Film photography as fashion and the decline of the hipster

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by David A. Goldfarb, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,979
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Like it or not, various forms of "lo-fi" film photography are a not insignificant source of the market for film right now--the Holga craze of a few years ago, Lomography, plastic cameras as accessories, Instax as a cool thing for teens and twenty-somethings who want to be "different." Of course not everyone experimenting with plastic cameras and the like is just in it to follow the fashion trend--if anything the serious photographers experimenting with chance in the making of art are defining the fashion--but still, the fashionistas constitute a market for film, keeping up demand for acetate base, coating plants, chemicals, and everything that we all need to do analogue photography. Like any fashion, it's going to change, and all those Soviet cameras that were passé in the 1980s will again become passé.

    http://www.theguardian.com/fashion/2014/jun/22/end-of-the-hipster-flat-caps-and-beards?CMP=fb_gu

    This will affect film photographers, even those who don't identify as "hipsters."

    Just to give one example, in Honolulu, the straightforward photo shops no longer sell film, paper, or darkroom supplies. A shop that started out marketing to the Lomography crowd picked up that market, offering a fairly good selection of films, a few kinds of paper, chemicals, used cameras, cyanotype kits, becoming a supplier for photo courses at local universities, an exhibition space, and location for camera swap meets a few times a year. Will they survive the end of the hipster? I hope so.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,190
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Sydney, Aust
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well, if beards and tattoos are the price I have to pay to keep film alive then I guess I'll have to keep practicing looking the other way!

    I was in Foto Riesel recently (which is probably the closest thing to a pro or proto-hipster ) photo shop in Sydney. The Lomography films had their own special display shelf next to the fridge with all the "proper" film in it! I chatted to the experienced film deveopment guy and we studied the labels for a while trying to figure out which manufacturers were being re-badged. Then I bought some Tri-X. I think it is a temporary blip but it may just extend the life of some films for a little while.
     
  3. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,513
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm not sure what purpose it serves to identify other people as "hipsters"; except perhaps to allow "serious photographers" to identify themselves as "serious" in contradistinction to those silly bearded tattooed dilettantes ... it all, sadly, feeds the tendency for derision and contempt of "the others" (those that aren't "us")

    it's just taking photographs. we don't need to be tribal about it
     
  4. snapguy

    snapguy Member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Location:
    California d
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hepcats

    A true Hipster is a Hepcat, an Aficionado of hot jazz and bebop. Cab Calloway was a Hipster. These latter-day fakes are Lawrence Welks, trying to become something that is not there and that they will never be. Why not call 'em George Eastmans --they push the button and somebody does the rest.
     
  5. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

    Messages:
    3,513
    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There we go, exactly what I'm saying.

    Pavlov could have made a case-study from APUG.

    Another thread for the ignore button ...
     
  6. omaha

    omaha Member

    Messages:
    360
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2013
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    You are right on the money, there. Its this perpetual desire to categorize and "other-ize" people that drive this.

    I put this banner on my Facebook page a while back.

    1480657_10201776043664674_443493678_n.jpg
     
  7. GRHazelton

    GRHazelton Subscriber

    Messages:
    755
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Jonesboro, G
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've noted that Showcase, the big bricks and mortar store here in Atlanta, has a sizable display of "hipster" cameras and film right out in the open. What most of us would call "serious" film is behind the counter, and expensive. By contrast, Wings camera, bricks and mortar and over 100 years old, caters to students and film folks and sells what I would call mainstream film, paper, chemicals, and a fine assortment of used gear, from 35mm to an 8 x 10 view camera I saw there the other day.
     
  8. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,351
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'll agree with Cab Calloway, but let's not degrade Lawrence Welk. Who else was so cool as to have a 'bubble machine'?
     
  9. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

    Messages:
    2,004
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Enroute
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    +1!

    Not only that, some of the work these young people do is far more artistic than the tightly wound up lens and film "tests" often found on this site. Before this era of photography took off, I would have never in a million years guessed the old guard would react the way they have.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2014
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,187
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a beard too... Actually I thought the archetype of Apugger would be someone with a beard anyway.
     
