By Jennifer Farley

Make Your Pictures Look Like Polaroid With Poladroid

By Jennifer Farley

Poladroid is a free desktop application that lets you make Polaroid-style images from photos on your computer. Why would you want to make images from your fancy pants expensive camera look like they came from an older instant film camera? Well that’s for each individual to answer, but this application is silly but great fun, and I really like the end result.

After you download and install Poladroid to your computer (and it’s available for pc and Mac), you get a little Polaroid camera icon on your desktop. You drag one of your photos onto the icon and you’ll hear the sound effect of an old Polaroid camera.


A small version of the image pops out on your desktop looking like a mini Polaroid, but at this stage the image is still not developed. You’ll see it slowly develop before your eyes, and if you want to speed up the process you can shake it like a real Polaroid picture.


When it’s fully “developed,” you get a little chime and a red scribble on the bottom. This is only a thumbnail preview. The full sized image is saved onto your hard drive. You can state where you want it to be saved in the application settings.


The original image I dragged onto the icon was a high resolution 3872 x 2592 pixels photograph. The resulting image comes out at 1392 x 1692 pixels which includes the paper border. Your original picture will be cropped into a square.

(Note: I added the black background here to make it stand out.)


The resulting full size image looks “good” or maybe I should say looks the part, with nice texture on the paper, saturated color and blurring of the image. In the program settings you can choose by how much you want to rotate the image, how much vignetting and if you want stripes on the paper or photograph.


This is a fun app to use and it might be useful for nostalgia related designs. Real Polaroid camera fans will probably hate it (or maybe love it?) but as a free app you can’t go too far wrong by downloading it and playing around with some pictures.

  • Chase Adams

    This is kind of cool but I would be much more impressed with software that actually made it like a Polaroid transfer, so you could stop it in the middle of the process and get a cool edging effect, and the effect would depend on when you ‘pulled’ the transfer. That’s the polaroid software worth having.

  • :(
    why install software when you can use my script online on your own website
    :) well i guess if you need the added effects and features myne isnt nearly as cool as the software but im not much for installing random software.

    WOW do you think has honestly received $6,208,066 in donations???

    and the best part .

    “Thanks for all Poladroid donors.

    “Make a donation” contributes to support that project for free and helps me to pay all technical expenses (servers, tools, work times… and also my palace, my little Ferrari and my 5 others cars, servants, all my wifes and kids, food, clotches, my 2 Rolex, jewels, trip, jet, yacht…).
    So thank you very much ! And thank you for all Poladroid Users.”

    Now i really want to donate :p

  • Do you still need to wait for it to ‘dry’ when you’re done? (shaking it is optional)

  • tom

    I’m really interested in the look of the photo. Any conversion tables or settings to get that old poloroid look? Is it just saturation and blur?

  • EastCoast

    Using the -polaroid option in (newer) versions of imagemagick does the same thing

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