Richard Photo Lab

3 Ways to Get More Out of Your Disposable Camera

For many people, the mention of a disposable camera can bring on waves of nostalgia. It’s oftentimes the very first way someone is introduced to film photography, whether it was 30 years ago or 30 days ago.

Besides relying on a professional dip n’ dunk lab with expert scanning technicians (psst, that’s us), there are ways to get even more from a disposable camera than what you’d typically think. If you’re new to analog or a seasoned film shooter, disposable cameras can open up a new way to experience one of your favorite photographic mediums. Here's how you can make the most out of using a disposable film camera.

STUDY LIGHTING

The beauty of shooting with film is that tones can look natural yet larger than life—but only if you have enough light. Because you can't adjust your aperture or shutter speed on a disposable camera, you'll need to get an even better handle on how a given lighting scenario will translate to your final image.

Outdoors? See how the sun and its position affect colors, experiment with backlight, play with direct light versus open shade. Indoors? Look at the effectiveness of flash at different distances, weigh the different color casts various overhead lights produce, test different positioning with window light. There is so much to be learned about light as an independent variable in film photography.

CHANGE PERSPECTIVE

The default for most people using bulky, heavier professional camera equipment is to shoot from eye level. But an agile, lightweight disposable camera lets you shake things up a bit and shoot from other angles with ease. Go high, go low, go sideways, or even capture a reflection. One of the fun things about film photography is the element of surprise—the thrill builds up from shooting to scan delivery. So practice being creative with your angles and points of view, and find something new with each shot.


Photo of a Kodak Portra 400

Inferno Ragazzi Rollei Disposable Camera

The photos in this blog were shot with this Rollei disposable camera!

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While posed/planned shots can be incredible, if your goal is to get truly raw, straightforward images, a disposable camera can help you get there. Because you’re not fussing with aperture settings, lens choices, and the like, it’s easier to simply snap a short-lived moment as it happens (without wandering into “over-orchestrating” territory).

Candid shots can also be an excellent exercise for adding range to your typical aesthetic as well as practicing how to capture fleeting moments. Don’t be afraid of blurred shots. Don’t be afraid of goofy facial expressions. Don’t be afraid of less-than-perfect compositions. Live in the moment.

Okay shutterbugs, are you ready to rock a disposable camera? Richard has your back! We sell disposable cameras, and what's even better—when you develop your disposable with us, we recycle it to help save the environment. So keep taking photos, and we'll take care of the rest.