I feel very little nostalgia for this vintage camera stuff. They were a real annoyance and in many ways are symbolic of pictures I don’t have. They were pricey, and if you weren’t near a K-Mart, they could be hard to come by.
I’m glad photography has come so far and that it’s so much easier to capture life in pictures now than it was when I was a kid. The advancements in photography over the last 40 years, since the oldest Gen Xers were kids, has truly been game-changing. From LCD review screens and digital chips to auto-focus and fast lenses, taking great pictures has become as much about artistry as it has historically been about knowledge and skill. Nobody has to worry about F-stop anymore!
These changes have occurred in lockstep with changes in journalism, too.
80 Percent of Journalism – Visual Communication
I work in public relations and advocacy, and photography has become more and more important to my work. Did you know that 80 percent of journalism is now visual communication? I manage the Oklahomans for the Arts facebook page. If I wrote a status update about legislation that threatened to end all arts education funding, it would probably draw 20 or so responses. But, if I post a single, amazing photo or illustration that communicates the importance of arts education, it might draw several hundred “likes” and several dozen “shares.”
So, I am always thinking about what will engage people visually. Sometimes, this feels like a cheap trade, but that is not the case. If you can communicate concepts to people visually you’ll stay on their radar and then when you really, really need them to support your cause, it’s more likely they’ll be there for you.
If I had to rely on an Instamatic camera and flash cubes to do this, I’d be toast. So, it’s pretty interesting how much advancements in photography have contributed to cause marketing and grassroots advocacy.
For those of you who do feel nostalgia over Sylvania flash cubes and Instamatics there are lots of fun products on Etsy featuring the brands.
1. Hand-pulled block print of the Instamatic by 30 Silent Mockingbirds.
2. Vintage camera note cards by Just Daisy.
3. Sylvania Blue Dot Flashcubes pillow by Fifi’s Finds.
4. iPhone case by Phoney Graphics inspired by the Instamatic.
Now, here’s something I do feel a little nostalgia for — the Fisher Price Pocket Camera. These were very popular during my toddler years. The one below was introduced the year I was born, 1967.