Turn your iPhone into a disposable camera without throwing it away

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Photojojo has a new app that brings some of the fun of a disposable camera to your iPhone. Photo: Photojojo
Photojojo has a new app that brings some of the fun of a disposable camera to your iPhone. Photo: Photojojo

The analog types can argue technology has removed a lot of the magic from photography. The wonder is gone. We see the picture on our screen the very moment after it’s taken. The crappy shot from today would be cherished 10 years down the road, but you’ll never realize it because you deleted the picture.

Photojojo has developed an app to restore the wonder and magic. It turns your iPhone into a disposable camera – well, the wonder part anyway. You keep your phone.

Download the app for free on iTunes. You then pay $12.99 each time you want a camera in the app. On each camera are 27 exposures that become a set of prints sent to your doorstep about 10 days after the 27th pictures is snapped. You do not get to see the photo after you have made it – classic wonder – so the app prevents you from foolishly deleting some eventual important piece of your personal story.

After the 27th shot, Photojojo prints the pictures from is Disposable Camera App on card stock and ships them to your doorstep. Photo: Photojojo
After the 27th shot, Photojojo prints the pictures from is Disposable Camera App on card stock and ships them to your doorstep. Photo: Photojojo

“We’ve seen a sharp decline in the shoeboxes full of prints that had been accumulating under our beds and wanted to bring back prints, glorious prints,” Photojojo.com Editor Laurel Sittig told Cult of Mac. “We wanted to recreate the feeling of having 27 potential prints burning a hole in your pocket. It puts you on the lookout for the next great shot and makes each snap of the shutter that much more deliberate.”

One you take the picture with the Disposable Camera App, you won't see it again until the prints arrive in the mail. Photo: Photojojo
One you take the picture with the Disposable Camera App, you won’t see it again until the prints arrive in the mail. Photo: Photojojo

Advances in digital photography often take the flaws and limitations of the past and make them a deliberate part of today’s esthetic. Light leaks, poor exposures and washed out colors are now filters. The square format is hotter than ever. Even out-of-focus is a look.

Photojojo joins other companies with similar apps. Cult of Mac recently wrote about Mint Digital’s White Album app gives users a similar experience with 24 photos for $20. Pang Labs has Throwback, a free app that does not let you view your pictures but will send them to you out of blue in an email one month to five years out just as a surprise. “Forget your memories so they can be remembered again,” the developers say.

Photojojo can freely swim with its competitors in this niche without much worry since it has a huge following as a popular online retailer of fun photography gadgets (it started in 2006) and online smartphone shooting classes. Along with selfie sticks and the latest clip-on lenses for iPhone, Photojojo’s store caters to the nostalgic with Polaroid type instant print cameras, manual focus art lenses and DIY pinhole cameras.

There were 4,000 downloads of the Disposable Camera App on April 6, the first day Photojojo announced its availability. Because you are using your iPhone, you don’t have to deal with the poor quality of the plastic disposable camera. The prints get shipped on a thick matte card stock in case you want to be really old school and send one as a postcard by snail mail.