In this video, Cameraville travels to Tampere, Finland to sit down with Juho Leppänen of Camera Rescue and take an inside look at their goal of saving 100,000 analog cameras by 2020. Leppänen details what is means to 'rescue a camera' the challenges they face, and what it might take to sustain the film photography industry in the future.
Camera Rescue & How to Save 100,000 Film Cameras
The History of Camera Rescue™
As a teenager attending high school in Finland, Juho Leppänen first began buying and selling film cameras as a way to make some extra money and feed his passion for photography and camera gear. It wasn’t long before he was buying dozens of cameras at a time and saw the potential scaleability of this process.
In 2010 Juho along with his friend and business partner opened the online and retail store Kameratori (roughly translated as a - Camera Gathering or Camera Marketplace). Shortly after they brought on Antti Heikkinen and together the three of them began buying and selling analog camera gear at an increasingly large rate and reach.
In 2016 Juho stepped away from daily operations and started CameraVentures, working to create the biggest network of reclaimed camera retailers in the world. Juho also started the Save Analog Cameras campaign which he would launch 9 months later in April 2017. Conducting research and interviewing over 300 film photographers around the world, Juho set off to understand the global film photography scene - identify its strengths, weaknesses, and propose solutions to ensure that the death of film photography would never come.
Save Analog Cameras
The Save Analog Cameras campaign launched to raise awareness to the findings and collect further data from more members of the film community about the global state of analog. In short the launch of the campaign presented the conclusion that film itself is likely not under any threat, but that the decline of film developing/scanning machines, and functioning cameras would prove very harmful to the industry in the future.
During 2017 after the campaign made its way through the internet, an additional 7,500 film photographers took the time to fill out a questionnaire answering valuable questions about, themselves, their interests, where to buy film, develop film, repair cameras, and much more. These results were broadcast live with guest speaker Bellamy Hunt of Japan Camera Hunter in September of 2017.
After over a decade in the business and with a wealth of knowledge gained in the previous two years Juho decided it was time to pause reflect upon the bigger picture before moving forward next. With a strong grasp on the past, present, and future of film, Juho refocused his efforts to one of the previously identified problem areas where he could make a difference, rescuing cameras.
In 2018 CameraVentures took a new direction, becoming camera rescue™ which would set out to revitalize unused gear back into the growing film photography market. This revitalization would be accomplished by locating unused, undiscovered, or malfunctioning film photography gear across the globe and entering them into the camera rescue process with the assistance of Cameramakers and Kamerastore.
Camera Rescue [Team] Today
Cameramakers is a small team of certified camera repair men with over 100 years of experience between them, who joined camera rescue in 2016 acting as their repair department.
With a customers from an increasing number of countries and improved logistical capabilities from their earlier days, Kameratori added the moniker Kamerastore in 2018 to better identify themselves with the international market.
Kamerastore, camera rescue, & Camera Makers
Today Kamerastore and camera rescue operate side-by-side under the same roof amongst offices, a showroom, spare parts warehouse, lab, and camera repair center know as Cameramakers.
Together these three entities work towards the camera rescue vision.
Camera rescue locates unused, unwanted, or broken cameras
Cameramakers repairs or revitalizes them
Kamerastore gets them into the hands of new customers.
Today there are already three other shops in Finland that assist in and replicate the camera rescue process. Additionally many camera rescue trips to other countries to view big lots of items (like a recently closed analog camera store) come from tips shared by contacts and film photographers around the world keeping an eye out in their local community for these types of situations.