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What's the hype with disposable cameras?

Our IG feeds have been filled with disposable camera pics these days—and we are *living* for their comback. Old fashioned photography, or film photography, involves shooting a roll of negatives and then developing them onto photopaper using dark room techniques. Love the look, but not sure what the buzz is all about? If so, we got you girl. 

Our generation is super nostalgic: we love 90s fashion (think scrunchies and mom jeans!) and throwback music, and we are absolutely fascinated by what our parents' lives were like when they were our age. Another thing from before our time that we're super into? Old school photography. Because we have always had access to smartphones and instant photography, we have never gotten to experience what it is like to snap a candid photo and actuallywait for the results. Being able to take an instant photo anytime, any place is super helpful, but it can get boring. Our parents definitely didn't snap pic after pic until they got the perfect pose and then spend hours editing and adding filters—their pics captured the true essence of each moment. There was no social media to try to make your life seem perfect—just raw, unfiltered moments captured on film. Naturally, our gen wanted to see what all the excitement was about, so we turned to disposable cameras to get a taste!

Disposable cameras have totally blown up on TikTok, and people are now posting videos showcasing all of their best pics from a singular night, a summer, a semester, or even an entire year. Other users have opted for a more informative format where they answer important questions such as which camera is best for beginners, and where they choose to get their photos developed. 


Memories with friends this past year :’) ##fyp ##35mm ##film ##film ##filmphotography ##friends ##hawaii ##disposablecamera ##freezeframe ##fypage

♬ original sound - AndyN

TikTok is not the only place where we have been seeing film photo content—the trend is also taking over Instagram. A photographer named Bryant has gained over 8 million followers for his *iconic* film photoshoots with all of our fave celebs, including Noah Beck, Charli D'Amelio and Emma Chamberlain. 


/ I LEFT A DISPOSABLE CAMERA AT EVERY TABLE @ MY BDAY DINNER-⭐️ here are some of the results:

A post shared by BRYANT | 📸 (@bryant) on

Some celebs loved the disposable aesthetic so much that they created entire IG accounts dedicated to posting their film pics. Some of our film photo icons are Gigi Hadid, who has *the* artsiest angles and chichest vibes, and David Dobrik, who always looks like he is having a blast. 

Ready to get started, but not sure where to start? You've got options. If you are looking to try out film once, we recommend picking up a classic disposable (the kind your mom gave you for field trips in elementary school!). These cameras usually cost less than $20, and can take up to 27 photos. The Kodak FunSaver is a classic for a reason—it takes great pics. Amazon, $15. 

Want to take more than 27 shots? A refillable film camera is perfect for you. Simply buy canisters of 35mm film individually, and swap out rolls when you are done shooting. Not only is this option cost effective, but it is also more eco-friendly (less plastic waste than the Kodak FunSaver). We are obsessed with the Simple Use Color 35mm Camera by Lomography for its affordable price point and its *super* trendy color filters. Urban Outfitters, $22. 

Don't want to wait a week to see how your pics turned out? If so, you *need* a polaroid—the pics print out right after you take them! Once printed, they take fewer than two minutes to develop. The Fujifilm Instax 11 has the cutest aesthetic and takes the cutest pics. Urban Outfitters, $59. 

Not ready to make the investment? No problem. There are *tons* of easily downloadable apps that can turn your smartphone pics into vintage masterpieces. Huji Cam is definitely the most popular disposable camera app that we've seen. It's free on the AppStore, and is super easy to use. Dispo by David Dobrik is another great option, but just like IRL, you have to wait until the next morning for your pics to develop. General editing apps such as VSCO and Pixlr can also help you achieve the vintage film photo look. 

Will you be hopping on the film photo trend? Tag us @girlslifemag on Instagram to show us your best shots!

All GIFs via GIPHY

Slider Image: Urban Outfitters 


by Alexandra Karr and Maya Valmon | 11/10/2020