Analogue Advice for disposables and compact shooting

 As a seasoned analogue shooter here’s a few bits of advice and suggestions you may find useful when starting off with 35mm film or disposable cameras.

  • Start by shooting on a basic colour roll if you are trying out a new camera or experimenting with your process, you can choose to get that roll or disposable scanned in colour and in black and white. If you are just shooting in black and white you immediately limit your options.


  • When starting out chose film that is C-41 process this means that it can be developed by most film Labs, if you choose “True” or hand develop black and white film, the expectation is that you are going to develop this yourself or you will need to take it to a place that specialises in developing this film or invest in a home development kit.


  • Always put your flash on indoors or in low light or even shooting into the light. If your subject is a few feet away and you’re using a basic compact or disposable, then pop that flash on to give you as much chance of capturing the scene as possible.

  • Remember Disposable cameras can only shoot up to 2 metres in front of you if in lowlight and indoors, so use the right camera for the job at hand if you’re at a music concert, use your phone to shoot distance and your disposable to shoot the experience.

  • Refer to the camera manufacturers website to learn how to correctly load the film into your new camera for the first time. If in doubt get someone from the lab to show you how to load your film. There's nothing that will make you as sad as a blank roll.

  • Don’t forget to re-wind if its not automatic and don’t open up the back of the camera to check if its ok half way through. This sounds obvious but you would be surprised how often this happens.


  • If you are planning to edit your scans on photoshop before processing then opt for a higher quality scan than the standard, a high-res scan is twice the resolution of standard and premium is twice again!


  • If you are shooting a lot of disposable cameras and are enjoying the aesthetic then maybe invest in a re-usable compact film camera to improve the quality and experience.


  • If you are choosing a disposable camera try to avoid the cheaper carboard covered generic cameras as they are re-packed pre-used film cameras with spurious film types and don’t turn out very well at all.


  • Invest in a branded product from Fujifilm or Kodak for the best results.
35mmAnalogue cameraAnalogue filmClassic camerasDisposable cameraFujifilm