Inspiration: Toy Cameras!

Okay, so far this week we've feature three photographers who shoot with toy cameras (yes, I'm counting iPhones as toy cameras because of their low res quality.... go ahead, call me crazy) I've been so inspired looking at all of the gorgeous images being made with these cameras that I've decided to spend a little time talking about them.

Let's start with Holga.  This amazing little camera is my favorite of all the toy cameras I own.  It thrills me to no end to see photographers like Wendy Laurel and Stacie Turner using it in their professional work. I've been inspired to bust mine out and take it for a spin.  Such fun!

The Holga is entirely made out of plastic, and is know for it's funky light leaks and distortions.  Most die hard Holga user will have their cameras rigged in some way, usually wrapped in duct tape and painted black on the inside.  You also have to "estimate" what you are actually shooting with it as it's view finder and lens are not aligned.  But the results are always awesome! Here's the other great thing about Holgas, they're cheep!  You can by one on Amazon today for a mere $29.99!  How awesome is that?

Image by

Next, the Diana!  One of my all time favorite pictures of my husband and I was taken by my friend and fellow Photographer, Angie Burke on a Diana. (Weren't we cute)

I'm not going to waste my time describing the awesomeness of the Diana, as does it best: "Made in Hong Kong in the 60s and 70s by the Great Wall Plastic Co., these cameras are mostly plastic, take 120 film, and leak light like a sieve. They generally shoot 16 4x4 images to a roll (although some shoot 12 6x6). But the images they produce invoke memories, dreams and alternate realities."  So true!







Now-a-days the Diana comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors!  After visiting the Diana F+ website, I think I'm going to have to invest in a new one myself!  Maybe in pink!



No toy camera collection would be complete without a Lomo or two.  These awesome little cameras have four (or more) separate lenses that shoot seconds apart from one another.  These are fun little cameras!


My assistant Lily has one of these great little Fuji Instax Mini's and I'm obsessed with it!  It takes the CUTEST little pictures you've ever seen!!  Super fun at a party!


For more Toy Camera inspirations go to  They have an amazing selection.  Here is what I'll be adding to my wish list.


"La Sardina Marathon camera will reel you in with its cool, vintage, sardine can-inspired look. There’s more to love – this happy little 35mm skipper will snap wide-angled photos and allow you to create super-easy multiple exposures! "

"You’ve never seen a pinhole like this before! The Diana Multi-Pinhole Operator camera allows you to choose from 1, 2 or 3 pinholes on a shot. You’ll capture absolutely wild photos on medium format film when you use with the included color gels. Pinhole photography has never been this fun, unique and easy! "




If you are looking for a little more Toy Camera inspiration, check out these awesome books:


Plastic Camera's by Michelle Bates

And Holga: The World Through a Plastic Lens by Adam Scott

Here's the best part!  All of these fun cameras, and every thing your need to make them work can easily be found online!  Check out, Photojojo, B&H, and Amazon for all of your Toy Camera and/or film needs.

And when it comes time to develop your fun film, you can send it to Moonphoto or Richard's Photo Lab, and they'll develop, print and even have it scanned onto CDs for you!  How great is that? You can also do a search for a local lab.  Chances are you have a great one in your hometown and they would love to develop some real film!


oh... and be sure to take a moment to stop by these cool toy camera blogs I found!  The Holga Darkroom, Go Holga, Toy Camera.


And I know I mentioned iPhones at the top of the post.  Please revisit our Inspiration: Instagram post for great iPhone ideas!

Happy Shooting!

Sandra Coan