The Cameraventures team recently launched the Save Analog Photography project to see the current status of film photography in the world and know where it is heading in the future. Thousands of participants of the survey came from different parts of the world. Among these, there were 316 film photographers from the Philippines who participated in the Save Analog Cameras survey.
With analog photography, gear and cameras breaking down is an issue that has to be addressed. Because most of the film cameras are no longer being produced and are decades old, they become susceptible to the wear and tear. This is something that Cameraventures wanted to know through the Save Analog Cameras survey.
In the Philippines, just having an old and broken analog camera can be a headache. This is probably the biggest challenge for most of the analog photographers in the country.
Most of the analog photographers who participated in the survey said that they have their cameras repaired in a local store and in person. About 110 people from 316 survey respondents said that this is their preferred method. The next group of 41 people said that a guy from a forum repairs their cameras. Another group of 38 participants opts for a hobbyist that they personally know. Only 18 people have their cameras repaired by a store with online presence while 16 people fix their cameras themselves.
Of those who chose other options, a few noted that they have never had their cameras fixed because of the sheer difficulty of finding a repairman in their area. Others are lucky enough to never have encountered problems so far.
Most of the analog mechanics have shops that are located in the big cities of the Philippines. In Manila, James Uy and Roberto Bartolome (Mang Bebot) are the trusted names that pop up when it comes to camera repairs. Others flock to Quiapo for camera repair shops. In Cebu, on the other hand, Allen’s Photo and Camera Repair Shop and Cameracare are the go-to repair shops in the city.
Having one’s camera repaired can be harder for those in the provinces and areas with a few or no camera repair shops at all. This is why some analog photographers look for online repair shops or opt to fix their cameras themselves. Some even go the distance and have their cameras shipped to Manila for repairs.
The age of most analog mechanics is an issue that many of the survey respondents have noted. Most of the film camera mechanics have been working for decades already and are nearing retirement. This includes the famous Mang Bebot. Some survey participants have noted that they are afraid that this might be a problem in a few years’ time once the mechanics have fully retired.
However, a few are still hopeful with the apprentices that some mechanics have taken under their wing. Some camera repair shops have younger mechanics who will hopefully continue the legacy.
Maintenance and repair are two things that should be a priority for analog photographers. Having a trustworthy mechanic or repair shop that you can go to for problems is a must when your old analog cameras break. Unfortunately, this is the challenge in the Philippines especially if you’re from the province. Big cities, like Manila, have more access to expert mechanics and camera repair shops.
Generally, getting one’s analog camera repaired can be difficult in the Philippines.
Author: Ana Melissa Ortiz