I’ve never fully understood the sentiment of being frustrated at people for not sharing their “real” lives online. Instagram is a curated feed mostly full of people’s happiest or most idyllic moments. Of course, it is. There aren’t many of us that think to take a photo of the more dull, lonely, sad hours of our lives. It’s not the first instinct. However, one thing that does resonate with me is a dislike for “picture perfect” feeds. I’m a big fan of the grainier, messier, out-of-focus shots. I miss them a lot. Social media should be messy, tacky and boring. Tell me about your dinner. I don’t care about the products you’re selling.
So when my friend Chris, who is about as pretentious as I am, told me about the Gudak app, I was pretty excited. Much like everyone’s favourite retro camera app, HUJI, Gudak takes photos that look like they were taken on a disposable 90s camera. The difference with Gudak is, well, for starters you pay for it. 99p. Don’t judge me, I wanted my fix. It also offers no preview bigger than the tiny one found on disposable cameras, you can’t see the photos until you’ve used an entire “roll” and it takes three days to develop.
At first, I planned to use it for special occasions. I wanted to capture grainy gig photos, awkwardly angled family party shots, and maybe some from Christmas Day. Then I realised, I’d rather find the magic in my ordinary, boring, lovely life. Whenever I was feeling calm and content, I’d take a photo. Whenever I wanted to remember quiet, solitary moments, I’d take a photo. Cooking dinner a friend? Absolutely.
In reality, my life isn’t exciting. I’m at my happiest in a hot bath, reading a book. I’m happiest when I feel loved, when I feel comfortable, when I feel inspired, and none of these are really “occasions”. They’re better than that – they’re my everyday joys.
There are little embers of magic intertwined between the clothes I wear, the sheets I sleep in, the people I love. It’s all there for the taking. When I first “developed” these photos, I had one hell of a grin on my face. It was so nice to relive these humble moments. No occasions, no concerts, just my life. My silly little life in all its grainy glory.
Quite a lot to get from an app, granted but hey, I didn’t spend 99p for nothing…!