Film photography as fashion and the decline of the hipster
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 passť in the 1980s will again become passť.
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.