The last time I picked up the photos from two disposable cameras it cost me close to forty dollars, more than a few phone calls (“yes hi do you develop dinosaur technology?”), and a cross-borough bike ride.
I will do it again, and again.
Yes there is a tiny part of me that hates myself for filling up yet another box I’ll have to move (and move, and move) as I apartment-hop in Brooklyn. But the part of me that loves doling out physical photos to the people starring in them, months after the event or the wedding or the birthday party, is bigger. It’s much bigger.
I owe this love mostly to (or blame it on, depending how you look at it) my good friend Marian, slinger of disposable cameras and preacher of capturing many moments, always. I learned the following from her: Carry a disposable camera on you whenever you can, take photos with abandon, then wait a minute—or a month—to develop. You’ll have a stack that’s good and random, from the moments you almost forgot. It’s like a beautiful little time capsule, except you can buy it at CVS.
Apply the same tactic to weddings: Bring one or two, take a few shots, and then pass it around, free from worry about about losing a camera more precious to you. This one will be protected by its little cardboard jumpsuit and watched over by wedding guests, the transient, dancing babysitters they are. And let us be clear: Temporarily losing it is the point. It will find its way back to you the next morning, as will your cardigan, and your sobriety, and your shoes.
Doing it this way will be more of a surprise. Nevermind that your Aunt Deb took three sort of plastered bathroom selfies (she never did figure out that smartphone, anyway)—the roll of film will be more than your own personal time capsule. It’ll be a little bit of everyone’s.