A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words…. And a Few Weeks of Waiting


Photo via Bella Piazza

Open any teens cell phone and you will find thousands of photos sitting in camera rolls. Any moment of  life can be documented within seconds to capture something that will eventually become a memory. Looking back at these photos can invoke nostalgia and happiness. The simple click of a button, revealing the image, sparks instant gratification; it is a feeling that humans often yearn for, and take for granted. 

Now, imagine what it would be like if people couldn’t see their photos seconds after they were taken. What if they had to wait weeks to see them, but instead, these photos from special moments brought even more joy to them than the average cell phone snap? 

The disposable camera is a box camera meant for one time use. First produced in 1949 by Photo-Pac, the ones that are the most popular now are Fujifilm or Kodak branded. The camera is simple yet effective, and makes for a fun keepsake. To take a photo, simply wind it up, open the flash, and then click to capture the photo. After the camera is full of pictures, it can be taken to a convenience store and they will develop it. This can take anywhere from ten days to a month. The wait is worth it, and proves there is joy in slowing down the process of taking photos, as it makes them more valuable. 

Senior Bella Piazza grew up with film photography in her life from a young age, but it wasn’t until the recent rise in popularity that she took it upon herself to learn about the art. “I love getting the photos back and seeing all of the captured memories. I hang up my favorite prints on my wall as well,” Bella says. While there are many positive aspects to the disposable camera, it is far from perfect. “I hate how you just never know how it’ll turn out, especially if the camera has no flash”. What’s the most ideal setting for a disposable photo? “Usually sunny days, beach pictures, or just the outside in general are great for film photos,” Bella explains. 

The evolution of photography is one aspect that is particularly fascinating. Despite the access we have to digital photography, film photography creates a feeling like no other. “The phone camera is obviously nice to have all the time, but I feel that disposable/film cameras capture a moment more permanently and more meaningfully than your phone can,”  Bella adds. 

“I like not seeing the photos after I take them because it makes me excited, and makes me feel like I’ve captured the moment in real time,” says senior Nicole Strauss. Teens will often take so much time critiquing physical appearance in photos, but film photography removes the emphasis on having to look a certain way, because people are unable to see how they look immediately after it is taken. 

For many teens looking for a new hobby, or simply another item to carry around, a disposable camera and photography is one of the trendiest avenues to pursue. The photos taken are like a reward once developed, and it is a great way to capture memories during high school!