Is The Future Analogue? Film Photography In 2018

On April 19, it was my pleasure to moderate the panel discussion Is The Fugure Analogue? Film Photography in 2018, organized by ArtsScene Vancouver as part of Capture Photography Festival 2018.

Thanks to panelists Nicole Langdon-Davies (Beau Photo) and Katie Stewart (SAD Mag) for contributing your wit and wisdom to what was a lively discussion!

We took as our departure point for the discussion these quotes: 

“The market for analog photographic film peaked in 2003 with 960 million rolls sold. Today the market represents roughly 2% of that.”

—Manny Almeida, President of Fujifilm Cameras’ imaging division in North America

“We’re seeing film growth of 5% year-on-year globally.”

—Giles Branthwaite, Sales and Marketing Director, Harman (makers of ILFORD PHOTO)

And from there, attempted to answer if the future could in fact be analogue after all.

We learned there’s not a simple answer: while film photography is indeed doing better than it has for the past several years, a lot of this prosperity appears to be driven by the success overseas of Fujifilm’s line of simplistic Instax party cameras, even as that same company continues to kill off its beloved 35mm film formats. 

At the same time, anecdotal evidence suggests that there are many people of all ages, including (or especially) those who grew up knowing only digital camera tech, who are embracing analog photography as a way back to something real, memories they can touch and feel with their own hands in a way zeroes and ones can never satisfy.

Thanks to Kirk Chantraine of The Snipe for these photos from the event!

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