A 2020 Photo Trend – Plus Tips

We’re all using what, now?

I think the last time I had used a disposable camera was the fourth grade. In the past year, they’ve become quite the trend, especially for teens. I LOVE taking pictures. Any of my friends could tell you how I always have my phone camera out, no matter where we are. You could scroll through the “memories” section in my Snapchat for seven hours straight. Seriously.

For one of my last weekends at college this past semester, I decided to pick up a one-time use film camera while on a grocery run. I took photos throughout the whole weekend – in the dorm, in the dining hall, going out for food at 2am – you name it. The best part was not remembering each and every one of the twenty seven photos when they finally got developed and returned back to me over two months later. While it was frustrating hearing back from CVS that the photos still weren’t ready a month after turning them in, it only built the anticipation. The photos came back way better than I expected.

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My friends mainly didn’t know that I took many of the photos that I did. They merely remember a flash in their direction and were clueless as to what was in frame. My friends loved seeing how all my photos came out, and I was happy with the wholesome photos myself. They’re definitely “personality pics.” It’s also fun to give the camera to someone else and have them take some of their own. It adds to the surprise factor for sure!

My only tip: USE FLASH ON EVERY PHOTO! I made the mistake of not using the flash option on just four of my twenty seven photos. One of them is recognizable with silhouette figures, but it looks like it got run over by a lawnmower, no joke. The other three are just solid green and fuzzy. The flash is a necessity for good quality photos, no matter the setting. All the good ones I did get, however, were priceless. How could I complain when my friends tirelessly go along with all of my, “Wait, I need a picture first!” requests?

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Some places I think it would be really cool to take disposable photos at:

  1. A field during the summer: the grainy quality and light overtones that come with development would look amazing over grassy fields, flowers and sun spots.
  2. Anything with a black background: whether it’s a blank wall or an outdoors setting at night, the flash will make your figure glow and pop like a silhouette.
  3. A party: a baby shower, birthday party, family (social) gathering… have each guest take a photo to add to a collection
  4. Bowling alley: have you ever tried midnight bowling? with all the colored lights? yeah, that one.
  5. Road-trip: take a picture next to cool street signs (bonus points for passing through different states and taking a photo at each state line!!)
  6. Beach: they have cameras that can go underwater. image the possibilities.
  7. Grocery store: if you’ve never taken photos by the freezer section of a grocery store in a ridiculously overdressed outfit, this is your sign to.
  8. Car: take photos of everyone in the car. where are the snacks, too? try taking pictures of someone’s head out the window from the backseat perspective.

After being sent home from school to a mostly quiet hometown, and facing several lonely days during the cold month of January, this was the best gift of 2021 so far. I highly recommend taking photos with one of those janky, old disposable cameras. The aesthetic is impecable and the candids are priceless. I’ll definitely be taking one on my next adventure… so stay tuned.

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