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Youth Category, Honourable Mention

Adriel Tan

This is my story, of how I found my travel photography style.

The funny thing about digital photography today is that you can capture a multitude of memories easily, but yet these photos are as transient and immaterial as the memories they hope to preserve. I got my first disposable film camera in 2018, and brought it on a trip. I didn’t think much could come out of the $40 point and shoot camera, and dropped it off at a store to get developed. When the prints were done, I was stunned. Yes, the image quality was not fantastic. Yes, some pictures were unusable. But for the most part, the “retro film look” that VSCO and Instagram try to emulate was effortlessly captured. Perhaps more impactful was the tangibility of these prints. Here I was, holding my memories in my hands. The feeling was amplified when I compared these with pictures my mom had taken with her film camera 20 years ago.

Admittedly however, these prints were large (4x6) and cumbersome to bring around. I wanted something as portable and convenient as a digital photo, yet nostalgic like a film camera. This led me to a digital instant print camera, which snaps a digital image and prints it out instantly on a 2x3 card. .

I decided to take this a step further and take pictures of the printed pictures. This photo series is a result of that sudden inspiration. I keep the hardcopy prints and hang them up in my room for nostalgia’s sake, while sharing these pictures on instagram for memory’s sake. I’m really happy with how it turned out and this will probably continue to be my style of travel photography for some time to come 🙂