Traditional 35mm film photography is booming among young people who are born with digital cameras in hand.
“The demand is actually very strong. Also that the suppliers are struggling to provide us with enough film to be able to cover 100% of the demand. We source supplies from multiple locations to ensure we always have a certain number in stock,” says Jean-François Gauthier, manager of Gosselin’s Place de la Cité store in Quebec City.
The same story at the Image St-Jean Center in Lévis. Steve Roy, co-owner, argues so. Since 2019, sales of 35mm film at his store have increased by 130%.
This enthusiasm is particularly felt among young people aged 16 to 25 and the phenomenon is ubiquitous internationally.
The American company Eastman Kodak Company, based in Rochester, New York, has hired more than 300 people to produce 35mm film over the past year and a half and remains in hiring mode.
“Demand for 35mm film has exploded in recent years,” tweeted Nagraj Bokinkere, vice president of film making at Kodak, on Oct. 12.
Photo Diane Tremblay
Jean-François Gauthier, director of the Gosselin store in Quebec’s Place de la Cité, believes that the return of traditional photography is more than a passing fad.
trend of the hour
In 2004, faced with a significant drop in sales, the company announced the end of production of 35mm cameras.
Many devices that were forgotten in the closets of thatched cottages are therefore back in service.
“If it’s always been well maintained and the mechanics are good, it works like new,” adds Mr. Gauthier, who believes the trend has accelerated in Quebec over the past year and a half.
Film and digital represent two universes that require a different approach. It’s not enough to press a button.
Photo Stevens LeBlanc
For Élizabeth Landry, a fine arts student at Laval University, film photography is first and foremost a form of artistic expression.
“Being limited to a 24 or 36 exposure film and waiting for the film to develop to see the photos creates a desire where every pose matters,” emphasizes Mr. Roy.
Some liken the “renaissance” of film to the craze for records.
We are looking for an experience more than immediate consumption, the experts point out.
Film has become her favorite medium for Élizabeth Landry, a Masters student in Fine Arts at Laval University.
She uses a camera with a camera. Do you know the one with a little accordion in the middle? She locates hers in the sixties.
“The photo shows a slowness. […] I am using a device that is quite complex to assemble. You can’t shoot endlessly with film. We put more time into preparation,” she shared.
Surprise, on hold
“I find it interesting to have the surprise at the end. There is an unexpected side. With film we break with the momentary. Looks like the photos have more value,” she adds.
“For a long time we thought it was just a fad, but we tell ourselves that people really like it. I have the impression that companies are starting to adapt their production. Half a year ago it was more difficult to have films. Now it’s going to be a bit easier than before,” says Mr Gauthier.
Do you have any information about this story that you would like to share with us?
Do you have a scoop that might be of interest to our readers?