Disposable Camera Street Photography by Eric Kim

$5 Disposable Camera from Walgreens. My new street photography camera.

When it comes to street photography, I am a huge advocate that it doesn’t matter what camera you have for street photography. You don’t need a $6900 Leica M9 to do street photography–whatever camera you have on you will work. In-fact, there is no “best” camera for street photography, as every camera out there has its own pros/cons.

To help bring some light to the issue that what camera you use for street photography doesn’t matter, I decided to do a new project involving disposable cameras. First inspired by the Mosaic photography contest, where contestants in Beirut, Lebanon had to take photos with disposable cameras– I was quite amazed by the results. And at $5, disposable cameras are certainly cheap. Sure buying a ton of them and developing the film isn’t, but I thought it might be a fun exercise regardless.

All the images taken below were with a disposable $5 Walgreens camera. I am quite pleased how they came out (no post-processing applied):

San Diego

"America" - Downtown San Diego

"You're Not Alone" - Downtown San Diego

"Chilling" - Downtown San Diego

Santa Monica

"Entry" - Santa Monica

"Exit" - Santa Monica

"No Limits" - Santa Monica

"The Red Flag" - Santa Monica

"Framed" - Santa Monica

"Reflections" - Santa Monica

"Gridlock" - Santa Monica

"Skating" - Santa Monica (shot with Flash)



"Window View" - Lebanon

"Levitation" - Lebanon

"Secret Agent"

"Salon" - Lebanon

"Crosses" - Lebanon

"United Colors" - Lebanon

"People on the Bus" - Lebanon

"Stop" - Lebanon

"Edgar Tueni" - Lebanon

"Raised Portrait" - Lebanon

"Curtains" - Lebanon

"Red and Blue" - Lebanon

"The Streets" - Lebanon

Let me know what you think about the photos by leaving a comment below! I really appreciate your feedback :)

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  • supahcute

    All the Lebanon photos turned out really well. My favorite is “Red and Blue.” Nice job!

    • http://www.erickimphotography.com Eric Kim

      Thanks Hana! :D

  • Sue

    These turned out flippin’ sweet, I dig the total 90’s vibes to them. My faves are the the first 3 images :)

    • http://www.erickimphotography.com Eric Kim

      Glad you dig them Sue! :)

  • David Glasco

    Made your point! Just sold my M9 and bought a couple cases of Walgreen’s best. Even got them to throw in free processing.

    • http://www.erickimphotography.com Eric Kim

      Oh hells yes ;)

  • http://geckogr.deviantart.com Reinhard

    some are bright and clear…some are noisy with not a lot of contrast…is it on the real photo so or come this from the scan ? (photos: America, no limit, framed,gridlock, skating, departure, secret agent, crosses i.e.)

    • http://www.erickimphotography.com Eric Kim

      All of the photos are straight out of the camera. The grain you see is from the film, and the ones without a lot of contrast are a bit underexposed and dark (I can’t adjust exposure via disposable camera) ;)

  • Luke

    Wonderful composition in so may of these shots, and a lovely vibe with the “look” of the pics from the disposable. My favorite is secret agent :)

    • http://www.erickimphotography.com Eric Kim

      Glad that you dig them Luke! :)

  • http://fatsquirrel.zenfolio.com/ Benjamin Rogerson
  • http://crustygasguy.blogspot.com Yogi

    I love disposable cameras. They are so easy. You just point and click and don’t have to worry about all the technical gizmos.

  • http://suzyappleseed.tumblr.com Suzy Appleseed

    I love that Walgreens camera. Many of the pics on my blog are taken with one. I like the random light leaks you can get as well. Here’s a good example:


    • http://www.erickimphotography.com Eric Kim

      Thanks for the example Suzy! :D

  • http://twitter.com/kurtclark Kurt Clark

    Bravo! I have this same $5 Walgreens camera, and am very encouraged by your results. It will now be my project to take it out and try the same on the streets of Seattle. Thank you!

  • http://www.besottedblog.com/ Miss B.

    The Lebanon photos are amazing!

  • http://twitter.com/chrisdowswell Toronto Photographer

    “Secret Agent”… For the WIN! Nice.

  • summer brue

    I’m going to purchased a camera like this and try it out. Love your results!

  • http://tpw.doesphotography.com kkfinephoto

    Hey this is interesting that you compare this to not needing the leica one stat that would be good to know was what was the keeper ratio in this compared to your leica work. Most of your city work is distant focusing on the banal it definitely comes through that this is kind of the eric kim voice here are you now consistently using these cameras it does not seem like you carry them all the time ????