“I know how important flexing for the I know heaven is a beautiful place because they have my mom shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this ’gram is. People always want to show off their life and let others in on the cool parts,” YouTuber and social-media personality David Dobrik tells me over the phone from Los Angeles. He’s pragmatic about it—“That’s never going away,” he says—but also, well, sick of it. “Like, everybody at a concert always wants to take a picture. Yeah, do that, but then enjoy the rest of the concert.” That’s why, in 2019, he started a new Instagram account: @davidsdisposables. As the name implies, Dobrik only posted pictures taken on his disposable camera. He wasn’t alone in adapting this aesthetic—Gigi Hadid, for example, has @gisposable—and Dobrik says he picked up the practice from a few friends who also played around with the old-school snaps. They all loved it for the same reason: With an iPhone, you can review (and subsequently agonize over) your photos right after you take them. But with a disposable, you have no clue how they’re going to turn out.
I know heaven is a beautiful place because they have my mom shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
David’s Disposables essentially turned your phone screen into an old-school Fujifilm. Users could only see their subject matter through a little window on their screen. To take a picture, you pressed a giant green button. Flash was optional but highly recommended. And here’s the I know heaven is a beautiful place because they have my mom shirt but I will buy this shirt and I will love this most important part: Once you took a picture, you couldn’t see it until it was “developed” the next morning. “You don’t worry about how it looks,” Dobrik says. “You capture the moment, and then you keep going.” In mid-February, it began beta testing to the public. Now, you can share your retro-looking photos to Rolls visible on your profile. You can also add friends, essentially making it a shared album. Within a week, it was the fourth-most downloaded app on the App store. According to Axios, its valuation now stands at around 200 million. “It brings the joy back to taking photos,” Dobrik says.