Generation Z’s Obsession with Film Photography

Ever heard of a finsta? And, no, I’m not talking about a “fake Instagram,” or a sinsta (“secret Instagram”) as some west coasters may refer to it. I’m talking about a “film Instagram,” an account dedicated solely to one’s film pictures, which is making a comeback as the latest, trendiest method of photography. 

It makes sense that film is back in style. From vinyl LPs to 90s fashion, Generation Z is infamous for making old trends their trends. Digital photography has been the method of choice for the past two decades, but photographers and amateurs, have been taking up analog to provide some much-needed authenticity. 

Photo credit: Samuel Walker

With film, every photo counts. Literally. It can be a bit of a pricey process, especially if you’re sending the rolls of film out to be developed, but that moment where you finally get to see how the photos turned out allows you to relive all of those precious memories. Whether it happened two weeks or two months ago, those memories are forever captured within the dreamy film grain, making you nostalgic for the past.

And, while it’s great to have those moments for yourself. According to Gen Z, pics or it didn’t happen. Our Instagram feeds are clouded with iPhone pictures of recently developed disposable cameras, the cheapest option for anyone looking to dabble in film. (That’s where I started out a couple of years ago. But after going through a couple of cameras, it made more sense to purchase my own camera body and film rolls.) 

Photo credit:

Celebrities such as David Dobrik (@davidsdisposable) and Gigi Hadid (@gisposable) are increasing young fans’ obsessions with the film aesthetic as they each have their own film Instagrams filled with images of famous friends and Hollywood events captured by their disposable cameras. Dobrik has become so synonymous with this method that he even sold his own cameras marketed as “David’s Disposable” for almost triple the amount of the ones sold at your local drugstore. 




A post shared by David Dobrik (@davidsdisposable) on


But for others, such as actress Diana Silvers (@dianasfilmdiary) and Frank Ocean (@blonded), film photography is more of a serious art form, dabbling in different mediums such as Super 8 and medium format (Note: Ocean does not have a separate account for his film photography, but his main account features images from his Contax T3).

Although film photography is “trendy,” it is also refreshing to see in an increasingly digital world. Film takes time, patience, and creativity- all things we could use a bit more of. So, this may be one trend worth getting on board with. 

Stop by your local thrift store or flea market and pick up a cheap film camera because I assure you: film is not dead. And it won’t be for a long, long time. 

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