  11. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,433
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2005
    Location:
    NE U.S.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If the shop views their reason for being as supplying a market and making a profit, then they will last as long as there is a market.
    But, if the shop exists to be an extension of the owner's fashion sense then maybe they will close up when they get bored and decide to move on to other things.
    So far as I can tell hipster-ism hasn't quite arrived here, but the camera shops are still selling limited supplies, and still operating their C-41 lines.
    But the core market for this stuff existed prior to lomography, and will continue to exist after it fades, at least to some degree or another.
    IMHO
     
  12. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,187
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, I know of the importance of that market.

    But... nevertheless I only came across 3 people ever that could have been people having a film camera around because it seems trendy for them.
    I see this as evidence that this is (still?) a very localized fenomenon.

    And yes, that fashion factor is of importance for a manufacturer.
    But how predictable is the non-fashion market?
     
  13. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

    Messages:
    2,004
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Enroute
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm 47 years old, have been known to buy clothes to match my highly personalized Leica M3, use incredibly unorthodox marketing techniques and find great success in drawing people in that results in either new clients or new users of film, the two being of equal importance to me.

    If that makes me a "Hipster" then I am all about it baby!
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,605
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Location:
    DFW, Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm less worried about the effect on our supply line from so-called hipsters than I am about "alternative processes". Photographers of all skill levels are abandoning silver printing for other print processes, before going on to wet plate, etc. Then, they all sit around taking nothing but head shots of each other. Perhaps this, too, is just a "fashion" and will pass.* In the meantime, they are not buying film or silver gelatin paper.

    I also wouldn't put too much importance on something in The Guardian.



    * I have my theories, but that's a whole other thread ... :wink:
     
  16. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,967
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Lets talk about not talking about it.
     
  17. dosilverhalide

    dosilverhalide Member

    Messages:
    131
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    North centra
    Shooter:
    35mm
    Hey PKM, shouldn't you have the Leica hanging from your neck in that Cool pic. j
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,096
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    +2

    are you doing a crowdsourced funding for production of that leitz nose straw?
     
  19. snapguy

    snapguy Member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2014
    Location:
    California d
    Shooter:
    35mm
    bosom

    Anyone who grasps the newbie "Hipster" label to his bosom, ham-handedly enough, is desperately attempting to not be yet another boring dude with a camera but a cool cat, an "other." Some dudes need to get out more.
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,096
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    or maybe ... they just are tired of the same old BS so they are doing something different than their peers ...
    i've been called a hipster before ( im nearly 50 ) and an outlier as well because i don't believe with the main-stream is up to and think it is tired and lame.
    labels are a waste of time if you ask me ..
     
  21. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

    Messages:
    2,382
    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Location:
    Aurora, IL
    Shooter:
    35mm
    I don't know what's a hipster and what's not but I don't feel so good about the state of film today.
     
  22. Patrick Robert James

    Patrick Robert James Subscriber

    Messages:
    639
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2012
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    People that like film like film whether they are hipsters or not. I think fashion has given a bump to film sales, but over the long term film will slowly go down. Black and white film though will be around for a loooong time. Besides, the film doesn't care whether a person is a hipster or a "serious" photographer anyway. And what exactly is a serious photographer? There are only a few people that actually make a living shooting film at this point. There are a lot of boring pictures done by photographers who are "serious" and a lot of interesting pictures taken by "hipsters".

    For anyone using the term hipster disparagingly, just remember that to a young person you are an old fart!
     
  23. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,776
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Not related to film: am I one of the few who finds it strange that the age-old phenomenon of a particular fashion dieing/changing/evolving is newsworthy? I'm not commenting on the potential this particular group has on film consumption - I understand that part of this thread. Instead, I refer to The Guardian’s (or any news group's) general idea that any particular group falling out of fashion is news.
     
  24. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

    Messages:
    2,004
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Enroute
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Really......?

    With all the amazing films we have at still amazing prices?
     
  25. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,210
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    When the heck were you at 5pointz???
     
  26. PKM-25

    PKM-25 Member

    Messages:
    2,004
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Enroute
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Book publishing workshop in Brooklyn last Fall...