Holga Week Event and Competition Starts October 1st

By Molly Kate

Holga Week is here! The annual worldwide celebration of the humble Holga camera begins this Saturday, October 1, 2022. The main event is organized by Mr. Holga and features an exciting competition, sponsors, podcast judges, and prizes.

Photographers have from October 1-7 to shoot images on their analogue Holgas. From October 8th until November 8th, entrants can submit up to three of their photos to the competition form on the Holga Week website. There are multiple categories that can be entered, each with a specific theme of either Street, Nature, Portrait, or Pinhole. No non-Holga, digital Holga, or digital camera with a Holga lens is allowed.

Winners of each category as well as the grand champion of Holga Week 2022 will be announced live on Instagram (@holgaweek) on November 22, 2022 at 12:30 p.m. (CST or UTC/GMT-5) in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas.

marching band in black and white
David Campbell, Holga Street Winner

Competition Categories & Judges:

The main categories are as follows (including the judges for each):

Holga Street – Sunny 16 Podcast
Holga Nature – Tales From The Magic Box Podcast
Holga Portrait – Studio C-41
Holga Pinhole – The Lensless Podcast

Holga Select is an additional award which is akin to a “people’s choice” award. This is chosen through voting by all Holga Week 2022 submitted photographers. So if you have submitted a photo to Holga Week, you can vote for as many photos as you would like for the Select award.

Lastly, there is the selection of the ultimate Holga Week champion. The champion is chosen by the previous year’s champion. In 2021, Johnson Hui was crowned and will be making the tough choice of whom to pass on the title of Holga Week Champion to in 2022.

man in a wheelchair looking out on a large city
Johnson Hui, 2021 Holga Week Champion

Sponsors & Prizes

Freestyle Photo and Imaging is awarding a Holga 135BC camera to all winners. Film Washi is a first time sponsor and will be awarding three rolls of I,F, and K 120 film. Analogue Wonderland is also a first time sponsor and giving away goodies and film. Don’s Used Photo equipment will be giving away a pro pack of Ilford HP5+ and maybe also “a little extra somethin’ somethin’” as they say in the video discussing Holga Week prizes. Old School Photo Lab in Dover, NH and Legacy Photo Lab are also sponsoring Holga Week and offering prizes and discounts.

black and white image of tree in foreground with island in the background
Jonathan Sare, Holga Nature and Select Winner

Where did Holga Week begin?

Holga Week was started in 2015 by Holga Jen (@HolgaJen), a Canadian photographer who now goes by Jen’s Fine Art (@JensFineArt). That year, Mr. Holga was the winner of the competition!

Mr. Holga tells me he offered Holga Jen help to grow Holga Week, but it wasn’t until 2019 that they connected and he jumped at the chance to run Holga Week going forward. He said, ‘At the time I had just created a YouTube channel for Don’s Used Photo Equipment in Dallas, Texas. And Holga Week would be great content.’

He also said Holga Week was changed from July to October, when the Texas heat was less blazing, ‘Fall seemed like a better time to get out and take photos. The State Fair of Texas is also open during Holga Week, which helps for photo walks.’

doll heads
Doug Robbins, Holga Pinhole Winner

Mr Holga gave me a breakdown of the participation over the years to show how the event has grown. In 2019, there were 65 photographers and 185 photographs from 15 countries. Last year, there were 212 photographers and 588 photographs from 26 countries. He said they are hoping to get 300+ photographers and 900+ photographs for 2022.

girl looking out window
Ashley Harkins, Holga Nature winner

There will be other events centered around Holga Week, namely photowalks. Some which have been announced include London Camera Project, who is hosting a Holga photo walk this weekend on Sunday, October 2, 2022 with goodies provided by Analogue Wonderland. Analogue Wonderland is also offering deals on Holgas and film for the festivities in their online store.

Of course, as Mr. Holga mentioned, the State Fair of Texas is on and he will be leading a walk there as mentioned in this Youtube video.

To find out more information on Holga Week, head to the main website here. There is also the wonderful Don’s Used Photo Equipment Youtube Channel where you can watch Mr. Holga himself along with Todd Puckett talk all about Holga Week on screen!

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About The Author

By Molly Kate
Photographer, writer, and CPA currently running a Youtube channel called Eclectachrome. I'm a huge fan of shiny new objects which makes writing news a perfect fit. Favorite cameras are often mechanical rangefinders, folders, and compacts and I love most film stocks. I enjoy developing and scanning my own film as well as printing in the darkroom when there's extra time!
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