How to Make the Most of Your Disposable Wedding Camera

Written by    Last updated: May 3, 2011

Disposable cameras are fun and easy to use and that’s why they’re still so popular. Even in the age of digital photos and smart phone apps, these little colourful cameras are still a welcome addition to your reception tables. Although they’ll never be a cheap substitute for a professional photographer, the beauty of them is your 10-year-old niece and your 90-year-old granny will have fun with them and there’s no telling what photos they will capture.  And, as with any equipment, a few do’s and don’ts go a long way to ensure your resulting pictures are good so here are our top tips for using disposable cameras at your wedding.

disposable cameras

Tip # 1 – these cameras are not digital

They don’t compensate for low lighting conditions or distances. Think about indoor places – unless the wedding is outdoors on a bright sunny day, a disposable camera will not pick up everything in its sight. Keep this in mind when taking pictures – if the light is low and/or something is far away, it probably won’t show up in the photo.

Tip # 2 – use flash, use flash, oh and use flash

Simple – are you inside? Use flash! Are you outside, and the light is behind the person/scene you are trying to photograph? Use flash! Not sure what to do? Use flash! Oh, and remember – flash only illuminates so far (usually up to a range of about 10 feet or 3 meters). If you are taking pictures of the newlyweds’ first dance, and your Uncle Bob is at the other end of the dance floor doing his cute bum jig to the music – no he will not show up in that photo. He’s too far!

Oh and also – most disposable cameras require you to switch the flash ON manually – so if it’s not flashing, it’s probably not on! The camera is not faulty – just flip that switch!

Tip # 3 – mind the light

Ideally, the light should always be behind YOU – so it shines on the subject. If the light is anywhere else, you’ll get half shadows, or if the light is behind the subject (shining directly at you), all you’ll get is a silhouette. What to do? Move around to get as much light behind you as possible, and if impossible – use flash!

Tip # 4 – zoom zoom – what, no zoom?

It’s important (flash or not) to be within a reasonable distance from your subject – about 3 – 4 feet, or 1 – 1.2 meters. If you get too close, your image will be blurry. If you are too far, your flash won’t illuminate the subject. Stay within the recommended distance.

Tip # 5 – what you see is not what you get

The thing with film cameras is – the picture area is far smaller than what you see through the viewfinder. So leave plenty of space around whatever it is you’re trying to photograph – it will get cropped! You don’t want the bride to see herself with the top of her head missing in every picture, do you?

Tip # 6 – you won’t get huge prints

Don’t try to get poster images – these pictures will look best in maximum 8×10 size when developed. If you fancy yourself quite a photographer, bring a digital camera instead – and gift the bride and groom your best image enlarged in a lovely frame after the wedding.

Tip # 7 – don’t fiddle

When finished, don’t open the camera to take out the film, or try to disassemble it in the “how does it work” discovery spirit (no doubt helped by some real spirits) – just leave it alone to be developed by whatever arrangement the newlyweds have made.

Keeping these in mind, you will get great pictures that not only you, but the couple will enjoy! Disposable is simple – so keep it simple, and remember to have fun!

You’ll find a huge selection of disposable cameras in all colours and themes in the Confetti Shop

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