We model the polarization-dependent photocontractions of polydomain nematic elastomers. Contraction initially arises by light-induced director rotation. At higher light intensity, strain recovers because the local order parameter diminishes. Thus we predict photostrains to be nonmonotonic with light intensity and predict the induction of a negative global order parameter for the system of polydomains. Nonmonotonic strains would give curvature reversal in thick samples. Our model also predicts an elongational strain response to nonpolarized light.