A Photo Series of 120 Film Shot on a Holga

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A palm tree in Hollywood shot on 120 film with a Holga

I really love shooting 120 film on a Holga. Holga’s are affectionately referred to as “toy” cameras because they don’t have any real settings. You can switch between portrait and landscape type options but beyond that, there’s no adjusting for light or focus.

That’s pretty similar to how a disposable camera works, except that while a disposable camera comes fully loaded and put together, a Holga is self-loaded and does not include a flash. Due to the very basic design of their plastic cases, they’re prone to light leaks, and since you self-wind, it’s easy to stop between frames and create double exposures.

Most of the 120 film photos I shoot with Holga feature both light leaks and double exposures. (That’s how I like them!) Sometimes I slightly edit these photos for color or contrast before I post them, but in this series, I’m showing you mostly the raw images, just as I got them back from the developing lab.

This palm frond is a close crop from a larger version of this photo. Big crop fan. In the light leak there at the bottom you can see the number 6, which is the film frame number. You can’t make this stuff up. I mean you can, but, you know.

Palm frond shot on 120 film with a Holga.

A sunset in Venice Beach.

A sunset in Venice beach shot on 120 film with a Holga camera.

So this shot is actually two different photos of two different pools put together. One of them is a black and white 120mm film shot of a Los Angeles pool, and one is a digital photo of a Palm Springs pool. They were shot the same weekend one summer and then I put them together. So this one is edited, but the black and white portion is as developed.

A sunset in VenAn L.A. pool shot on 120 film with a Holga camera.

This is another close crop of a shot I took in Joshua Tree, at my uncles’ property Shelter. The double exposure features a metal tub you can dip in out there in the desert.

Shelter Joshua tree shot on 120 film on a Holga camera.

This image, shot in Hollywood, CA, not only has some double exposure action going on, but it has full-on sprocket light leaks! This could be avoided by taping or rubberbanding the case of the Holga closed, but I encourage it. The newer Holga’s are made to fit more tightly so this might not occur as much naturally, but some people throw their Holga’s around to warp the seals a bit. (Literally, like toss them to the floor.)

120mm Film Shot on a Holga, of palm trees in Hollywood.

I'm Kate Ferguson, an L.A.-based Writer, Filmmaker, Photographer, Social Media Strategist, and Blogger at, right here, That's Random Kate! (Previously Divvy Mag.) I love storytelling in its various forms, growth, shooting 35mm film, learning super random facts, building community, and admiring palm trees. Find me on Instagram: @KateFerg. (Where there will definitely be 35mm photos of palm trees.)