Why are instant photos so nostalgic?

I recently got an instant camera (instax mini 8) and I have to admit instant photography is just so much fun. Somehow instant pictures are much more valuable to me than pictures I take with my normal camera or smartphone. I guess the price of the film does contribute to the value in some way but that’s not what I mean.

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Most of the time I tend to take several pictures of the same thing with my smartphone, and then pick the one I think is the best shot. (I think I’m not the only one.) But what about the rest of them, the pictures that are less satisfying, the ones that capture the moments between those that we want to keep in memory? Those empty pictures mean nothing to us and their sole purpose is to fill up our memory cards until we erase them, and then, vanish into oblivion.
But we don’t do that with instant pictures. We don’t take 10, 20 pictures and only keep one of them. Every picture is the one.

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(It does look like a picture from the 70s right?)

And even crappy pictures become valuable. I think the idea of capturing something that very moment – forever on print – makes it much more nostalgic than any digital photograph. It’s not deletable and unique in its own way. I always feel like, I only got one shot, and that’s it. And even if it doesn’t turn out to be the best shot at first, I tend to like it eventually.
So I was thinking..
What if everything in life was an instant photo?

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One thought on “Why are instant photos so nostalgic?

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