Holga Love

This Spring, my boyfriend surprised me with what may have been one of the best gifts I've ever received: a Holga camera. Basically, a Holga is "toy" camera that uses 120mm film (some use 35mm, but most Holga purists opt for the 120). The Holga is a medium format camera, and since it is entirely made of plastic, light is leaked through some of the edges, creating a really interesting look. Some of the photos are almost all white, except for the center of the image. The photos have such a vintage feel- I love knowing that someday, I will be able to look at these photos in the same way that I look at photographs from my parent's youth, and they will not be just a super-sharp digital photo. The images are printed as a square, in a 5 inch by 5 inch format, instead of the traditional 4 inch by six inch. Although some Holgas have flashes, mine does not, so I'm limited to using it during the day.

If you already own a Holga, you are probably used to people commenting on the camera's unusual look. My brother even thought that it was an actual toy! Something else that is so vastly different from a digital camera is my favorite part about shooting film is that it feels like every roll I get developed is like picking up a surprise- I never really know what I'll get until I see the finalized product.

One of the trickier things about shooting 120mm film is finding a place to have it developed! My local drugstore photo center operator looked at me like I was a crazy person when I inquired as to whether I could have the film developed at their lab. If you are in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend Wilson Camera for purchasing and developing film. They are incredibly knowledgeable, and really have helped me figure out my camera.

5 inch by 5 inch frames aren't easy to come across, so I recently ordered the cable photo cord from CB2, and I'm loving it! It is an easy way to quickly display my new prints, and the magnets that are used to attach the photos to the cords do not damage the photos like a pushpin would.

If you are interested in purchasing a Holga for yourself, I have the Holgawood version, available at Urban Outfitters, for $48. I prefer Kodak brand film, because it seems to be easier to load into the camera.

Here are a few of my favorite prints so far:

Brett and I at the Top of the Rock observatory deck in NYC. From the deck, you can see all around the city, Central Park, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. It is absolutely breathtaking.

This is my nephew, Carson, at his 4th birthday party.

A few of my best friends on the planet.

The Brooklyn Bridge

My family and I rented a rowboat at the Loeb Central Park boathouse for an afternoon, and here was the lovely scenery we were surrounded by as we paddled.

Do you have a Holga? Or are you strictly a digital camera user?


  1. I don't have a Holga. I bought one once. But then gave it to a girl.

  2. I love the look of the Holga pictures. I'd never heard of this before, I'll have to check it out more. Great prints!

  3. Brett- I'm sure the girl liked it a lot!

    Tauri- Thanks! It's really to easy to get the hang of!

  4. These are some great pictures. I'll be sure to check out the Holga.

  5. Thanks for introducing me to the Holga. I had never heard of it before, but your pics are really beautiful.

  6. Thanks for sharing...I've never heard of the Holga before. Your photgraphs came out great!

  7. Love the Holga. I don't have one, but I have a Seagull, it's the one where you look down into the box... Really cool... I just hope they keep making black and white film!

  8. Patricia- Thank you! I really enjoy it.

    Rosy and DTaber- Thanks!

    Nic- Ooh! That sounds cool! I'll have to check that one out. If they stopped making B/W film, I would be really sad!