Founder, Narwhal Enthusiast
Kevin drives the train, but Common Cam wouldn't be possible without the help, expertise, and input from...
Director of Media Production
Voice of Reason
John Michael Bister
Stop Motion Consultant
Ruthless Team Mom
Camera Assembly Technician
Common Cam would not be possible without the gracious help of some of our amazing backers:
The Horist Family: John & Linda, C.J., Daniel & Alli
Leo & Rosie Bister
Common Camera Project
P.O. Box 4691
Berkeley, CA 94704-0691
commoncam [at] gmail.com
What is Common Cam?
We at the Common Camera Project aim to use disposable cameras as a platform to safely express, cleverly connect, and collectively create.
We believe that disposable cams offer something unique relative to their high-tech counterparts, and that distinct value has the potential to produce something beautiful. Our goal is to explore those somethings.
For the inaugural venture down that path, we've assembled our first iteration of the project, an introduction of hundreds of disposable cameras into the world in search of inspiration. Lots of it.
Once upon a time...
In 2009, we began customizing disposable cams by including a simple set of instructions on the back:
Step 1: Take a pic of something that inspires you.
Step 2: Pass the camera on to someone you trust.
Step 3: If you're last, mail the camera back to us.
Back in the Spring 2010, we distributed 40 cameras during a test launch. We await the return of many of them, but we've already heard some amazing stories. Cameras found their way to the East Coast, West Coast, California beaches, Rocky Mountains, Vietnam, India, family member mailboxes, and teacher dropboxes.
Later that year in November just after Thanksgiving, we launched a 35 day fundraiser on Kickstarter to raise $1000 for 100 cams by allowing anyone to pledge $10 in return for Common Cam to start a chain wherever they were in the world.
In just over 24 hours after lauching the campaign, the Common Camera Project surpassed its 35 day fundraising goal and would go on to gain over 120 backers and funds to release over 200 disposables into the world. Weeks, months, years... We're prepared to wait, excited to find out how far our beloved Common Cams will travel, and jealous of the sights they'll see. :)
Where are the pics?
We plan to publish photos on an ongoing basis starting with the cameras we get back from this next batch of disposable cameras.
We are sorting through a number of nifty ideas to showcase the pics (including an art installation and a swanky coffee table book), but the photos will definitely be displayed on this website as well.
If you took a picture and checked-in, we can notify you when your camera returns. Also, follow us on twitter for the most up to date Common Cam news. So hold tight, and if you think of any mind-blowing ideas for us (or anything really), please drop us a line!
How can I get a cam?
Unfortunately, our Kickstarter fundraiser has already concluded so we are no longer taking pledges in return for Common Cams. We do have plans to launch another big distribution of disposable cameras in the future, so please keep checking the site for updates. I mean, you can also try tracking one of our elusive cameras down or shooting a funny, heartfelt email to firstname.lastname@example.org...and maybe we'll have an extra lying around (no promises :)
Where'd the original idea come from?
Magic. Actually, it was a Thursday night in a tiny UC Berkeley study room beneath the dorms. I was in a class project meeting charged with the challenge of developing a business idea that would generate $20M in revenue over the next three years.
Apparently a side project involving the purchase and distribution of hundreds of disposable cameras immediately popped into my head. Needless to say, Common Cam was not the idea we chose to move forward with for the class, but I think this is better anyways. -Kevin
Photography by Justin Singh