Welcome one and all!

Thanks to your support and participation, this year’s EMULSIVE Secret Santa is over three times bigger than last year’s inaugural event. In fact, at 462 players, we’re just 20 players short of being four times larger than 2015.

It also seems that you’ve all made a bit of history and are 1/462th of the world’s largest ever film photography gift exchange, so please give yourselves a massive pat on the back and accept our most warmest of thanks.

On to the task at hand: it’s time to let you all know what’s going to happen next and to provide you with a bit of advice about the process. Even if you played last year, please read on.

You can bookmark this page and come back to it if you have any questions about:

  • Sponsors and gifts
  • Matching with other players
  • Preparing and sending your gift
  • Receiving your gift

Here we go…




If you’ve been following the last few updates, you’ll know that to date, we have announced a total of eleven sponsors for this year’s event. As a bonus for the end of the Secret Santa 2016 registration period, CineStill have joined as our final formal sponsor, bringing that total to 12. Thanks, folks.

CineStill will be providing three mystery gift bags to three lucky players. As with the other sponsor gifts, one bag will be going to whoever matches with EMULSIVE, the other two will be going to two randomly selected recipients.

The contents of the bags are top secret for now but we can tell you that if “things” aren’t ready in time, each bag will we include a store credit with free shipping for the value of whatever those “things” might be. Too cryptic? You need to visit and dig about a bit.

With CineStill on board our final sponsor sheet looks like this:

595 Strap Co: 595strapco.com

Beau Photo Supplies: beauphoto.com

Billingham: billingham.co.uk

CineStill: cinestillfilm.com

Eastman Kodak Company: kodak.com

Expired Film Day: expiredfilmday.com

ILFORD: ilfordphoto.com

Kodak Alaris: kodakalaris.com

Lomography NYC: lomography.com

Old School Photo Lab: oldschoolphotolab.com

Shoot Film Co: shootfilmco.com

The Film Guy: the-film-guy.shopstar.co.za


And here’s a breakdown of the gifts, starting with the BUMPER collection that will be going to whoever matches with EMULSIVE:

  • A gift from EMULSIVE.
  • A handmade leather shoulder strap from 595 Strap Co.
  • A gift from Billingham.
  • A mystery gift bag from CineStill.
  • A mysterygift bag from Eastman Kodak Company.
  • A camera and film pack from Expired Film Day.
  • A 4×5 obscura camera, 120 and 35mm film, a negative loupe and badge from ILFORD.
  • A Kodak Professional Film sampler pack from Kodak Alaris.
  • A camera and film sampler from Lomograhpy NYC.
  • Free development, a camera, or Poppers-related paraphernalia from Old School Photo Lab.
  • A pack of stickers, patches, pins and Photomemo notebooks from Shoot Film Co.
  • A retro camera strap and film The Film Guy.
  • …and maybe some biscuits

In addition there are a total of 22 additional sponsor gifts, which will be sent randomly to 22 players:

You might be interested in...
  • 2x handmade leather shoulder strap from 595 Strap Co.
  • 2x Cameras from Beau Photo Supplies.
  • 2x Mystery gift bags from CineStill.
  • 2x Mystery gift bags from Eastman Kodak Company.
  • 2x Camera / film packs from Expired Film Day.
  • 2x 4×5 obscura camera, 120 and 35mm film, a negative loupe and badge from ILFORD.
  • 2x Kodak Professional Film sampler pack from Kodak Alaris.
  • 2x Camera and film sampler goody bags from Lomograhpy NYC.
  • 2x Free development, a camera, or Poppers paraphernalia from Old School Photo Lab.
  • 2x Packs of stickers, patches, pins and Photomemo notebooks from Shoot Film Co.
  • 2x Retro camera straps and film from The Film Guy.
  • …and probably no biscuits but we’re working on it.



Matching players

We’re busy jumping through some logistical hoops at the moment and will be making the draw  as soon as possible. Keep an eye on your inbox and Twitter for updates. We’ll be posting this and all future updates for EMULSIVE Secret Santa 2016 using the #EMULSIVEsanta2016 hashtag.

Once you have details of your match, send them a message, confirm their address, find out a little about what they want. Remember that you’ll know who you’re sending a gift to but they won’t know who you are until they receive it…should you wish to reveal your name, that is!

Please please please don’t send promotional items such as your own photo books, mugs and coasters. If you want to send one of your own prints, please do so but make sure they’re personalized and not just from a stack in your attic.

