Lomography: Building An Analogue Photo Community In A Digital Age
I was in Singapore in April and read about this CAMERA SHOP that had FILM??!!
It is a small compact store with an amazing array of cameras but what has me far more intrigued than the product is that in 2012 a brand can flourish and build a dedicated community around a product that some said would go the way of the Dodo!!
A brief snap shot of how this Analogue Movement started:
“It began with a fateful encounter in the early 1990s, when two students in Vienna, Austria, stumbled upon the Lomo Kompakt Automat – a small, enigmatic Russian camera. Mindlessly taking shots from the hip, and sometimes looking through the viewfinder, they were astounded with the mindblowing photos that it produced – the colours were vibrant, with deep saturation and vignettes that framed the shot – it was nothing like they had seen before! Upon returning home, friends wanted their own Lomo LC-A, igniting a new style of artistic experimental photography that we now know as Lomography!”
Today they are:
“….. a globally active organisation dedicated to experimental and creative visual expression, a playful combination of lo-tech and hi-tech, and a cultural institution involved in commercial photographic and design company. We are dedicated to the unique imagery and style of analogue photography, and will continue to contribute to its development!”
This compelled me to do my own investigation and what I found was a brand totally built around the user and their experience. They recognise that they don’t have a customer, they have a community and are dedicated to supporting and building it. And this is a dedicated community, make no mistake; in the store a wall is dedicated to Lomography User pics, there is a Community Board (below).
The focus on the user and community experience has see the product range extend beyond the camera and nowincludes, accessories for the camera and the user as well as clothing. Visit the Lomography Store here, interestingly this is for the Australian region and has recently been added, so here’s hoping we get a store soon!
They invite users to Become a Lomographer (click here to join) as “The Lomography community is the best way to share your photos, discover great Lomographs, and read the latest news from the analogue world.”
They further explain the benefits: Why register?
- Upload & share your photos
Enjoy our free, unlimited photo upload and share your pictures with our creative community!
- Inspire & get inspired
Get inspired by our most popular photos, articles and tipsters and become active!
- Get active & earn piggy points
Piggy points, the credits for our shop, can be earned through community activities, competitions and give aways.
- Join competitions & win prizes
Apart from analogue fame and awards, we are constantly hosting photo competitions so, there is plenty to win on Lomography!
- Explore the world & find lomography near you
Explore the world through anologue pictures and find Lomography near you and all over the planet.
- Get analogue news & become a writer
Read our Magazine and get all the latest analogue news or become a writer yourself and earn Piggypoints.
- Promotions & product launches
Make sure to be the first to know about new product launches, voucher codes or upcoming promotions!
Their online community is strong too, it supports the real life activity and gives a snapshot of the diversity of the product and the users. But the real experience is to be had in real life with the camera! They tell you to shoot fast and from the hip. You can find a camera that suits you and your activity and share it with the world!
This is great advice from their site and features instore and in their material too:
The 10 golden rules of Lomography
These rules define Lomography’s philosophy and approach towards photography. Recite them, or break all the rules – whichever way, be ready to throw all your inhibitions about photography to the wind!
- Take your camera everywhere you go
- Use it any time – day and night
- Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it
- Try the shot from the hip
- Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible
- Don’t think (William Firebrace)
- Be fast
- You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film
- Afterwards either
- Don’t worry about any rules
I am going to buy a Lomography camera and share my experiences as a customer, user, community member AND retail marketer!