By Larkin McDermott

I started using disposable cameras in the Summer of 2018. I thought it would be a cool way to commemorate moments from one of my last real summers before I entered the real world. I had no clue what I was doing. My first roll of photos was filled with either pictures that were so dark you couldn’t see what was going on or photos where people’s faces were cut off. But even with such a messy first roll, the photos immediately meant more to me than most of the photos on my iPhone camera roll. Developments in technology have become such a key aspect in the lives of our generation — always wanting the newest and best products that come out. The quality of photos that you can take on an iPhone now is amazing and you get all these chances to switch up your pose, try a different background, and take the perfect shot. But there is something to be said about the simplicity and lack of control that you have on a disposable camera. You only have so many shots and you can’t waste them by taking the same photo over and over again hoping to have 1 out of 100 that is insta worthy. Normally me (and my anxiety) like to be in control of everything going on in my life, I hate the unknown. Getting a roll of film developed, however, is full of unknowns — wondering if a certain shot will turn out the way you hoped or maybe there will be a standout photo you didn’t think would turn out that well. Taking film shots on disposable cameras has made me learn how to anticipate the unknown with excitement.

So I didn’t stop with that first roll and I didn’t stop after that summer. I had discovered a new passion and eventually I decided to try and do a camera every month. It has become more than just a hobby, it has also become a way to connect with people. People always ask if I want to get in the photo and usually I don’t, I like being able to document my experiences from my point of view. I like to be able to show off to the world the incredible people I’m surrounded by. This has been especially important as I’ve entered my “senior” year — I’m taking a victory lap year of college. Someday I will be able to look back and see so many of the best days and nights of my life frozen in time in these soft, sometimes underexposed, unedited pictures.

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