Why London’s cool girls are using disposable cameras for Instagram
Londoners have always exuded coolness to me. It’s like they are born with chic, trendsetting blood in their veins.
On my last jaunt over the pond, I realized that this even applies to their Instagrams. The trick? The old, reliable method of picture taking that you thought died with your parent’s VHS cameras in the 90s. I’m talking about disposable cameras — your new favorite Instagram accessory.
Before what will undoubtedly be a crazy night out in London, it’s protocol to buy a cheap, disposable camera in order to capture the memories (that you may or may not already remember).
“It’s more spontaneous and in the moment to use a disposable than your camera phone,”says Kelby Keenan, a young actress bouncing from London to LA who I had the pleasure of having a night out with in Shoreditch. “Also, a lot less vain! There’s no option to edit and delete/take a hundred photos until you get one you like, I really hate that whole culture.”
If you’ve been to London or idolize any British pop icons like I do, you know that the greatest style rule (and life rule, for that matter) is to be unabashed and unaltered.
For instance, my style icon, Alexa Chung. When it comes to her overall style, “minimal” is definitely a word that comes to mind.
In the era of endless filter options and FaceTune, “minimalism” seems to be a long-forgotten thing of the past. The regime of a new, more vain culture taking its place.
According to Kelby, disposable cameras add an element of mystery because of of the method of physically getting the pictures.
She explained to me that “it’s way more exciting waiting for the film to get developed” as opposed to using your iPhone where you can see the pictures in an instant. Not to mention that it’s also close to impossible to alter them because once they’re developed, they can’t be changed.”
Of course, it helps that disposable cameras create such low-fidelity pics, it’s basically like they have a built-in filter. That’s why film photos are flattering af!
Once you’ve snapped your 35mm-esque pictures (move over, Tyler Shields) they make great decorations for your room or office. Kelby says she keeps hers in a box and now and then goes through them, even giving them to friends as a cute gift once in awhile.
Mine are hanging amongst strong lights over my bed, but you can also fill up a wall or closet door with your memories. When I asked Kelby why she thought using disposable cameras was a trend on the come-up, she said, “I think people miss the nostalgia of taking photos and what it means to capture a moment. [Disposable cameras] are a cheap way to get real prints as an alternative to using camera phones.”
You don’t need to go to London to up your Instagram game, you can go to your nearest drug store and start snapping like a Brit.
Just head to Duane Reade and grab a few cameras. Or, order them from Amazon. The possibilities are endless.
You have to promise me one thing though, my fellow Americans: no FaceTuning the pics after you scan them in. That would be cheating!