Photographers typically paid less than $20 for the camera. That affordability was both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, its construction quality was a complete joke: the poor-fitting plastic body allowed light to hit undeveloped film. And that plastic, fixed lens… it was awful, soft and distorted to hilarious extremes. Yet that very lens (and those light leaks) also lent Holga photos a haunting and even, on occassion, a breathtakingly beautiful quality.
I received a Holga at a Secret Santa exchange, when I worked at an art house movie theater in Berkeley. (It's still, by far, the best Secret Santa exchange I've experienced.) Holga dropped all of the complicated shit and stripped a camera to its most basic component: as a lightbox that records an image onto media.
My Holga continues to be an endearing toy, and it never fails to make photography feel fresh and fun. Below are some photos I've taken over the years with it. RIP.