Why do I love disposable cameras and expired film? They both revert back to my romanticized vision of photography; the reason I love what it used to be more than what it is. When photography was first invented, it was magic; people believed that the camera took not only your photo but also your soul. There is excitement in the recording of light; it is incredible that we can capture a moment of time to keep as our own. Sadly, as quickly as this magic was created, it disappeared.
Nobody thinks twice about posting selfies to Instagram (I myself am guilty of this). We as a society feed off of instant gratification, collecting likes instead of memories. This is a relatively new way of living and one that I am not fully willing to give into. That’s why I love film, it’s why people get excited to see a Polaroid camera; it contains a sense of magic. I love shooting a roll and not being able to view it right away. Why is it necessary to see that which you have just witnessed? Instead of taking a photo, looking at it and instantly forgetting, I like to capture a moment, forget about it and rediscover its beauty weeks later. Getting a roll of film back is exciting, often I don’t remember what lies within the frames. I get to relive the moments I deemed important enough to shoot and I come out with a tangible object, photographs I will be leafing through for years to come. Physical photographs are scarce these days. Actual prints cannot be posted to the internet as easily. Instead of images with little value meant for mass consumption, I like to create precious objects for family and friends to hold onto. Images that took time to make (labor equalling value). Unlike many people I have moments to frame and hang, I am able to look at these snapshots of life on my physical walls and not just my Facebook one.
I’ve made a vow to begin shooting all of my personal photos in film, mainly so that I’ll have old shoeboxes overflowing with pictures to show my children someday. I bought an expired disposable camera at Good Will for fifty cents, took it to a dear friends twenty-first birthday party and let people capture the evening. Everyone was so excited to use the relic, it took all of us back to childhood. Simply put: film is fun. I am excited to share what we recorded that night with all of them and all of you.
These pictures aren’t perfectly composed and their exposures are way off. Nobody was thinking about how to arrange people so they appeared to be having fun. We were just living and enjoying life and each others company, capturing the night/morning the way it was. I want all of my personal photos to be like this and am encouraging you all to give it a go as well.