April 19, 2019

Here are 5 Challenges to Help You Win at Polaroid Week

Two times a year, Polaroid photographers from all over the world dedicate a week to putting all the instant images they’ve been creating on view. And Spring Polaroid Week 2019 starts Sunday, April 21st (and goes until Friday, April 26th). It’s your chance to share your stuff, admire the work other artists and enthusiasts have been making, and get excited about shooting instant in the year ahead.

What’s Polaroid Week and How Did it Start?

Glad you asked. Polaroid Week started 13 years ago on Flickr, when a group of photographers decided to organize a week when they would celebrate instant film photography, inspire each other, and challenge themselves to push their creative boundaries. Every year, hundreds of people participate by sharing their images to the Polaroid Week group (here’s the one for Spring 2019: make sure to read the guidelines before posting) and/or posting to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram under #PolaroidWeek.

To participate, post up to two instant photos per day that you haven’t posted before. These can be new photos you’ve taken recently or old photos you took in the past, just as long as they’re photos you haven’t shared yet.

5 Polaroid Week Challenges

One of our favorite things about Polaroid Week is that it’s a chance to push yourself and try new things — whether you’re a veteran instant photographer who’s been shooting for a long time, or just got a OneStep 2 and are excited to experiment with your camera.

To do that, it’s helpful to have some inspiration and creative direction. So we came up with the following six instant challenges. Think of them as helpful suggestions for when you need a little extra oomph.

Technically, you can’t touch what’s inside an image. But sometimes you feel like you can. It’s all about how light and shadow work together in the illusion of softness, or bumpiness. How can you capture this on film?

It’s your perspective, the world is just living in it. You see things differently than anyone else: embrace it. Climb up on top of something, and look down. See what happens when you turn your camera sideways. Watch out for puddles, and other reflective surfaces. You got this.

Whether it’s a literal frame (mirror, window, doorway, etc) or a well-place geometric shape, look for a way in which the world reflects the white space around your Polaroid image. How can you work with certain forms to make a balanced picture? Or how can you set up certain lines and angles so that they intersect in an interesting way?

Architecture is everywhere, but it’s more than just skyscrapers. It can be a road, or a hut, or a dock stretching out in the sea. What do the human-made structures around you look like? How do they interact with each other?

Too often this word conjures an image of a forest, or a beach. But a landscapes are everywhere: they’re what you see out of your window in the morning, or a stunning vista from an unexpected place.

Ready for Polaroid Week? We know we can’t wait to see what you create and share. We’ll be following the #PolaroidWeek2019 hashtag very closely, and picking our favorite photos feature here on our Instagram (@polaroidoriginals) throughout the week. Happy shooting!