The second year of saving cameras, getting to know the global analog community and startup life is behind us now. I will try to be as truthful and prompt as possible about how it all went, as many of you are here just to win these freaking beautiful puppies:
Throughout the second year we ended up doing four things:
1. Processing and releasing the #SaveAnalogCameras data
With the help of freelancers and volunteers, we processed and released a big portion of the over 300,000 answers to the Save Analog Cameras questions. We hosted a live stream event for the main release in September 2017 with Bellamy from Japan Camera Hunter as a special guest visiting us in Finland.
There are still many questions the community seeks answers to within the data and that is why we are now making it openly available (without personal data of course) for any verified user here. Data yields results much better when it is asked the right questions, so we wish that the community takes the data and pushes it even further – for example it could be used to create a cool map of the community’s favorite labs to use for each US state, if someone would like to poke it a bit more.
2. Creating a physical Camera Rescue Center
During the data mapping process we found out what our role is (as the analog photography industry of Finland) and the vision of rescuing 100,000 cameras by 2020 was formed. For eight months we have been restructuring everything, starting with finding a new 600 m² (6500-ish square feet) headquarters we call the Camera Rescue Center and bringing in all the talents and companies working under this vision under the same roof. I personally also oversaw the renovating process, sold and emptied my old studio (where the live stream event was filmed), which took a big share of my time for almost half a year. Cameramakers.com was formed to unite local analog camera repair resources (in all forms – human, documentation and spare parts) and it composes now of six full time employees, with the first international recruitments and apprenticeship periods having been already completed at the Rescue Center.
Now the Rescue Center has been up and running for three full months and each day 10-15 people work on different parts of keeping film photography alive for Finland and Europe. Here is a video walkthrough we made explaining the functions of the Center so that this anniversary article wouldn’t become too long. 🙂
3. Continue building a hassle-free camera sales platform for the global audience.
Throughout the year we kept running two distinct camera selling sites: cameraventures.com and kamerastore.com. Both sites saw significant growth delivering around 15,000 cameras or items in 5,000 packages to over 50 different countries worldwide. However in May 2018 we announced that we are shutting down the cameraventures.com site as running two sites was distracting our team from what we felt was our most important task. During the summer of 2018 we will release a new version of the kamerastore.com site and once it is done, we will take Cameraventures offline and with it also the customer care part that took our team’s time.
And yes, even though we won’t sell anymore cameras on the site, the financial support that Camera Rescue needs to function still comes mainly from Kamerastore.com, so supporting them is also supporting us. That is also why I will include their accounts on our anniversary raffle.
4. Thinking global and trying to reach the right people
In last year’s anniversary article I wrote: “Our team’s (2 full time + 3 part time) vision ended up growing to be a bridge between the community and the industry, either by coding the things others should already have or by empowering good old-fashioned communication.”
During the past year our team has physically met with up with analog industry companies and influencers in over 10 European countries and five US states + Canada. Everything from some of the biggest electronics retailers in Europe to one man hand development labs. In addition, video calls all around the globe occur constantly and we have booked a booth for us to be in Photokina 2018. I point this out in such a blatant way, because I want to make sure everyone understands we are building up a network and a web app that will have global implications – not just Finland or even Europe.
Since last year we have also understood that we don’t need to preach to the choir. If you are reading this, there is a high chance you love analog photography and already rescue all the cameras you can find in thrift shops around your area. You are a part of the solution, not the problem. We want to try to empower people like you with the coding work our team does – for example as a small thing we created this list of 200+ repair shops (from community data).
However we need to preach to the 98% that can’t see analog cameras as items with use anymore. We believe that what we are building will be a key structure to keep film photography alive – by facilitating keeping the cameras alive. We have a mission and I am so glad our new brand and domain camerarescue.org is much clearer on that than Cameraventures.com ever could be.
The 2nd year anniversary will be also celebrated by hosting the biggest giveaway I dared to imagine, even bigger than last year. This year the giveaway also contains a photo/story competition. The grand prize is a Leica M5 + 50mm f0.95 Canon Dream Lens with RF coupling – a kit worth 5 000€ and there are also many smaller prizes for easier access.
There are many ways to participate in the giveaway, just scroll down to the rules to see more. You have until the 1st of July 2018 to participate. The photo competition aims to feature stories about how a certain analog camera is special. Just take a photo featuring that camera and write up why it is special and publish it on Instagram with the hashtag #MyAnalogCameraStory (feel free to tag @camerarescue and @kamerastore if you want us to notice it for sure) My personal special camera and its story is this.
Hopefully year three will be as exciting as years one and two. Thank you for sharing the journey with me. There is a lot to do, but it is well worth it to have those physical pictures available for our kids.
The giveaway has concluded!
There are seven awesome cameras you can win from the Birthday Week Giveaway celebrations along with the ten Kamerastore.com gift cards from the photo competition:
- Level 1. Nikon FE + 50mm f1.4 – REACHED!
- Level 2. Olympus O-product – REACHED!
- Level 3. Rolleiflex K4B
- Level 4. Nikon S3 + 3.5cm f3.5
- Level 5. Rollei 3003 kit
- Level 6. Hasselblad SWC 903 Black + A12 back
- Level 7. Leica M5 Black + Canon 50mm f0.95 “Dream Lens” with working RF coupling
The deadline is the 1st of July 23:59 GMT +2.
There are seven levels in the giveaway product, and the level achieved by the deadline will be raffled amongst all contestants. We go up one level every time we reach any one of these:
- 100 submissions to #MyAnalogCameraStory competition
- Hit 10k visitors onto this Anniversary page (Currently 88115 !)
- Hit 20k Instagram followers to @camerarescue
- Hit 10k instagram followers to @kamerastorecom
- Hit 10k FB likes to @Camerarescue
- Hit 5k email newsletter subscribers for Camerarescue and Kamerastore combined (You can sign up below!)
- Hit 37k rescued cameras (the ticker goes up whenever an item has found a new home through Kamerastore.com)
- BONUS LEVEL! Reach 1k Instagram followers to @cameramakers
The lucky winner will be chosen at random from the comments section of @camerarescue Instagram or Facebook (both including all of the posts during this Birthday week).
#MyAnalogCameraStory photo competition rules
Note that the point of this competition is having fun and reminding people that even the tools we use to capture stories have themselves stories that are sometimes wonderful to hear. It is not about exposing your best work for a professional set of judges, so don’t stress.
How to participate:
Super simple – take a picture of a camera that is special to you, post it on Instagram with the #MyAnalogCameraStory hashtag and explain in the caption why it is special.
Ten competition entries our team chooses will get a gift card to Kamerastore.com and if the winner is willing, the story and picture will be also featured on the Camera Rescue Instagram in July.