From an amateur blog celebrating vintage photography to a professional business campaigning for the future of analogue cameras, Film’s not Dead is challenging the dominance of digital image making.
Tori Khambhaita, 25, originally started Film’s not Dead seven years ago as a blog, writing about photography exhibitions and news for the analogue photography community.
The blog became a company, which now buys and sells vintage cameras online from their office in Camden and own a stall at the Backyard Market in Brick Lane, East London.
Film photography has been Khambhaita’s hobby since she was a teenager, when she used to spend time taking pictures of people and street scenes.
She started her blog in support of analogue equipment in 2010 when digital cameras began to dominate the market. She soon saw a response from enthusiasts for film photography and she started to build a community.
Khambhaita decided to establish the company in 2012 to serve this growing community and to make sure vintage photography was kept alive amidst a massive decline in sales and usage of analogue cameras.
Khambhaita told ELL: “We wanted to help people and make sure that we are serving the survival of analog cameras, to provide it to the next generation of photographers to make sure film photography is being kept alive and used by future generations, not just previous ones.”
Khambhaita founded the company with two of her friends – Charlie Abbiss, 26, the head of digital marketing and graphics for Film’s not Dead and Jamie Rothwell, 24, who deals with online sales.
When they began, many around them predicted failure because of the dominance of digital cameras. However, their determination appears to have led to a success story.
Khambhaita believes enthusiasm for analogue cameras business is bigger than ever before.
“When we started, we bit felt that we were on the rocks. People were quite doubtful about what we are doing but we did it because we are passionate about film photography. Now actually it’s getting better – we have more people want to shoot films, especially young people and millennials who have the curiosity to experience this vintage equipment and old look.”
Film’s not Dead has a wide customer base ranging from amateurs to working professionals and from film photography students to vintage camera collectors.
Khambhaita says the company’s aim is to make sure everybody is comfortable shooting film by offering a distinctive service.
“We buy and sell analogue vintage cameras that we refurbish, clean and test. We also give a one-year guarantee with our cameras. When we started this project it was quite hard to find and buy analogue cameras and we couldn’t find anyone offering guarantees which we found it tricky,” she said.