Show your creative flare with the launch of Found Polaroids

July 17, 2015

Kyler Zeleny launches Found Polaroids today, a project looking at found polaroids which invites creatives to write flash fiction about the images!

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Over the course of several years, Kyler has been collecting polaroid images from different places. The result is this: Found Polaroids, a collection of over 6000 images. 

Found on the website is a curated cross-section of the wider collection. Each image has its own story and context, all of which are as of yet unknown to us. 

Although the images have been shared in publications (The Velvet Cell and Becapricious) and have been presented at numerous conferences (including IVSA and CSA), Kyler felt that there was still a draw to deliver the images back to their owners, if possible. If one of these images features yourself or someone that you know, please contact us. Kyler would like to hear your story and reunite you with your lost photographs. 

However, if these images do not belong to you, and you do not know the individuals featured in them, you are invited to write a story creating a new meaning and ultimately altering our understanding of their context, one that moves beyond the surface level.

Kyler hopes you will become, as he has, transfixed on the ‘unknowable’: who were these people, what did they do, and more importantly where did they go? Their context and therefore their meaning has been forever lost. It was with this realization in mind that the concept moved from focusing on what can be learned from found Polaroid images to how can we now interpret them.

Quality writing paired with these lovely images can be moving, and helps give life back to images that might otherwise find themselves in a waste bin.


1. Select an image you feel resonates with you from the “home” page

We invite you to write a short story, or a number of stories (250-350 words each) based on one of the images found on the home page. The story must be relevant to an event, or based on the life of those in the photo—a story essential to the individual’s character, a defining moment—or must explain, beyond what we can observe, is happening in the image.

If an image has previously been written about, please feel free to contribute an additional story. Your story can be entirely divergent, or can be one that builds on a previous submission. In this sense, not only are the images inspiring, but the previous stories become a source for creativity.

2. Write your 250-350 word story

The idea is to try and glimpse into the life of this person, who they were, what they did, what motivated them…etcetera. The short stories should be fictional and should express some intimacy towards the individual in the image. They should be written from the perspective of the individual, a friend or family member, or an impartial observer.



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