The Resurgence of Film Photography. Is it just a trend or is it here to stay?

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Jake Greene

Living in a fully digital world we expect constant innovation with the newest cameras, but analog photography could be making its big return. Nowadays, we can go out and snap off hundreds of photos on our phones without even questioning it. You are given instant results that you can immediately share around the world using social media. But before all this digital technology, we had film, a sheet of transparent film base coated with a gelatin emulsion containing microscopically small light-sensitive silver halide crystals. The film would be shortly exposed to light then later developed to reveal a negative that could be converted into your final image. It’s what your grandparents and even you might have used way back. But here, in 2021 we are seeing a massive resurgence in the film community. 

Major companies such as Kodak, Fujifilm, Polaroid and many others are back producing their best selling film stocks, and are even bringing back some of their old fan favorites. The sharing of Instagram accounts and Youtube channels specializing in film photography is increasing. And prices for old cameras are skyrocketing. To get a better understanding of this we can look at some examples of the most luxury film cameras skyrocketing in price. The Contax T2, a 35mm point and shoot rangefinder, has gone from being around $200-$300 in the early 2000s and retails used for around $1200-$2000 today. This is a massive increase in price way over exceeding what the camera is actually worth. But it is not just this one film camera, it is all film cameras. As more and more people demand these older cameras, the less there are out there due to them not being produced anymore. 

But what is causing all of this? Why is shooting film the “new trend” and is it here to stay? Well there isn’t really one answer to explain why all of this is happening. When it comes down to it, everyone has their own reason to choose to shoot on film, but this has to be influenced by something. That something is primarily social media. It is so easy to share images using social media apps such as Instagram, Tiktok, Youtube, ect, that virtually anyone can do it. Many professional photographers and celebrities have switched over to using film due to its characteristics. Maybe people like the nostalgic feeling that is produced with film, or maybe it’s the process of slowing down and not having those instant results. It is hard to know if this is just a trend but it is exciting to see more and more people being exposed to photography. Seeing more people pick up a camera and go out documenting life is a super exciting thing for the photography community.