponsors: Polaroid

Worthless Studios Brooklyn Brewery Liquid Death

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