Why I Started Using a Disposable Camera

I was looking through my dad’s high school photos, and I found myself wanting to cry.

Things are a lot different now, and that’s an understatement. It’s so easy to get caught up in the digital world, and I’m one of those people who like to preserve the simplicity and genuineness of things. You can’t exactly get simplicity and genuineness in a smartphone-taken photo. And I will tell you why.

When you take a photo using a smartphone, you perhaps take a couple. Okay, more than a couple. Probably ten or so. And then what do you do? You go through it, pick the best one, and then proceed to add a gazillion filters to it. We are at an age where we crave perfection for our photos. We crave perfection in general. And why? Usually so you can post it on some type of social media, because these days we must all feel the need to “share” or have “people see it” otherwise, it seems like it never happened.

Pretty sad. Because it did happen. And the flaws shouldn’t be erased. In my dad’s high school photos, there were many flaws. The photo wasn’t centered, and he wasn’t even looking at the camera.

But there was still something about it that touched my heart, that made me feel like I was right there with him in that single moment.

See, that’s the thing. It was a single moment. One genuine, real moment. Captured in one take. There were no filters, no edits, no nothing. Everything true about the moment was encapsulated in that one photo. Ah. The beauty of a one take.

Now, of course, in this artificial world some may not care about how genuine a photo or a moment is. But I don’t think it’s so wrong to strive for the more real things in life, because all of us can get so lost in a world where we don’t even know what’s true anymore. That isn’t to say that I’m going to quit using my iPhone camera forever and carry disposables around everywhere I go. But, I do believe in a balance and this is an experiment I find worth trying. Polaroid cameras also do the trick, and I guess are even better since they’re so hyped right now. I don’t have that kind of money however, so I’m going to stick to my five dollar camera from Walgreens for now.

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