The disposable or single use camera is essentially a camera box, filled with a roll of film intended to be used only once. Once all the shots have been taken the whole camera is handed into a developers for processing. Some of the camera boxes are lucky enough to be given a second life, and refilled with a new film. Another chance to see the world through their fixed focus lens.
Shot Simple is an inspiring blog project which captures peoples experiences from all over the world on disposable cameras. The latest project originated from a disposable camera that had been tied to a tree on the Isle of Wight. A note was attached wishing people a Merry Christmas and asked them to take a picture, leaving the camera for the next passer by. Along with this there has been many other amazing projects such as 'Disposable Kilimanjaro', 'Disposable USA', and 'Disposable Belgium and Amsterdam'. I caught up with the Nick Mack, the creator of Shot Simple to tell me a bit more about his obsession with disposable cameras.
You are obviously a very creative and imaginative person, where do you find your inspiration?
In God, life and people. I know that sounds a bit vague. Sorry. I find God very inspiring. Life in so many forms is inspiring. You know, nature and all that. And people. However screwed up or lovely people can get, they also have a tendency to be really inspirational.
When did you first become interested in Photography?
Probably when I discovered that I was rubbish at painting but I still wanted to make pictures. Photography came along and helped me outwith that (thanks photography!). I might not be very good, but I really love it because it gives me this opportunity to unleash whatever creativity I've got. That's really important to me. I think photography might be in the blood. My Gran and my Dad used to take loads of pictures on the kinds of cameras that would give hipsters massive boners now. My Dad and Gran are well cool.
What is your favourite photograph you've taken and why?
This picture is of my brother in law, Mark. I lived and worked with him and my sister in Tampa, Florida. I used sit all squashed in the back of his Ford Mustang. This was my view from there every day. It makes me feel nostalgic; I've got some really good memories of life in the USA. Mark just joined the army out there so I've been thinking about him quite a bit. Obviously, it's a big step for him to take. I suppose that adds to this picture being a favourite of mine.
Do you have a favourite film/camera?
Disposable cameras, duhhhh! Okay, just kidding. I like this slide film that I sometimes use with my Diana. I really like Polaroid cameras, too! Obviously I just like cameras that are easy to use for a simpleton like me.
Black and white or colour?
Colour probably just about takes it. I'm generally a bit fan of colour in the world.
What would you say is the soundtrack to your life?
It's changing all the time. Right now it consists of Jeff Buckley,Elliot Smith, David Bazan, Bob Dylan, Death Grips, Battles, Fugazi, Wu Tang and Slayer. Slayer are well good for when you've got a set of headphones and some work to smash out.
When you were little what was your dream job?
Zoo keeper. I bloody LOVED panda bears. Loved? Who am I kidding?
They still rule.
Maybe your next disposable project should be Disposable Zoo. I'm sure the world is craving for some pictures of Nick Mack as a zookeeper! Have you ever made a pinhole camera?
Never made one. Always meant to make one, but I have absolutely zero to show for my good intentions. Gutted. I actually tried to make one using my Diana but it didn't work. I'd like to make one using a matchbox or just some folded paper. That's it, my late new year's resolution is to make one! Mark my words....
I have officially marked your words. It would be really interesting to find out how it went for you. I might even try one myself. Then we can swap shop our pinhole cameras with each other.You create a lot of personal projects for Shot Simple whilst having a full time job. Do you think it's important to create work for yourself?
I guess I don't see it as creating work. I dunno, sometimes I get stressed out because I'm not doing anything fun or creative, and then I get stressed out because I'm doing loads of stuff as well as having a job. Sometimes I look at it as though I have to hit a quota for creating fun and creative stuff, and that kinda sucks the joy out of doing little projects. Has that even answered the question? It's definitely important to do fun and creative things, life would suck balls otherwise.
I completely agree with you. I often find myself in the same position. What do you have planned for the future of Shot Simple? Apart from making the pinhole camera!
That partially depends on what people want to do! I like people to contribute and say "hey, can I do a disposable ______?" The answer is nearly always "yes, yes you can", so if you have an idea for a fun project that uses disposable cameras then please let me know... and I'll hijack it. My niece recently filled another disposable camera. She just turned 5 so it'll be fun to see her perspective on things in the pictures she's taken. My friends work for London City Mission and I gave them some disposable cameras to hand out to the homeless people that they work with. Hopefully I'll get them back with some great pictures. If that happens I'd like to do an exhibition of some kind. That would be ace.
You can find out more about Nicks work at www.shotsimple.wordpress.com