The photo app Huji was a viral sensation this past summer, with everyone from celebrities to casual Instagram users using its filters to give their photos a retro vibe. Huji’s sole function is that of a filtered camera that makes your photos look like they were shot on disposable film. Even its name seems to be a reference to Fujifilm and similar brands for such disposable cameras.
Photos taken using Huji have random imperfections outside your control – blurred edges, light leaks, graininess, and hypersaturated colors. Even the photo-taking process is limited, relying on a small point and shoot viewfinder with no preview. The app’s logo is “Just Like The Year 1998”, and every shot has a time stamp with the current day and month and the year 1998, a time when disposable cameras were your best option (smartphones being yet nonexistent).
So what is the appeal of these imperfect, old-fashioned images? It fits the current fashion of going vintage. For those who remember the era, it brings back memories of a simpler time. And even the most ordinary image becomes atmospheric – there is a pervasive nostalgia and aesthetic that comes with its sense of timelessness.