There’s no upper limit on the value of what you decide to send but please make sure that it’s worth at least US$10 and functional. Your gift could be something you’ve had lurking in your freezer, for a while, or brand new. It’s up to you.

With that said, let’s move on.



Preparing and sending your gift

We’re asking that everyone send their gifts out by December 9th 2016 at the very latest. Christmas time means that postal services will be busy, so the earlier the better.

Speed is of the essence but please don’t simply throw you gift in a box and be done with it.

We’re all in this as a community, so try to wrap your gift in some nice paper if you can. Drop in some local candy and treats (especially if you’re shipping internationally).

Write a note, send a card, put a rosette on it. In short: Get. In. The. Spirit!

Remember to also package your gift responsibly and in the same manner you’d hope to receive something yourself. Use bubble wrap, newspaper, a succession of increasingly larger boxes. Use whatever it takes to get your gift to your match in the best possible condition.

Don’t worry about keeping your identity secret when you post your gift. The idea is only that people shouldn’t know who is sending a gift until they receive it. After that, it’s all fair game.

When you send your gift, get proof of postage and/or tracking. The latter isn’t absolutely necessary but proof of postage is essential. If your parcel gets lost, it’ll help.



Receiving your gift

Once you receive your gift, resist the urge to open it past the first layer.

If wrapped as per the guide above, you’ll be able to open the box it came in without spoiling the surprise. Please take a photo and share it on social media using the #EMULSIVEsanta2016 hashtag. If you’re on Twitter, please use the hashtag and tag @EMULSIVEsanta, too.

Don’t open the actual gift and card/note/letter (if there is one) until December 25th. When you finally to take the wrapping off, please share, share, share!

We had some wonderful acts of generosity and love last year and would love to see as much as possible. Here are a few posts from last year’s event.




It’s no big deal if you’re stuck thinking about what to give. Reach out to the community and ask. Have a think about the kind of things that you’d like to receive yourself and remember, it’s not all about spending money. There are other ways to spread the love of film photography.

Finally, take another look as some of the gifts shared last year and see if that inspires you.

If you’re really stuck, you can email secret.santa.help@emulsive.org.



Obvious disclaimers, terms and important stuff

First off, the important stuff…

Play nice

EMULSIVE Secret Santa 2016 is being arranged in good faith. Your actions reflect on yourself, EMULSIVE and the good name of the film photography community.

In short, if you don’t intend on sending anything, please don’t play.

If the draw has already been made and you decide to back out, GET IN TOUCH ASAP to let us know. Situations change and we’ll figure something out.

That said, any player found to be receiving but not sending a gift, not contacting EMULSIVE to remedy the situation, or simply not responding to requests for clarification on the status of their participation after draw/receipt will be publicly named and barred from entry into future events organised by both EMULSIVE and this year’s sponsors.

Again, if you decide not to play, get in touch.

Eight players were banned last year, please don’t join the list, it’s a pretty crappy accolade.

Now that’s out there:

  • We’re not Elfster (the service provider for the list/matching). If you have any qualms about the level of your data protection, then I will have to suggest you bow out and not participate.
  • We’ve tested out and researched a few service providers along the way and Elfster seemed to come out on top for the functionality they provide and what they do with data provided by their users.
  • We have no affiliation, or connection with Elfster and you use the service at your own risk. Don’t forget that I’m putting my details on there, too.
  • Should anything terrible happen (they get hacked, lose your data, etc.), we really can’t take any responsibility. We’re using them in good faith, as much as you are.
  • Elfster is a public service, so we ask that you don’t invite participants in this event to others you may decide to create without their express consent. We’re sorry but anyone found doing this will be excluded from entry.

Now that’s all out of the way, it’s time for you to get picking and packing, folks!

Good luck with everything, please help spread the word and most important of all, have fun!




About the author

Avatar - EM

I'm EM, founder, overlord, and editor-in-chief at EMULSIVE.org. I may be a benevolent gestalt entity but contrary to increasingly popular belief, I am not an AI.

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  1. So the person we’re sending a gift to isn’t the same person we’ll be receiving one from, right? It says “paired” which sounds like we’re just exchanging with the same person, but then it wouldn’t be anonymous.

    I’m trying to clear up the confusion because my person is directing questions back at me through the Q&A responses I asked them, and I think I need to tell them to ask their person, not me.

    1. The person you are matched with to send a gift will be matched with someone else an do on. Imaging ten people standing in a circle. Each person passes a gift to their right. 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 … 9-10, 10-1. Hope that helps. Please let your match know, or ask them to send us a message via Elfster.