Teenagers return to nostalgic forms of photography

During summer of 2021, many teens plan to return to forms of photography older than smartphone cameras. Many teens feel as if it gives them an opportunity to capture memories without the distraction of the other functions of a smartphone.

By using disposable cameras to capture memories over the summer, teenagers have made a return to vintage photography while ditching their smartphone camera.
Starting to reappear in 2019 through a TikTok trend, disposable cameras became a popular trend for snapping photos throughout the year. Many teens would buy them before events or periods of time, use up the film and get it developed later to capture special moments in a special way.
Junior Eduardo Li uses his friend Jackson Self’s disposable cameras at gatherings between friends.
“There’s the disposable cameras which are cool, because you don’t get to see them until about a week later,” Li said.
According to Li, one of the best aspects of using a disposable camera is feeling the technical aspects of the photography at play.
“I think just like the mechanicalness of it because you have to wind it a little bit,” Li said. “Taking a photo feels real, I guess.”
Sophomore Anjolie Ware also enjoys the mechanical aspect of the disposable camera. Ware buys disposable cameras to use with friends.
Ware’s favorite part of using a disposable camera is the anticipation of waiting to see the photos.
“The most fun part about it is probably that you can’t see the pictures until they come out,” Ware said. “Even though it’s kind of frustrating, it kind of makes it fun because you have to wait and see.”
Sophomore Julia Kong uses disposable cameras with friends to capture memories.
“When I don’t have my phone, (I’d use) probably a disposable camera,” Kong said.
Kong feels like the vintage feel of the photo makes it extra unique when compared to a digital photo.
“The whole essence of the picture just looks different, so everything is more special,” Kong said.
In Kong’s opinion, using a disposable camera is most fun in a candid setting. Candid photos are taken in moments where you aren’t necessarily supposed to be taking photos, but want to capture the moment.
“I was actually gonna say like moments that you’re not supposed to actually be taking pictures – so like all anything like candid,” Kong said.
Li has a similar viewpoint of when to use a disposable camera. He believes that since the photos taken on a singular camera are finite, they should be used with friends for occasions.
“Since they are so limited, I guess with friends,” Li said. “Because you only have, I think it’s 20 photos per camera.”
Sophomore Alicia Jones enjoys using her Canon digital camera.
According to Jones, when she is with friends she wants to capture the moment, but not have the distractions of a phone.
“I always want to remember it and take a picture, but I don’t want that to be me on my phone, texting other people,” Jones said.
For Jones, the best way to take pictures without other distractions is a digital camera.
“It’s a good way to take pictures and capture the moment without the distractions of social media or anything,” Jones said.