Over the past months, we’ve gathered an impressive amount of answers worldwide to our #saveanalogcameras campaign, around 7,500 so far. The participation in France has been a bit lower than we would have liked even though the questionnaire has been translated into French; almost a hundred came from France while the UK got more than 600 participants! How did that happen? I don’t know but we need to show our English neighbors that we care about analog cameras too, so if you haven’t filled the survey yet it’s not too late and you can do it here: https://cameraventures.com/save-analog-form
Even though the participation has been lower than in some neighboring countries, I still want to present you the results we were able to gather. Of course the more answers we have, the better it is to have an accurate representation of the market. However with the results that we have so far, we can already get a decent idea of the situation in France.
Today we’ll try to answer the 5 following questions:
Who is still shooting film?
The average film photographer in France is between 21 and 34 years old. This portion represents 50% of the respondents who answered our survey. Compared to other countries, the younger generation hasn’t been bitten by the film bug. That’s something common in France as we tend to pick up on new trends slightly after US and UK so I’d say that the younger generation will represent soon a higher proportion of the Newcomers category but this may not be 100% representative of the situation as we haven’t received as many answers as we did for other countries.
Where do people buy their film, develop and scan them?
The majority of people prefer to go to their local store or lab when buying and processing film. They like to meet with other photographers who share the same passion and the best place for that is the photo lab or a specialised store.
Of course, we see that some of us like to buy their films online to get the best price. However, when it comes to processing our rolls, there’s nothing like bringing them to the lab (6% only send their rolls to online service labs like Carmencita). About processing, we can also see that the older we get, the more we prefer setting up darkrooms at home and processing our exposed film ourselves. We do it for cost saving but also because we believe that we can do it better than how some labs would.
Where do photographers get their camera repaired?
I haven’t faced the situation yet where I have to look for a place to get my camera repaired or serviced (hope I don’t jinx it!), but for those of you who had to, you still prefer to rely on a store rather than an online repair center.
There’s also around 25% of the respondents who like to self-repair their cameras, which is a good thing considering that we received numerous comments saying that most repair stores are probably going to close soon because their owners are close to retirement. Again, this could potentially evolve into something else if we manage to get more answers to our survey.
Our cameras are getting old and we have to take good care of them if we want to have something to shoot film with!
Where do people prefer to buy their analog cameras?
The most popular place to find your dream camera, and by far, is eBay. This is also the site where I buy some of my gear so no real surprise here.
On the other hand what got my attention is to see that Facebook groups are also your favorite sources to scout for new gems. This can be explained by the cheaper prices (no seller fees like on eBay) but also because the contact with the seller is easier. Facebook has been pushing its selling platform lately and it seems to pay off so we should keep an eye on any listing there if we don't want to miss any good deals!
Also, it seems that French speakers haven’t found websites such as cameraventures.com yet but it’s not too late to change your habits. :)
What does the future of analog photography looks like?
The younger generation of French photographers is starting to get hooked by analog photography but we are slightly behind in numbers and activity when compared to other countries, where we see a majority of Newcomers that represent the future of the Analog scene.
It may be that a good portion of film photographers are not active online and prefers social gathering like Photo Clubs or even shoot just for themselves and don’t care about their online presence. This can also be explained by the lower amount of answers we received compared to other countries