A conversation with...Analogue Wonderland

We’re delighted, chuffed and thoroughly excited to announce a working collaboration with Analogue Wonderland.  

We’ve sung their praises before but to recap, we think they’re the most enthused, specialist film supplier out there, offering an incredible range of films (well over 200 and counting!)  They sell at more than reasonable prices, and include in their listings plenty of rare brands that you’ll struggle to find elsewhere.

So that’s why we’ve chosen them as our exclusive supplier for all of the films supplied with our new Filtr PRO range - and you can read more about that here.

But enough from us - we sat down with Paul, head honcho at Analogue Wonderland and asked him a few questions...

 What was the trigger that got you into film photography?

I had owned various decent digital cameras in the past and was a hobbying photographer at most.  

But then one day I inherited my father-in-law’s OM1. I was just about to go on holiday as it happened, so I packed it, along with a couple of rolls of cheap film, and off I went, not knowing what to expect.

I was utterly blown away by just how much fun I had with it!  I couldn’t wait to get home and get my prints.  Once I did, I was hooked.  

That was in 2012, and I’ve never looked back.  I’ve been a fully blown film geek ever since.

What happened next?

My collection of cameras grew quickly - I was buying far more than I needed [Filtr - we know that feeling!] and I was in love not only with the incredible build quality these vintage cameras had, but also the stories that often came with them.  I really like that I could shoot with my one of my grandad’s cameras (an Illford Sportsman) or my uncle’s Pentax for instance.  It felt a bit like I was carrying on a family tradition; I had seen pictures taken with them dotting around family houses as I was growing up, so the idea I could take some new ones and add to them, well that felt pretty special and something you could never re-create with digital.

It wasn’t all great though - I was starting to notice though that my appetite for shooting film seemed to be bigger than the desire of businesses to cater for me and my fellow analogue fans.  There were a few shops near me when I lived near London, including the Lomography in Spitafields, as well as Soho (both have since closed) but when I moved up north shortly after I was really stuck for options.  

So where were you buying film from once you moved away?

I was fairly reliant on Amazon, but what they were offering was limited, often overpriced and frequently under stocked.  I had to rely on friends from London to go to shops, buy film for me and post it on - not an efficient or cost effective way to be doing things!

That lack of a decent online shop for all types of film got me thinking....

So what gave you the push you needed to go from hobbyist to full time business?

2017 saw a huge wave of announcements in the analogue film world - the return of EktachromeT-Max 3200 coming to the market, great companies like Dubble doing really new and exciting things with film, and a whole load of others.

This resurgence gave me that last little bit of encouragement I needed to take the leap.  That was early 2018, and it’s been an incredibly exciting and successful 12 months!

What were your goals when setting up Analogue Wonderland

I wanted to make film photography fun and accessible to everybody.  I hoped I could add something to the ever expanding global film community and serve its needs - increasing the exposure and support for the smaller film brands, and supporting community projects and businesses (like Filtr!) that are necessary for the full analogue photography ecosystem.  I thought I could do that as a true specialist and enthusiast in a way that Amazon never could.

Any big plans, hopes or fears for the analogue film world in 2019 and beyond?

We are always looking for new films and photography projects to showcase in Analogue Wonderland. So far this year we think we’ve had a good start: the relaunch of Dubblefilm, listing Solarcan as the first camera on the site, and we’ve brought FPP films from the US as an European exclusive. However there is so much more that we can do!

We’re currently working on several new launches - new brands, formats and films - as well as a couple of specific marketing ideas to help bring new people into analogue photography. This second part is really important to us: it is the most critical work we can ALL do for the future of film photography!

So thank you Filtr as I know that’s also a big part of what you do (and no-one can really buy film until they have a camera to put it in!) and my biggest hope for 2019 is that we end it with more active film photographers than we started it with.

Happy Shooting!

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