An expired roll of film – why so serious ?

Sometimes photography doesn’t always have to be very serious. Every once in a while all of us photographers should forget the chase about megapixels, gear and likes on social media and become the playful child again.

Do you remember how you have used your first camera ? I do and I used it more as a toy instead of some social media like-producing piece of gear.

And ever once in a while I get stuck in the mindset that I need better gear to produce better photographs. That I need more expensive lenses, to achieve sharper and cleaner images. That I need a tripod to try longtime exposures, because this is a field where I can achieve more attention than in my portrait / street / documentation photography.

In the end all these thoughts are meaningless. If it’s a good photograph, it’s a good photograph. No matter the gear behind it. You can make a stunning street portrait with a Holga and you can fail while portraying someone while using your very expensive Leica M6 (happened to me).

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Hence I’ve used a very special camera. It was an old disposable film camera, that was lying for at least 15 years in my car – in case an accident happens and I need to record evidence.

Yes I’m coming from an age where smartphones and digital cameras weren’t the standard equipment that you carried with you all the time.

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At first I wanted to throw this camera away, because it wasn’t “professional” enough. But I gave it a try and after I removed the paper cover – it turned out that this little piece of plastic had a pretty strong flash, that still worked – and fitted perfectly in my hands.

A perfect piece for street photography and daily documentation.

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15 years old camera with an even older battery. I’m quite impressed with the power of this little in-built flash.

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Colours weren’t too much off the chart as well.

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It will definitely not the last time, that I will use a disposable camera for my work and private photography. Even the size of this little camera makes it perfect for undercover shots. People will not get intimidated by it – because it just doesn’t look serious.

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Even though these might not be the best photographs that I’ve taken – I enjoyed taking every photo with it.

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And in case you’re bored and have no idea what to photograph: take a self portrait.

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Or two in a row.

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To end my little writing here:

Whenever you are “stuck” with your photography, take a step back. Start to think about why you take photos.

Is it for the fame ? Is it for the likes on social media? For the perfection of a 42 megapixel image that is stuck on your hard drive for the next 20 years?

I doubt that.

I think we all take photographs because it causes joy. Because it’s fun and our passion to freeze a moment in time.

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So get yourself up, get the worst camera that you can find and just enjoy the process of taking childish photographs.

You are not going to regret it.

I promise.

xxx

Michel