• Photo Diary: First Signs of Summer with Disposable Magazine

    We commissioned Disposable Magazine contributor Cary Fagan to shoot a disposable photo diary that captures the ethos of early summer. Head to the blog to see his photos and read an interview with Disposable Magazine’s founders.
    Photos by Cary Fagan

    What is Disposable Magazine
    Disposable Magazine is a global collective of inventive minds. Though the magazine is based in Los Angeles, our contributors come from all corners of the world. In an effort to continually discover new inspirations and document unseen surroundings, we send disposable cameras to our favorite far-flung creators and allow them to shoot whatever stimulates them.
    Can you tell us how Disposable Magazine got started? How did the idea evolve from inception to the platform we see now? 
    Disposable Magazine got started three years ago by Anais Vandenbosch and Erika Carreon. We both were feeling a bit underwhelmed with our creative work we were doing during our time together at our job and decided to combine our passions together to start a project of our own. We both had great interest for curating campaigns together, in film photography, in magazines, and for traveling. We wanted a way to not only see places we could not visit but also have a way to collaborate with people we admired and looked up to all around the world. 
    The idea evolved each day as we met with one another during our lunch breaks. From there, we bought our first box of disposables and sent out cameras to creatives whose works spoke to us. The early days were us sending emails of our concept to our heroes. From getting our first "Yes!" to receiving and developing the first disposable film set, early on it was nice to see how a solid practice and foundation helped us build a community over at disposablemagazine.com

    From the beginning we knew we wanted to print and create something that was attainable. We knew we wanted to feature the disposable sets online. But overall, our main goal was always to have the works of film printed and published into magazine form.

    From their, our team grew by adding more people we met and had worked with. From the first cameras sent, to publishing our first two issues, to designing our very own disposable camera, we could not be where we are at today without the joined efforts and support of everyone on and involved with our team!

    What drew you to the idea of using disposable cameras rather than, say, commissioning film photographers to shoot with their own cameras? 
    Anais first became aware of a shared love for film when her and Erika bonded over a tumblr Erika had showcasing all film photographs she had taken over time. From there, Anais shared a film set from a disposable she sent years ago. After going over the set together we knew at that point we wanted to go with film. We both loved the ease and versatility of a disposable camera. Its a tool everyone is familiar with and one that could easily be used and taken around just about anywhere. 

    We enjoyed the practice of carrying a film camera with you everyday, shooting rolls, and eagerly visiting the film lab to see the results from a period of time.
    How many people are on staff at Disposable Magazine? How do you all work together? 
    We are six women. We have Founders Anais and Erika who work together with an amazing team of two graphic designers/project manager Alex Ascencio and Alaia Manley. We have copy writing support from Joan Moon in Chicago. We also have accounting and special projects ran by Chrissy Choi. Anais, Erika, and Alaia all work together to communicate our concept and send out cameras. While Alex heads our design anywhere from designing our magazines, creating stickers, and graphics with the support and graphic help of Alaia as well. 

    As more and more elements of everyday life become digitized, how do you see the role of analogue media formats moving forward in the future?  
    Film is not dead. We feel now more than ever that film is a format many are using more frequently because its real and the result is always timeless. In this fast paced instant gratification society we live in we really enjoy that analogue allows the user to step back, slow down, and really think about what they are capturing as well as cherish the finished product as you don't see instantly what you are documenting. The process of using analogue is one that is dear to us. From sending a camera, to receiving, developing, featuring, and publishing it in print, it can take anywhere from a month to two years. The act and craft of using analogue is one we hope is preserved and used for many generations to come! Support your local film lab! Carry a film camera in your bag always :)

    How do you go about selecting contributors for Disposable Mag? What, if any, direction do you give them? 
    We try to reach out to those who we admire. We also try to reach out to people in places where we or our audience has never seen or been to. We like to give light to those whom are overlooked. We have also found during this experience that many people just want a place to contribute to and be apart of. A lot of our submissions come from around the world from places we have never even been to. Crazy! And from people who relate to our ideals and concept. We give everyone the same direction as a contributor or as a submission. We are working on a new project where the direction is a bit more distinct. But overall, we want to see what makes them who they are. We want to see their favorite restaurants, what fills their days, their room, their closet, their workplace, behind the scenes of what they do, pictures of them and the people they love. We want to see what inspires them through 27 images from a disposable camera.

    You’ve worked with an awesome list of creatives— not just photographers— from around the world. Is there a common thread that ties them all together? 
    What ties all of our creatives together is that they all have a shared commitment to their craft. They are all people we look up to and creatives whose story we want to know more about. They are people who we want to give a camera to whom we want to see their own intimate take on who they are and what they do. 
    We reached out to Cary Fagan to shoot this piece because we loved his work for Disposable Magazine. What drew you to his work? What was it like working with him? 
    We were first introduced to the works of Cary Fagan when Noah Dillon took a disposable to SXSW. Noah attended a photo show of Cary's and his disposable set included a photograph of Cary's work. From there, Cary noticed us and his work through Noah's set and he reached out to us. We sent him a disposable and the results were beautiful. It was such an ease and pleasure to work with Cary. He was eager and excited through all steps of our collaboration together. We were so excited not only to be featured by UO blog but to also get the chance opportunity to extend the feature and give light to one of our contributors as well. It's what inspires our community at Disposable. 

    Do you have any favorite or notable series from the Magazine thus far? 
    We have each had the amazing opportunity to work with people that we have looked up to and have been inspired by. Alaia worked with one of her all time favorite artist Fafi. Erika has got to work with and become great friends with photographer Ysa Perez. Anais has sent cameras to places such as Afghanistan and Iran. The list could go on. 

    The most notable thing we have all experienced with the magazine is having people we look up to give us praise and admiration for our concept. Its pretty sick when people like what we are doing and are down to contribute to what we got going on at Disposable Magazine. Our concept and our community is what inspire us to keep doing what we are doing!

    Tell us about your upcoming event for space 15 Twenty. What can we expect to see? 
    We teamed up with our issue2  Contributor Chris Hound of Paxico recordings! We are getting together for a night of film photography and music. You can expect to see prints from our beginning to current contributors and submissions. We are also so very excited to release our custom designed Disposable camera that night. Its been three years of the Magazine and we are happy to have designed a custom Disposable camera!
    What’s next for Disposable Magazine
    Next up for Disposable is Issue 3! We are in the design phase of the the third issue. We are also releasing our long awaited custom disposable camera. We are also working on a smaller collectible series of smaller zine like magazines that will showcase various topics and subjects documented via a disposable camera. We will be covering topics such as plants and health. With subjects involving the color pink in the works as well. We want to continue to send cameras to creatives all around the world. With these more specific topics and subjects we want to reach out to people who are experts in these fields to offer our audience insight and knowledge while having the contributors voice and document their take on the subject at the same time.

    Come to the Local Heroes event at Space 15 Twenty on May 19th featuring Disposable Magazine + Paxico Records

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