November 9, 2021

What I’ve Learnt From Using a Film Camera

I’ve been playing around with an old-school film camera lately.

It feels different, a good type of different.

The pictures feel special, too.

Whilst I tried to conjure up all the reasons why it felt so special to me, I found myself thinking about one point more than the others.

It’s restrictive.

There are fewer options on the device as well as both a financial and physical restriction on how many pictures you can take.

The paradox of choice is that having more options is not always a good thing.

A study made in 2000 found that shoppers were less likely to purchase jam from a store if there were more options of jam available.

When offered a choice from 6 rather than 24 types of jam, 30% of shoppers bought jam in the former compared with a measly 3% in the latter.

It seems to be a common theme in marketing books too, where more purchase options on the webpage leads to ‘less conversion’ into sales.

Similarly, we’re surrounded by tools that offer us more, and in return, we focus less.

I always struggle to write on my laptop with all its distractions, so I revert to pen and paper.

And of the hundred pictures I take of a single moment on my phone, the more the novelty divides amongst them, leaving a sea of unappreciated memories in my camera roll.

Using a film camera has been an exercise in slowing down, of gratitude for the present moment and a reminder that sometimes, less is more.

Every week, I write about philosophy, self-fulfilment and creativity.
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