Capturing Guest Candid Photos at Your Wedding: Disposable Cameras Are So Last Year

We used disposable cameras like these at our wedding in 2004.

Tradition or relic?

Once upon a time, when I was married–oh, many ages ago back in the early 2000′s–it was but the dawn of the digital photography age. Like the 1950′s, when steam locomotives still shared the railways with their young upstart diesel counterparts, it was a time of technological transition. A number of our guests flashed newfangled, expensive, digital cameras at the event, but many more had brought along their good old, trusty film cameras. On each table of our reception we’d also placed disposable film cameras for guests to use and leave, to provide us with wonderful candids from all their different perspectives. Great idea, right? Appropriate?

Come on, you’re saying. Lots of people do that. Disposable cameras on the table are practically a wedding tradition; what’s the big deal? Correction: everyone used to do that, and it used to be a tradition, just as we used to use film cameras. Step out of the dark ages and into the new! If you haven’t already heard about Canditto, then here’s a bit of wedding tech you’re going to love. And unlike the stack of often unidentifiable, often blurry, 4 x 5′s from those disposables at my own wedding (many of which suspiciously seemed to have been taken by my 12- and 8- year old kid sisters), the candids you’ll add to your collection will be high-resolution, digital photos from a real variety of perspectives.

I recently learned about Canditto via a fellow blogger and self-proclaimed gadget geek, and I was immediately sold. In a nutshell, it’s a little self-serve kiosk device that you set up at your reception where guests can slip in their camera memory cards and, presto! You’ve got their high-res, digital, photos immediately. The device is super-easy to use, with patented elements that make it straightforward for even the tech-phobic or intoxicated guest. Yes, I said intoxicated…the creators of Canditto actually tested the product at events with over 400 drunk revelers. Basically, it’s got three big indicators for the copy steps: “Inset Media Card”, “Processing…Please Wait”, and “Copy Complete, Please Remove Media Card”. It’s easy, simple, and it works.

Makes it easy for guests to share their photos immediately

Makes it easy for guests to share their photos immediately

If you think about it, the idea just makes sense. Practically everyone has a digital camera these days, and even the least expensive ones have a resolution and image quality leaps and bounds above those cheap plastic throwaways. Which images would you prefer to have? Plus, it’s immediate: you have the imagery right after the wedding, you don’t have to wait for processing, and you don’t have to bug and prod your family and friends to upload their shots to Facebook or give you a burned CD. There’s no issue with cameras walking out on their own (even if you tell guests outright to leave the cameras on the table–kinda tacky–you will still manage to lose some). And in my experience, the disposables are often used as an afterthought by guests…the real shots are taken with their own cameras, the ones they carry around with them throughout the ceremony and reception and even bring out onto the dance floor. Those are the shots you want.

Renting and using Canditto

Renting and using Canditto

The way Canditto works is that you rent the gadget (they’re not for sale), receive it in the mail, use it at your event, and then ship it back. All the shipping is free, and the photos are stored in two flash drives (one for backup) that you keep. The cost is around twice what you’d spend to purchase the disposables and then process the pictures, but it’s still pretty low, and–just as I wrote in “e-Plan Your Wedding” regarding hiring your photographer–if there’s one area of your budget that you want to splurge on, it’s the photography. This included. These are images you’ll have for life, the most long-lasting mementos of your big day. When comparing the disposable and digital options, to which would you entrust your precious moments?

Photo credits: Product imagery of disposable wedding cameras from Product imagery of Canditto device and screenshot of steps for Canditto use from

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avatar About Jason

Enthusiast of traveling, writing, cinematography, all things tech, good coffee, and craft beer. Founder of Mediasoft Technologies, Inc. & Author of "e-Plan Your Wedding". Follow me at @jason_melendez and check out my blog.

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