Lost and Found: The Disposable Camera Which Was Found 4 Years Later


About 4 years ago me, my sister and my cousins shot a roll of film on a disposable camera. We never developed the film and we completely forgot about it, until a few months ago when me and my sister found the camera! Read on to know more about the photos that were in it.

Everytime I’ve seen depictions of portuguese families on movies that were made in the U.S.A or the U.K. they are always very lively, loud and large families. Although – as with all stereotypes – that is of course not always the case in Portugal, it does hold true for my family.

My mother had 4 sisters and one brother and they all had children so I am the second of 13 cousins. At the moment, our ages range from 30 (my sister) to 7 so we all grew up together as a very tight-knit group. As a result, we’ve had many many fun cousin-only outings together over the years. On one of those occasions, 4 years ago, we went to a museum where they were holding some family-oriented activities at the museum’s gardens and where we were given a bag with a map, a task list, a note-pad, a box with many painting materials and a disposable camera. Although I don’t remember anything else, I know the camera was meant to be used to photograph specific themes, flowers and scenes related to the garden, which were all laid out on our task list. We finished the roll and I guess we just forgot about it.

However, a few months ago me and my sister found the long lost camera and we got it developed. By looking at the photos that were in it I’m pretty sure we didn’t follow the tasks on the museum’s activities list and I must say I’m really glad we didn’t: the result is not a compilation of photos showing the garden’s flaura and fauna as it was supposed to be. It is instead a compilation photos that show the best of our family relationships, which exude liveliness, happines and genuine love. They have now become some of my favorite family photos. To make it all even better, the photos have this wonderful grainy vintage feel (maybe because the film was probably already expired after all these years?) and some are bursting with beautiful bright colors that make it seem like the film was cross-processed even though it was a color negative.

We shot the first part of the roll at the museum’s gardens:

After which there were a few lost shots which resulted in extremely underexposed photos (I’m guessing we shot them indoors or at night), and the rest of the film was shot at our family’s summer house:

I think it was a 24 exposure roll but I know nothing else about the film. The disposable camera had a decorated exterior which was custom printed for the museum and was related to the theme of the activities and it had no brand or ISO indication on it.

Looking at the photos I can’t help but feel a little bit nostalgic and slightly sad that we are all older and have very different lives now so we don’t spend so much time together as we used to.

However, last weekend we all had an immensly fun weekend together with the whole family, packed with activities and late-night karaoke. I shot some photos with my Diana Mini and one of my cousin’s shot some photos with her Diana F+. I can’t wait to get the rolls of film developed, I’m hoping they will make me smile 4 years from now, just like these made me smile now.

written by carlota_nonnumquam on 2012-04-09 in #lifestyle #lost-and-found #disposable-camera #analogue #family #requested #film


  1. kneehigh85
    kneehigh85 ·

    Great story!

  2. mikeydavies
    mikeydavies ·

    this rocks!

  3. paper_doll
    paper_doll ·

    i love this story :)

  4. wuxiong
    wuxiong ·

    Nice story and beutiful fotos and happy kids...<:)

  5. theonlyfakhirafa
    theonlyfakhirafa ·

    Awesome story :) makes me want to call up all my cousins fr an outing :')

  6. nattykins
    nattykins ·

    Thank you for that lovely article! What you have described is what photography should be all about!!! :)

  7. leonordmf
    leonordmf ·

    What a wonderful story! Your cousins are lovely!!
    btw, great photos!

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