Do you know what I find funny? The fact that you can take a photo on your phone, open it in Instagram, slap a filter on it, save it to your camera roll, send it to a tiny printer and print off a shiny photo that looks like it was taken with a plastic camera. I discovered the world of Lomography just over 10 years ago, thanks to a friend and an amazing photographer’s portfolio that I stumbled across via MySpace and I’ve never been able to find since. These days, I’m heartened to see how the little-known movement has grown into a global sensation.
I first bought a Holga camera kit in 2008 whilst on a trip to Boston to see friends. I was too scared to take it out of the box so didn’t actually use it until I came back home. I took it to a party in Brighton and snapped away, already planning how I would display the shots in my scrapbook after getting them developed. Sad story: the party was really dark and the whole roll came out blank and fuzzy. I’m actually pretty grateful for that now because at that particular halloween party I’d dressed as a Victorian showgirl zombie and no one needs to see that, ever.
The UK’s first Lomography shop and exhibition space popped up a few years back in Soho. It’s the best place in the city to meet likeminded people interested in plastic cameras and film photography and it hosts inspiring events, talks and workshops all year round. Here you’ll find people who actually know how to use their Lomography cameras and can give you some great tips on which one might be best for you and a few insider secrets on how to modify yours for best results.
Plus, the central London shop it’s opposite a nice pub, close to Carnaby street and a stone’s throw from the excellent Photographer’s Gallery; one of my favourite London galleries. Filled from floor to ceiling with cameras and accessories, it’s easy to loose yourself in the huge Lomo’ wall of super-saturated photographs. The staff will tell you all about it if you ask them.
If all this praise of London’s sights is making you non-Londoners jealous, fear not because the Lomo’ community is a global one. If you’re not local to London, pay the Lomo’ store in Hong Kong, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Buenos Aries, Chicago, or Istanbul a visit. That’s just a handful for starters. Find stores in your city here and fall deeply in love with Lomo’, just like I did all those years ago. The range of cameras and kits is huge so don’t be daunted, just dive straight in and let your creativity run wild.
Where to find the Lomography Store?
Lomography Shop and Gallery, Soho
Open 11am – 7pm Monday – Saturday and 12 – 5pm Sunday
3, Newburgh Street, London W1F 7RE
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth