Ted Hardy writes:
As you may know, I’m a really big fan of the disposable camera. I love the way that you can use them to snap shots in interesting ways and novel places. I feel that they really push the boundaries of what you can do simply because they are disposable. You can do things with a disposable camera that you wouldn’t dream of doing with your digital camera.
For a great example of that, Take Picture Don’t Steal is a wonderful project by a guy called Matt Greenwood in Canada. He had the idea of leaving a bunch of disposable cameras at different locations all around Toronto. Attached to the cameras was a sign that said “take picture don’t steal”.
What Matt got back from this project has been a great set of photos that you can find on his website. Looking through these pictures, it’s easy to see that the subjects of the photos are so at ease. They are obviously so incredibly comfortable with the situation and this comes over in the pictures that have been taken. Many of the shots are self portraits and many others have been shot by a friend of the subject. The natural quality of the photography is what really caught my attention. Compare this to the images you would get if a complete stranger was taking the shots.
In an interview on eyeweekly.com, Matt admits that some of the cameras were stolen – about nine in total. In a heart warming anecdote he tells of how a complete stranger told him off when he came to collect one of the cameras, thinking that he was stealing it for his own ends. He also tells the interviewer that the best pictures that he has had taken on his cameras are one of a woman in her full bridal outfit and another of a woman with the shot focusing on her pregnant belly.
Matt is looking to expand the project around the world. He features pictures from Madrid and Barcelona in Spain as well as sixteen different locations around Toronto. He has been sending the cameras to friends of his who live in different parts of the globe or who are on travelling trips around the world.
The initial idea for the project came when he discovered a disposable camera in the cupboard above the fridge.
I love this project for its simplicity and honesty. What a wonderful use of the disposable camera. Keep an eye on takepicturedontsteal.com for more shots as they are posted.
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution No Derivatives
The Take Pictures Don’t Steal project would like you to send an email for details on the project, and how you can be part of a book.
- Disposable camera (or more than one)
- White index cards
- Strong tape
- Black marker
If you have done something fun or interesting with disposable cameras, I’d like to know. Comment below, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.