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What does the future of analog photography look? - Russia and CIS Region

(Статья на русском языке)​​​​​​​

Few months ago we, the Cameraventures team, launched the project #saveanalogcameras, to see if the photographers are interested in the analog photography and to see the its future.

During the work on this project we interviewed about 250 russian-speaking photographers, who still are shooting on the film. All interviewed people are representatives of different ages and citizenships. Majority of them, obviously, are living in Russia, but also there are people from Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia and other countries.

The main aim of the project #saveanalogcameras is to answer the question – what is the future of analog photography? To answer this question, I asked my colleagues to share their opinion.

“Analog photography is the opportunity to admit your weakness, your humaneness.

The film choose for me who and how will be shot. I am only the catalyst who must navigate light through the glass. I can’t be responsible for the soul of human in photo. However, digital camera makes me responsible for the quality of photo, because in digital photography everything depends on you, not on the chemistry.

3 years ago I bought Nikon F2 and wanted to play a role of human who stop the time in the photo. I wasn’t practicing a lot, I haven’t read a thing, I was doing things intuitively. Then I met the genre of movies. I’ve made my first film, but unfortunately not on film. In next year I am going to make a full-scale movie in Moldova. Now there is not enough money to make it on the film, but someday I will make a movie on 70mm.

I am frequently asked, why am I taking photos of situation with bunch of people. I just want to share the stories from life, events that reflect, but now showing life in its real sense. In world of photography things are much easier then in real life, analog photography helps to distract.

I see the future of film in dark colors. Unfortunately, nowadays there are not much people who shoot on film. Thankfully, photographers try to change it. Well, they use it as an exotic thing, but still. In dozens of years people will think that film is just a something from the past. However, I won’t shoot on digital cameras, I will struggle for the film, for the life.”

– Zhenya Maryian (photographer, movie producer)

Also, I spoke about the present and future of the analog photography in Russia with the co-founder of the biggest photo-lab in Russia “Lighthouse Film Lab”.

“The analog photography is in renaissance condition in Russia. The process, that we can witness, has a good dynamics, so that amount of people who want to take up themselves in analog photography is increasing. Because of shooting on film isn’t a cheap hobby, the main aim of photo-labs is to send as much as possible feedbacks, to show the mistakes, to find out what are the problems with camera. I think the growth of amount of clients of Lighthouse Film Lab is happened because of this kind of attention to the client.

It it is hard to make predictions in our country, but if we will talk about analog photography in entire, than the popularity will grow. Every year a new companies of enthusiasts are founded, they launch the production of new films”.

– Alexander Ivanec (photographer, founder of LighthouseFilmLab)

Unfortunately, when I was writing this article, not everybody shared their opinion, but I wanted to tell what I think about the future of analog photography, based on analysis of #saveanalogcameras. I’m glad to know that there are tendency and interest in the analog community that are keep increasing. A lot of portraits photographers are returning to the medium format, a lot of wedding were shoot on film. There are a lot of amateurs, who found cameras, that were given them by parents or grandparents. They are starting to shoot on cheap Kodak ColorPlus and this is great!

This means that there is an interest in people to the analog photography. There are new players in the market, a new film are created, and some old giants product an old film. While Fuji and Kodak product film, it will live. The photo-labs are still exist and they are full with the orders, so that means that everything is fine the analog photography. The film is available whenever it was! There are bunch of photo-labs where you can develop your film. There are a lot of shops and opportunities to buy analog cameras. And everything this makes me hope that analog photography has its own future. Our primary target is to make our children love analog genre so to save it for the future generations. I think, while there are enthusiasts and loyal people – film will live. #filmisnotdead