I remember being excited to get an iPhone mostly for its camera taking capabilities. You mean I can see my pictures, here and now? Sweet (but expensive)! I held out awhile but finally purchased one during the third trimester of my second pregnancy. However, I didn’t tweet my birth.
That was over five years ago and now I’m starting to feel that all the instant seeing, editing, cropping and filtering is too much. Too many pictures are too edited into some idea of perfection and immediately posted. If the lighting on your breakfast croissant isn’t quite right, you can change it. Also, years ago, I had photo albums. Actual books of my photos with pages of that adhesive paper and clear film that never stays flat after you pull it up once. For years I put nearly every picture I developed in one. Now, aside from my children’s school projects, I hardly ever print pictures anymore. I take tons, but I stopped printing them en masse when my first child was around two. He’s eight.
I fell out of love with printed photos because I know what’s in that processing envelope before I open it. That is, until recently.
Inspired by my son’s preschool that gives their “Star of the Week” a disposable camera to document their special status, I started giving both of my sons their own.
“Take some pictures,” I tell them.
I’ve found that when my kids have a disposable camera in their hands they look around. Take things in. They don’t ask to play Angry Birds (as much). And after our Disney trip last year, their developed pictures were a delightful stack of surprises.
My dad lost in Animal Kingdom.
Sure, the camera itself is ugly. As are some of the photos. But for every few not-so-great pictures, you see something that makes you smile. Or laugh out loud. You get a peek at what someone found fascinating at that exact point in time. And not only do you get to see it from their perspective, you have to wait to see it. And once you do, you can put it in a photo album. Well, eventually.
A non-Angry Birds bird. Yes!
Elephant butts = picture worthy
So that’s what I look like speaking to the concierge upon arrival.
I think Giraffes are cool. My eight year old agrees.
And this one simply looks like child wonder.
Oh, disposable cameras, you’ve charmed me. And Lena Dunham, too. She thinks you’re thrilling enough to post on Instagram.