Throwback Thursday: Disposable Cameras

Taylor Swift, the singer of every teen’s favorite break up songs, wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal earlier this week where she explored the possible future of the music industry, but one thing she said had a great influence on me to throw it back (and no, it had nothing to do with gardens). According to the world famous Country-Pop fusion star, she hasn’t “been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera. The only memento “kids these days” want is a selfie.” My first thought was, well I guess I can stop practicing my signature for when I’m famous; my second, is there anything left untouched by the iPhone? This Throwback Thursday, I’d like to kick it back to a device that was key to any ’90s kid (whose parents did not trust them with the family Polaroid camera) and feature disposable cameras.

Chances are a majority of today’s kids would think of the disposable camera as a completely foreign device, but 10 to 15 years ago, they were the most necessary items to have at any social event: dances, games, summer camp. The moments that people used to photograph weren’t as monumental as they are today; not everything was documented, cataloged and shared. Today, with social media sites like Instagram, SnapChat, Vine, Facebook and Twitter, people find even greater ways to use their cameras, but does this come at a cost? Perhaps that’s a question for a different blog.

Today, I just want to share a few fun facts about disposable cameras that kids might have a hard time wrapping their heads around:

1. You had to wait until the entire role of film (yes, I said film) was used up before you could see how your photo turned out. So chances were that you’d take the same photo once or twice (no more than that because each photo counted, you couldn’t delete them).

2. Before you could actually see the photo, you had to send the camera in to the photo store to get it developed (yes, there were stores whose sole purpose was to develop film).

3. There was a very high chance not every photo you took would turn out (especially if you ever dropped the camera). The flash, distance from the camera or a poor placed finger could ruin an entire photo.

4. Once you got them developed, you’d share your photos by placing them into actual, physical albums and inviting people over (or bringing them with you) to show people. (People socialized IRL).

5. You can still buy disposable cameras.

 

 

Obviously disposable cameras had their pros and cons, but now that kids (and everybody else) today take photos a little for granted, the cameras do have a bit of nostalgia to them.

Have a fond memory or a horror story from using disposable cameras? Share them with us in the comments.

Cover Photo Source: Milleflore Images

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.