Back in September 2017 we announced our goal to save 100,000 analog cameras by 2020. Even though we already had saved around 30,000 by the time that idea was formalized, we knew it was very plausible that we would not reach the goal. In fact with our resources at the time it was impossible and we tried new approaches, in which we kept failing during the first years.
2017 marked the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence, and was the influence for the numeric choice of 100,000 cameras. Although such a large number seemed out of reach, we approached it optimistically, that not meeting the goal still would have a measure of success.
To our surprise, even with the unexpected occurrences of 2020, we are happy to announce we have reached our goal, just a few months into 2021! This was thanks not only to our own expansion of resources but to a consistent growth in analog photography interest as a whole, and most importantly a lot of community support.
Popularity and demand for film gear and services has skyrocketed and sprouted many new local and international businesses. For an industry that was nearly unsustainable just 6 or 7 years ago, this revival casts a positive light on the future of film. We are thankful and enthusiastic to be one of the forerunners of this niche in Europe.
These days it’s very very unlikely that a camera comes to us in proper factory-working condition. Some big challenges we have faced were not only to scale our ability of sourcing cameras, but increasing our capacity of fixing them.
Now that our goal has been met, we will keep going, and optimize tackling these challenges. We continue to get valuable help from the community, either by providing us with leads on large camera lots for sale, or by sharing the word about us to others.
Connecting with people who want to sell large or small quantities of their film photography gear will always be an integral first step in our efforts to recycle film cameras. And by that of course we literally mean “re-cycle”, as in putting cameras back into a cycle of use. Many millions of cameras are still out of circulation, tucked away in old bags and dusty basements – as long as we can find them, we can rescue them.
Additional efforts have been made to ensure that once rescued cameras reach us, we have the people and know-how to give them the repair and care they need before reentering circulation. Our recently announced camera technician school has opened and the first class is well on their way to learning these sparse and valuable skills.
If you want to learn more about Camera Rescue check some links below with more information about our history, our future, and how to help: