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Rebecca Karlous

5 Tips & Tricks for Making the Most Out of Your Disposable Camera Photos

As film photography is on the rise, more and more people are purchasing disposable cameras from their nearest CVS. What personally draws me to taking film photos is the comforting, warm feeling that the photo ignites inside of me. Unlike most digital photos, film photography embraces a feeling of nostalgia for many, though the photo may have been taken just yesterday. I had just recently developed film that I had taken gradually over the span of my last three months as a junior at UCLA. Now being home due to COVID 19, I decided to get my film developed before businesses were going to be shutting down. When I received my photos online, it put the biggest smile on my face to be able to have these memorable photos of my last few months with my friends before we all went home. Film photos, most especially, can oddly enough spark so many emotions in a person. Fortunately, you do not need to be an “Instagram photographer” like Bryant Eslava to capture film photos but can start out with the disposable Fuji/Kodak cameras offered at any convenience store. Listed below are helpful pointers that can help disposable camera beginners.

Flash Photography

If you are inside, you are always going to want to use flash. Indoor flash will allow for your pictures to develop the way that we all want: sharp and clear. I have made the mistake of not using flash in and indoor settings before which can make your photos to be extremely grainy and soft (which also can be a cool vibe if that’s what you are going for).

Keep it Candid

It could be a personal opinion, but film is a lot more emotion-provoking when it is natural. So keep your shoulders back, loosen up, laugh a bit if you want and keep the photo as candid as possible. You want to go for more “in the moment” rather than digital photo “posed.”

Use Colors

Make your film photo eye-catching by incorporating lots of colors. Whether it is the background of the sunset, a field of flowers or a vivid outfit you may be wearing, be sure to emphasize those elements into the photograph. I promise you the photo looks one hundred times more appealing when there are lots of colors being incorporated into the frame.

Keep Your Range

If you are trying to take photos of a friend or any type of group photos, you want to refrain from taking your photos too far away from the subject. The farther you are, the less focus you will be aiming at the subject and more in the background. As a result, this can result in a different color pay off than what you would have originally wanted.

Be Smart On When to Use It

Like I had mentioned previously, I prefer taking photos with my disposable camera during a span of a couple of months. If you are impatient and want your photos to be developed ASAP, do not take this advice. However, taking your film photos gradually allows you to make the most out of your photos. Rather than shooting from one day, location, and outfit, shooting overtime creates variety in your photos when you get them developed. The only time I would recommend using one film camera in a day would be for a special event or birthday party. On top of all that, it is like Christmas morning getting your film developed back to you and remembering all those photos and memories you captured during those months.

Create some new memories with these helpful tips and capture away.

Rebecca (also goes by Bec and Becca) is an English major at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and an Assistant Editorial Director and writer for HC at UCLA. In her free time, she loves a strong oat milk latte at a local LA coffee shop, catching the sunset at the beach and hunting for the perfect breakfast burrito.
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