Photorefractive materials can form ``instant'' holograms without time-consuming development steps. Their potential applications include image processing, optical data storage, and correction of image distortion, but the cost of crystal growth and preparation has been a primary impediment to commercial application. Polymers, on the other hand, are low in cost and readily fabricated in a variety of forms. Photorefractive polymers were constructed with performance that matched or exceeded the performance of available photorefractive crystals. The largest observed two-beam energy coupling gain coefficient for the polymers was 56 per centimeter.