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These 5 apps make selfies fun again—and reduce mindless screen time


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Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

Open your camera roll, and be honest: How many photos do you have that capture the exact same thing, in essentially the exact same moment, whether it’s a selfie or a smoothie bowl? These days, it’s so easy to snap 100 pictures of something, anything, trying to get the perfect shot, followed by lots of time spent examining the selects to identify the best one before spending even more time editing the winner. Sure, you’ll wind up with something pretty for your Instagram feed, but the process comes at a serious time cost—and that’s exactly why camera apps might just become the latest addition to the trend toward all things analog.

Not only does all that editing eat up so much of your precious time, but the process can also be harmful to your mental health. According to a recent paper published in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, looking at edited selfies—whether it’s through a filter, Snapchat, or Facetune—actually causes a form of body dysmorphia. Because you’re able to instantly alter the way you look with things like airbrushed skin or bigger lips, you’re more likely to see yourself in that artificial rendering and feel more anxious about your appearance. So, what’s the best solution to capturing memories while preserving your mental health? Going old-school with some options that make taking pictures fun again—and reduce mindless screen time minutes in the process.

The App Store recently shared a much more enjoyable way to take selfies, and any photo for that matter: using apps that bring back the magic of the old-school, one-shot film approach. This option helps you end up with fewer, much-more-meaningful photos, and also doesn’t require any editing whatsoever. (Of course you can edit if you really want to, but that totally defeats the purpose and does nothing for your mental-health-benefitting intention.) Try these apps to reclaim your time, increase your happiness and self-confidence, and still snag some super-cool pics for your feed.

These 5 analog camera apps make taking pictures fun again.

1. Nomo

In true disposable-camera fashion, Nomo makes you wait for your photos to develop. In this case, 90 seconds later, you’ll get to see a shot that looks just like the Polaroids you know and love, but thankfully, minus the pricey film.

#구닥#gudak

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2. Hipstamatic

When you use Hipstamatic, you choose a lens, film, and flash type—then take your picture. The Classic Mode offers a stunning shot with a decidedly retro-vintage vibe, no editing needed.

3. Gudak Cam

In the same vein of the digital well-being programs titans like Google and Apple are developing, Gudak Cam gives you 24 shots per film roll, and after you’re done with your roll, you can’t reload your camera for an hour. And the best part? You have to wait three days to let the development process unfold before you can see your pictures, giving you that same giddy sense of excitement and delayed gratification you experienced using old-school cameras. Fun, huh?

Featured: image by @dimarapid Created with #RNIFilms — real film simulator for iPhone.

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4. RNI Films

Love the look of real film? RNI Films serves just that, in all its grainy glory. You end up with vintage photos that look like you had to spend hours in the darkroom to get ’em.

5. Huji Cam

Ready for a serious dose of nostalgia? Huji Cam—cleverly named after the old Fujifilm Camera—gives you the exact same look of all the pictures in your childhood scrapbooks, ’98 timestamp and all. (Evidently, Selena Gomez is a fan of the look too.)

Here’s the scientific reason a digital detox might make you happier. And speaking of, find out how your relationship can benefit as well.

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