In this day and age taking a photograph is easier than ever. There are cameras built into our phones, computers, tablets, iPods ... The way we share photos has also changed. There was a time when you’d print your photos and file them away into photo albums, but since the advances in technology and the emergence of the internet, all this has changed.
Not only do we have what seems like an endless amount of space to store photos on our devices, but we also have the internet, and specifically, social media. Social networks such as Facebook allow us to post our pictures and albums to share with friends and family. There are also sites dedicated to posting pictures, such as Tumblr or Instagram. People can now even become famous solely based on the photos that they post to these social networks.
Whilst you could argue this easy ability to store, share and enjoy photos is fantastic, it also could be said that photographs have lost some of their meaning. I have over 1000 pictures on my smartphone and several thousand stored on my computer. I love Instagram and occasionally send Snapchats and post my pictures to Facebook. Sometimes, however, I’ll be in the middle of taking or posting a photo and think, is this really something worth doing? I try to ask myself, will I really want to look back at this picture of a coffee or a selfie taken in a bathroom by myself? Probably not.
Even though I’m guilty of occasionally taking meaningless and boring pictures like this, a couple of years ago I decided to find a way to make my photographs more meaningful. How did I do this? Disposable cameras! When I go on a trip, I always try to take a disposable camera. With only 27 pictures you can take, you really think about the photographs you’re taking. It’s also kind of exciting that you can’t see the photograph straight away. And finally, it’s so much fun to get the pictures developed and look through them again. I have two sets of film to develop from 6 months ago and I can’t wait to see the pictures.
I’ll admit that I couldn’t live without social media or taking photographs on my smartphone, but I do think taking photographs has become less meaningful. That’s why I’ll continue using disposable cameras. It’s a great way to capture real memories and make your photographs more meaningful. They’ll be something I will actually want to look at years later.
Do you take too many photographs? What do you think of the disposable camera idea?