If you are a frequenter of bar parties, you may know me as the miserable looking girl clutching a large, bulky camera and standing off to the side of the room. Occasionally, I walk around snapping pictures, but for the majority of the time, I am looking awkward and quite nervous.

My apprehensiveness is not without reason. I have been pushed in concert crowds and shoved to the ground by eager fans while I was trying to capture the best shot. My feet are my own worst enemy. On more occasions than I’d like to admit, I’ve fallen over ledges, stairs, and my own self, and I’ve instinctively had to wrap my hands around my most valuable possession as I’ve crashed to the ground. Twice I’ve been showered in people’s drinks: in one case, to one of the camera’s demise, forcing me into a state of panic as I attempted to sop up the liquid from the lens, flash, and buttons. In addition, the irrevocable fear that I am going to be mugged every time I step foot out my dorm room is a consistent feeling.

With a disposable camera, you lose all of that undesirable responsibility and awkwardness. They cost $10, are virtually indestructible, and are fairly simple to use. The constant battle over the perfect balance between shutter speed and depth of field is no more. They are waterproof, shatterproof, and reliable. When carrying a disposable camera, I am never worried about being robbed. Typically, people cannot understand why I would use such an outdated mode of photograph over the modern digital cameras of today.

Granted, you lose a significant amount of quality in the image when you use a disposable camera. Indeed, I’m confident that I could count pores or hair follicles on one of the portraits that my DSLR shoots, whereas a print from a disposable can be quite fuzzy. But a disposable camera can be shoved into a purse or even a back pocket. A DSLR often requires an extra bag just for accessories, and sometimes those accessories malfunction. The only malfunction I’ve ever had with a disposable camera the shutter’s failure to click. However, it ended up being a trivial mistake: I’d failed to advance the film all the way.
Even your built-in phone camera carries some of the same liabilities. We all have a friend who has shattered his/her iPhone trying to pose for a selfie or has taken the perfect picture of your one friend kissing your other friend on the cheek. Phones can get lost or stolen too.

Moreover, most phones have an instant upload to Facebook option. To the typical bar party-goer: you do not want this freedom. With a disposable camera, nothing is instant. Waiting for the film to be developed from a disposable is my favorite part about them. The gratification that comes with a good picture is greater with the wait.
I’m not suggesting some sort of backwards shift. Modern digital cameras have allowed photographers to capture the world unlike ever before. The space on a memory stick in a digital camera can be seemingly endless and the quality life unlimited. But perhaps for the next bar party, instead of shooting those muploads that you know you’ll regret the next morning , or taking photos that you’ll simply un-tag yourself in later on, you can leave those fancy cameras and iPhones at home and grab a disposable camera.

Arre is a member of
the class of 2015.

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