Disposable cameras are making a nostalgic comeback. From teens taking them to concerts to couples buying them for 50th-anniversary parties, they’re a fun way to commemorate memories that might otherwise have been lost. But once you’ve captured the moments, how do you keep them forever? Read on to learn more about digitizing your photos and how to get disposable camera pictures on your phone.


Disposable cameras are simple, low-cost film cameras intended to be used for just one roll of film. Once all the exposures on the included film are used up, the entire camera is returned to a photo lab to be developed. The lab processes the film, prints the photos, and disposes of the camera shell.

In an era dominated by digital photography and smartphone cameras, disposable cameras are experiencing a resurgence. The main reason for this is nostalgia: everything that was once cool always comes back around. Disposable cameras are reminiscent of simpler times before the digital age. This emotional connection is particularly strong with Gen Z, who enjoy the retro aesthetic and the tangible nature of printed photos.

The simplicity of disposable cameras also encourages spontaneity — unlike smartphone cameras, you can’t immediately see what you’ve captured. People can focus on capturing moments without putting too much thought into it.

Disposable cameras have also become popular at weddings. They are handed out to guests to capture candid moments, giving a fun and off-the-cuff memento of the event to complement the professional photography.


Disposable cameras are widely available at most drugstores, supermarkets, and online. For example:

When choosing the best disposable camera for you, there are a few things to consider, depending on your needs. The New York Times’ Wirecutter named the Fujifilm QuickSnap Flash 400 as the best color single-use camera, for its consistently good results. Kodak’s FunSaver is also a great option. Both are very easy to use and sold at a great price point. There are also waterproof disposable cameras on the market that are ideal for summer holidays where you’ll be taking photos at the beach or in the pool.


Once you’ve captured all your memorable moments with a disposable camera, the next step is to develop the film. Here are three main options for developing disposable cameras: doing it yourself, using a local photo lab, or opting for an online photo lab.


This one involves technical know-how and requires materials and equipment, so is only worth doing if you plan to continue developing film regularly.

  • In complete darkness, remove the film from the camera and place it into a developing tank, into which you add special film-developing chemicals.
  • After fixing, rinse the film thoroughly to remove any residual chemicals and hang it up to dry.
  • This will give you the film negatives, which can be scanned using a film scanner or printed in a darkroom.


This is a convenient and straightforward option, especially if you prefer professionals to handle your film.

All you have to do is take your camera into a photo lab or pharmacy that offers film-developing services. Waiting times can vary between a few hours to a few weeks when you’ll be able to pick up your negatives, prints, and possibly digital scans if offered.


Online photo labs are an increasingly popular option. It’s one of the most convenient ways to develop your photos if you’re time-poor or don’t live near a developing lab.

Online photo labs allow you to send your camera to them by mail (some even provide a mailer for you to use). When it arrives, they’ll develop the negatives and prints, and then mail them back to you. Some even provide digital scans of your photos, too.

While it’s the most convenient option for developing photos, it does carry higher costs and longer turnaround times. There is also the potential risk of loss or damage to your camera or prints in transit.


Now that you have your disposable camera prints, you probably want digital copies on your phone to use online or send to people. There are a few ways you can do this.

  • Take photos of the prints with your smartphone. Put them on a flat surface with plenty of daylight (near a window if possible). Then simply take photos with your camera app or use a photo scanning app like Google PhotoScan.
  • Ask for a digital version from the developer. Many photo labs will allow you to receive scans of your images when developing your disposable camera. They’ll typically be emailed to you as individual files, which you can save to your phone.
  • Do a DIY scan. If you have a scanner at home (or at your local library!) you can scan all your images, then save them to your phone.
  • Use a pro scanning service. This is the optimal way to ensure the best quality for your treasured photos. They usually deliver the files to you as jpegs, which can easily be uploaded to your phone.

Everpresent’s photo scanning team digitizes over four million images every year, so you can be sure that your photos are in the best possible hands. Whether you have disposable camera prints from your wedding or treasured family snaps dating back decades, we handle each photo with care, delivering them to you in digital files that will last forever.

Get in touch today for more information and a free, no-obligation estimate.