Then and Now: A Kodak Instamatic Camera / by Leslie

This is my Dad's old Kodak Instamatic camera. It's a classic, with a blue cube flash and the address of the house that he grew up in scratched on the front. With all the fun iPhone apps like Hipstamatic and Instagram, it's easy to forget the cameras that originally made those kind of pictures.

From Wikipedia:

The Instamatic was a series of inexpensive, easy-to-load 126 and 110 cameras made by Kodak beginning in 1963. The Instamatic was immensely successful, introducing a generation to low-cost photography and spawning numerous imitators.

During its heyday, the range was so ubiquitous that the Instamatic name is still frequently used (erroneously) to refer to any inexpensive point-and-shoot camera. (It is also frequently used incorrectly to describe Kodak's line of instant-picture cameras.)

I've had this camera for a while, tucked away in my things, but it was just recently that I was looking through some old photos that I got from my Mom's family when my Granny died. There are some great shots of my Mom and Dad, young and sweet, before they became parents. I found an amazing shot of my Mom taking a picture WITH the Instamatic. It was neat to hold the photo in one hand and the actual camera in the other. 

Cool, right? My awe with this photo doesn't stop with the camera though. Check out that fancy disco top my Mom is wearing! I wore that same top for Halloween one year. I dressed as a punk, with green hair and that shirt as a dress. I was nine I think. HERE IT IS! Not quite the same effect as on my Mom, right?

Did you notice my Dad in the bottom right corner? I love how he is looking at my Mom.

I would also like to find a photo that was taken with the camera itself. Even better if it was from the same party that the photo above was taken at or even THE SHOT that my Mom was taking. Wouldn't that be cool? I'll have to do some digging the next time I am at my parent's house. The photo above must have been taken by my Granny or my Aunt, I don't know what kind of camera they had, but it was probably something similar.

Old photographs and artifacts from the past are like windows into history. I treasure these mementos, things that belonged to my parents, things that define a moment in time. I have one other shot of them from the same day. They are both sitting on a couch, with a Xmas tree and presents in the corner, my Dad is wearing a blue shirt and a white tie. So stylish. I asked my Mom and Dad if they remember anything from the day that the photo was taken. They told me it was Christmas Eve 1974 and my Mom was pregnant with me but they didn't know it yet. Isn't that great? Technically *I* am in the picture too!

PHOTO DETAILS for the top and bottom shots:
Equipment: Canon EOS 5D Mark II & EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens
Exposure: Windowsill 1/80 secs at f/5.6, Close-up 1/250 sec at f/5.6, Both ISO 100
Lighting: natural light through a window