Delve into a whole new world through the eye of the SmileyCam, the world’s first in-the-mouth pinhole camera!
The SmileyCam, from the regular Lomographer’s view, doesn’t look like much. A small 110 film cartridge, wrapped in electrical tape and topped off with a smiley face sticker, wouldn’t seem like anything special. This camera, however, is anything but normal. The SmileyCam is known as the world’s only pinhole camera that can be placed inside the mouth, and takes shots from your throat’s perspective!
The brainchild of British madman Justin Quinnell, each SmileyCam is handmade, taking an unused 110 film cartridge, cutting a square hole into the front, and adding a pinhole inside the front hole. Shooting with the SmileyCam is incredibly awkward, mostly due to the fact that Lomographers (myself included) are not exactly used to shoving a bulky piece of plastic into our mouths with the intent to shoot photos on it. However, once you get the hang using the cam, then things start getting interesting.
Shooting outdoors is just like using a regular pinhole camera, but instead of holding your camera steady, you need to hold your head still. And as long as you don’t mind looking like a total freak with junk in your mouth, you could take the camera to public spots as well. Shooting indoors can be loads of fun; just get a flashgun (in my case I used both the Diana flash and the colorsplash flash), some objects/models/victims, and gather in a darkened room. Put the camera in your mouth, bring the object of your Lomographic desire as close to your gaping mouth as you can, position the flash so that it hits both the subject and your teeth (I learned facing down, right below the nose is a perfect spot for the flash), and fire away! If the object is close enough, you usually wont need more than one flash fire.
I found my first SmileyCam through the Lomography Embassy in New York City, but soon after the camera disappeared from the Lomo store. But fear not fellow Lomoheads! Quinnell has been spotted online, through both his own website and eBay. Apparently he has been back in his lab, creating more of these body wonders. So get cracking everybody, and get your own SmileyCam so you can show us those pearly whites of yours!