Hobstr – Site Review – Toy Camera Photography

I’m REALLY excited about this one!  I love toy camera photography.  Finally, I get to review something other than a wedding photography site to review.  In spite of being female, I could care less about weddings.  I mean, I liked my own well enough, and it’s nice to watch a friend or family member get married.  As a photography niche it’s just not my cup of tea.

Anyway, back to Hobstr.  Like many sites these days it has a nice, clean modern look with easy to follow navigation.  It was definitely put together by a professional or at least someone with some graphic design skills.


The reason I love toy cameras, which are sold by Hobstr, is basically the same reason I love traditional analogue photography in general.  There is the element of surprise in traditional photography which is even more pronounced with toy cameras.  When I first learned photography I was required to have an SLR camera and shoot in slide film.  I still remember the fun anticipation of getting what I thought was probably a great shot or two, and waiting for my little box of developed slides that I dropped off at a little shop called Photo Pro.  That little building is still there and they are apparently still in business…but boy does it look run down and sad now.  Once again, I digress.

What makes toy cameras so unpredictable is that they come with inexpensive lenses and bodies that are not completely sealed.  So, small amounts of light enter and produce unpredictable, but often very attractive, effects on the image.  The Hipstamatic app for the iPhone, creates a fake approximation of the various effects that toy cameras used to produce.

Amazingly, you can still buy these cameras new.  Hobstr is now selling a Holga starting kit.  The Holga was originally made in China and sold to Chinese people only as a way to allow people to cheaply document family events and so forth.  Later, it was distributed elsewhere in the world.  Many photographers began to capitalize on what was originally a design flaw and used the Holga intentionally to create many interesting and surreal effects.  Interestingly, it became a desirable camera due to its flaws and lack of precision.  Again, the fun anticipation of the unknown but soon to be known at work.

I’m surprised at how inexpensive the kit really is, considering the huge popularity of the Hisptamatic app, among others.  Then again, the toy camera is what it is due to being cheaply made.  So, I guess it does make sense.  Anyway, I will be buying myself one of these kits, which come with film, very soon!

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