Polaroid Week Survival Tips

Posted by on Oct 31, 2010 | 3 Comments

What? You’ve never heard of Polaroid Week? It’s twice a year on Flickr — usually one week in May and one week in November. It’s a great opportunity to share your own instant photos and meet other instant film photographers from all over the world. During Spring 2010 Polaroid Week, 1596 people posted 3920 photos. The 5-day whirlwind can be pretty intense, so I’ve made a list of my best tips for making the most of Polaroid Week …

Plum Flowers on Fade to Black Film

A Fade to Black photo I posted during Spring 2010 Polaroid Week.

Polaroid Week Survival Tips:

  • Play by the rules All the rules are posted here. Familiarize yourself with them in advance. You don’t want to spend time and effort preparing photos that are just going to be removed from the group.
  • Submit your photos early in the day — The pool opens at 6 a.m. on Monday, November 1st, and you’re allowed to post only two photos each day. As far as Flickr is concerned, a “day” is 24 hours and is determined by your last upload to the group. If you wait to post your first photos until late afternoon or evening, you’ll be stuck in that cycle all week long.
  • Prepare your scans in advance — The rules of Polaroid Week require participants to share photos that haven’t previously been posted. (I’m a moderator this year, and one of the things I’ll be doing is looking for old uploads to remove from the group.) I usually start preparing for Polaroid Week a couple months in advance … If I shoot a polaroid I really like, or if I travel someplace interesting, I scan those photos and prepare them for Flickr, but I don’t post them until Polaroid Week.
  • Challenge yourself – We all want to post our best photos during Polaroid Week. But “best” and “awesome” doesn’t mean “safe” or “predictable.” I try to challenge myself by shooting different cameras, films, and subject matter. During Spring Polaroid Week earlier this year, I planned some photos to post for the first few days, then made an effort to shoot some new, challenging photos to upload later in the week.
  • Comment with reckless abandon — One of the things that makes Polaroid Week so much fun is the flurry of comments and interaction. If you’re not commenting on photos posted by other participants, you’re missing out on 90% of the awesomeness. (This is another reason why it’s great to prepare your scans in advance and post photos early … You’ll have more time to focus on the great work that others are posting.)
  • Curate your favorites — Polaroid Week is so uplifting that I try to hang on to that warm, fuzzy feeling as long as possible. I usually blog and tweet a link to all the favorites I marked on each individual day of Polaroid Week, which is easy to filter with an advanced Flickr search. Others create Polaroid Week Galleries on Flickr or tweet favorites as they discover them throughout the day. You might also want to create a set of the photos that you posted, so your new polaroid pals can find them all in one place.

So what are you waiting for? Join the group and start shooting!


  1. Krista
    October 31, 2010

    The new site is awesome Jess! So easy to navigate, and so clean looking.

  2. Ashley
    November 2, 2010

    Great ideas for Polaroid Week Jess! And a fantastic new site. :D

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