Do you know that the first permanent photographic image was made in 1826 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in Paris? Even though, typically, Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre is deemed to be the father of modern photography, as this inventor succeeded in developing a high-contrast and extremely sharp image, by exposing a plate coated with silver iodide. This plate was further exposing to mercury vapors. By 1837, he was able to fix the images with a common salt solution. He called this process daguerreotype and, for a couple of years, he tried (unsuccessfully) to commercialize it.
Nowadays, photography is one of the most aesthetically pleasing, popular and profitable practices of creating durable images. Stores are full of new, more efficient models of cameras but people are always willingly to go back to the benevolent inventions from the past. Jollylook, a photography gear company from Miami Beach in Florida, knows this best. They have created a Cardboard Vintage Instant Camera, also called Jollylook. This is a simple fold out camera for analog snapshots, made entirely from recycled paper and cardboard.
Jollylook doesn’t contain any electronics – just some paper, a pair of lenses and a cartridge for instant mini photos. The camera is environment-friendly – the company uses fewer materials than those used in the packaging of a regular camera. The camera body, shutter and aperture are made of thick paper and laminated cardboard. This device also has a delightful vintage design with a little steampunk thrown in. Last, but not least, the camera takes beautiful photos. By using Instax mini film, you can create ten instant classic color or monochrome analog unique photos (the cartridges can be changed many times).
How does Jollylook work? Just like an analog plastic and metal camera! First of all, set the lens position to landscape, group, portrait or macro. Secondly, choose the aperture (f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32, f/45 or f/64) pinhole. Thirdly, pull out the viewfinder and look through it. Press the shutter-release button, then roll out the exposed photo by turning the handle for developing – the rollers break the capsule with the processing liquid, and initiate the developing process. Voila – after a few minutes you have a unique photo in your hands!
This camera is very flexible. You can take close-ups from a distance of 50 cm (20 in) and you can take photos with a pinhole. A pinhole is a tiny hole that acts as a lens; you only need accuracy and patience. When taking photos with the pinhole, exposition can be up to a few minutes long. You can take photos with a manually operated shutter speed and you can take double exposed photos, too.
If you like the idea of a retro camera and vintage photos under your roof, you’ll probably enjoy the fact that Jollylook is currently crowdfunding its product on Kickstarter. The product has already met its goal on this platform, but you still can pre-order an early bird copy of the instant camera – with one Fujifilm Instax mini film cartridge – for $38. Don’t hesitate and get ready to say ‘cheese’!