Feature Post: Instant Penpals


On Wednesday’s we like to feature your instant film projects, exhibits or any set of photo series you would like to share – whether it’s a travel set, a themed photoshoot, etc. We love to share your work and get others just as excited about shooting instant film. For any inquiries, questions or comments, you can email us at submit@snaptiseeit.com.

Today we are really excited to introduce you to “Instant Penpals” started by Jeff Meltz, from New York and Jessi Roti, from Chicago. For those of us that shoot plenty of Impossible film, we know that not every frame comes out the way we may want them to. Sometimes, the film has expired, been damaged or has imperfections that make us want to trash the photo entirely. Jessi and Jeff saw these imperfect, damaged or just dud frames as an opportunity to create and collaborate on a piece of art.

It started when after a photoshoot with some friends, Jessi ended up with 8 undeveloped frames from an expired pack of Impossible film. Instead of throwing them away, she decided to doodle on them.  Jessi posted these on Twitter and one of her connections, Jeff – blogger and photographer (with a fridge full expired Impossible film), saw this as an opportunity to collaborate.  Living in different time zones, having never met or knowing what kind of photo one would send the other, this was a project they knew could bring an element of surprise along the way. And so, #instantpenpals was born.  Check out the links below to connect with Jessi, Jeff and to learn more about #instantpenpals.

About | Jessi on Twitter | Jeff on Twitter | Jeff on Instagram | Website

So how does it work?

While Jeff in New York is shooting Impossible instant film, he saves any ruined/damaged prints that may come about to send to Jessi in Chicago where she transforms the ruined image into a canvas for her own creations, whether doodling, painting, etc.

There are no rules, no special knack or artistic talent needed. #instantpenpals is all about going beyond the medium. It’s about what you see and sharing what you see with someone else to gain a new perspective and to save what would be a ruined film frame into something a whole lot more. Please enjoy Jeff and Jessi’s #instantpenpals gallery:

In the future, we definitely want to bring you more of #instantpenpals. Maybe you would like to find some #instantpenpals and collaborate just as Jessi and Jeff have. We’ll bring you more details soon as to how you can participate. So stay tuned – and don’t be too quick to throw out those undeveloped Impossible film frames because they may be art waiting to happen!


  1. Meredith says:

    Love these. Great project guys 🙂

  2. These are awesome and so creative!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I think these are amazing. So creative. Can’t wait to see more.

  4. Thanks guys!! If you end up doing your own project, feel free to tag them on social with #instantpenpals. Would love to see your work or work with you.

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