Tuesday this week was the last day of The Photography Show 2021 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. It was also, therefore, the last day of the first Analogue Spotlight at The Photography Show, and I’m very happy to report that it felt like a massive success!
The Analogue Spotlight was an idea born out of a few visits over the years to The Photography Show that felt lacking in all things analogue. In fact, it wasn’t as if there were no analogue-focused brands there, but what was there was always spread around the show without any focal point for people to meet. I then saw some photos from a Photokina where the analogue community appeared to descend on a few stands that were grouped together. This gave me the idea to approach the organisers of The Photography Show and suggest an analogue focal point for the visitors to their show.
Fortunately, the organisers themselves had also been wondering how they could attract more of us crowd to the show, so as it turned out, I was pushing on something of an open door with my ideas. I then teamed up with Paul from Analogue Wonderland, and a few meetings later, we had hatched a plan. March 2020 was to be the first TPS with an Analogue Spotlight – a feature area with micro-business “pods” and an area for talks and demonstrations. Of course, the 2020 show – for reasons I’m sure I don’t need to explain – never went ahead. But, the plans didn’t disappear, and this last long-weekend was when they finally came to fruition!
Before I get into telling you about this year’s show, I just want to point out that we (me and Paul from AW) are conducting a short survey.
Whether or not you attended the Analogue Spotlight at The Photography Show 2021 we would love to hear your thoughts, as a passionate film-shooter!
We want to hear your feedback so we can pass on as much info as we can to the organisers of TPS so next year’s Spotlight can be bigger and even better!
And… we are also thinking about organising an Analogue Spotlight event in its own right, so any info you can share will help shape that too!
You can find the survey here.
The Analogue Spotlight at TPS 2021
The Analogue Spotlight 2021 was made up of a large mostly open area of stands, meeting and demonstration/talk area. Then, around the Spotlight, there were a series of other Analogue-focused businesses.
The Spotlight itself included:
Analogue Wonderland. Represented by Paul who only intended to go on the weekend, but enjoyed it so much he came back on the Tuesday too. Paul had some film to sell, and a load of stickers to give away.
Chroma Camera. Chroma launched their new Simple45 camera (which gave me a mega case of GAS) and were showing off their 679 system.
Intrepid. Max was there showing his new enlarger which got him a best in show trophy!!
Kosmo Foto. Stephen was showing off his new agent shadow merch and selling mono.
Pinsta. Oliver was showing off his forthcoming pinhole camera/mini-darkroom/mini-enlarger which he’s going to be taking to Kickstarter soon.
pixl-latr. Me and Josh were there selling pixl-latrs and showing off our forthcoming collaboration with Valoi
SilverPan Film Lab. Duncan was there flying the flag for his excellent lab. Here he is showing off a small invisible version of said flag:
Zone Imaging. And last but not least, James from Zone Imaging was there to extol the virtues of 510 Pyro.
There was also a demonstration area for talks which was always really busy. There were talks from Piero from PPP, Holly Gillman, Dan Rubin, Edd Carr, Alexandra Heron and loads more that ranged from discussing how to look after you film camera to talking about film photography projects and processes as well as sustainability within the analogue photography world.
I would have loved to have seen more, but i was always busy on the stand and only really caught a bit of Holly and Piero’s talks, but I am led to believe they were all really interesting.
Then around the back of the stand we also had Bright Rooms, who were there to promote their darkroom, print services and workshops.
And adjacent or nearby were:
Ilford Photo who were selling lots of film and showing off their new pop-up darkroom tent.
Tetenal UK who were also selling lots of film as well as showing off the large range of analogue related kit they sell.
Paterson with all their film photography gear and lights, as well as their Benbo tripods.
MS Hobbies selling and talking about Minox cameras
And last but not least, the Disabled Photographers Society who were there, as they always are, with a stand full of second hand goodies for people to rummage through. Unfortunately, I missed my opportunity to rummage and only got a chance to visit them on the last day after everyone had cleared them out. There’s always next year!
Sunny 16 video
If my round-up of the show isn’t enough for you, you can also see the Sunny 16 podcast video here:
Onwards and Upwards!
And that – unless I missed anything – was that for the Analogue Spotlight and analogue presence at the show. The rest of the show was also fantastic too though, with loads of stands from big and small brands alike, plenty of talks and exhibitions. It was also really good to go to an event with other humans in what felt like a covid-safe environment. It was very much the biggest and busiest space I have been in for 18+ months, and with so many familiar faces there too, it was a lot of fun!
Just to reiterate, we would love to hear your thoughts. What did you like, what would you like to see more of next year? We have built a good relationship with the organisers of TPS now, and we are very keen to do this – and more – with them next year. Not to mention the fact that me and Paul are hatching plans for a dedicated analogue event, and your feedback would be realy useful for that too!
So, if you would like to share your thoughts, you can fill in the survey here!