Over the last 9 months Camera Ventures has been researching the current state of analog photography around the world, interviewing hundreds of people from CEOs integral to the industry, to upcoming young enthusiasts. We have gone on to undertake a survey of over 7500 analog enthusiasts from around the globe so that we can see how vibrant, varied and ultimately how healthy the analog camera scene is. This all with the hope that we can answer whether analog photography has what it takes to survive and be appreciated by the generations to come. If you’ve already taken part in our survey then we’d like to thank you for helping with this project, and if you’re yet to do so you can still take part at: https://cameraventures.com/save-analog-form
Depending on how you look at it the analogue film market may appear to be flailing or thriving - while over the last two decades we have certainly seen the majority of camera users migrate to digital there is still a demand for analog cameras and film. At Cameraventures we launched our survey to try and determine who these analog shooters are, where they come from, and what their needs are, with the hope of trying to predict what the future holds for those still passionate about shooting analog. Today we’re going to have a look at the UK Cameraventures survey results to try and gain a better understanding of the analog enthusiasts here.
Who is actually shooting? are they old pros, collectors, die-hard nostalgics? - or perhaps younger photographers intrigued by the mystique, history or novelty? When we take a closer look it doesn’t really seem to be all that definitive either way.
Age-wise in the UK we see a fantastically diverse spread in our results. When we take into account the fact that the age brackets are not evenly spaced, we can see that there’s actually a considerable sway towards the younger generations - this has certainly got to leave you optimistic for the future of film! Out of the 611 people who responded to our survey, over a third of those who responded are aged 26 and below.
Moving onwards, we can take a look at what kind of shooters are most prevalent. During the survey respondents were asked to rank whether they consider themselves primarily to be collectors, gearheads, artists or newcomers. Here we’re plotted people’s primary choices:
No doubt most people have at least a little bit of the collector or gearhead within them (who doesn’t love a nice bit of photography gear?), but on the whole the majority of those who replied from the UK consider them selves to be artists first and foremost. It’s also reassuring to see a fair few newcomers in the mix.
Remember what we said about loving photography gear? We can also take a look at how many cameras the analog shooters in the UK actually admit to owning!
Somewhere between 3 and 5 seems to be the most common number of cameras within people’s collections - this makes me feel a little less guilty about the state of my own collection!… but equally at the same time these results also leave me feeling like I could easily get away with adding a few more pieces to my own little stockpile!
So to return to the original question - who is shooting analog in the UK? What perhaps seemed to be a rather simple question in reality is a lot more complicated: there are shooters of all ages, abilities and interests with various sizes of collection - perhaps the only common attribute between them being our passion for the format, but reassuringly there seem to be plenty of people out there ready to shoot!