Hamilton sees resurgence in film photography popularity

In Hamilton, film photography is having a comeback

“Film Photography Renaissance in Hamilton: Rooney’s Shop Leading the Way”

For Katie Sadie, the owner of Rooney’s shop in Hamilton, there is an indescribable magic in peering through the waist-level viewfinder of a Pentax 67. As she puts it, “It’s better than real life.” With a background in freelance photography and formal education in the art, Sadie has discovered something special about film that smartphones and digital cameras simply cannot replicate. And she’s not the only one in Hamilton who feels this way.

A Resurgence in Film Photography

Similar to the resurgence of vinyl records a decade ago, film photography is experiencing a revival in Hamilton. The town is witnessing a growing interest in this analog medium, with more and more individuals embracing the unique charm and timeless quality of film.

Rooney’s: A Hub for Film Enthusiasts

Rooney’s, Sadie’s coffee shop on Main Street East, has become a haven for creatives and artists, particularly those passionate about photography. The establishment houses photography books, showcases local film shots, and now even offers a film drop box service in partnership with Toronto-based Graination. This growing popularity speaks to the increasing allure of film photography in Hamilton’s creative community.

The Allure of Film Photography

Neil Guo, co-founder of Graination, believes that film photography provides a sense of meaning and intentionality that is often lacking in the digital age. With film, each shot carries a tangible value, prompting photographers to capture moments that truly matter. Beyond its practicality, Guo emphasizes the unmatched quality and aesthetic appeal of film prints, highlighting the enduring appeal of this classic medium.

A Growing Demand in Hamilton

While Rooney’s partnership with Graination signals a rising interest in film photography in Hamilton, the town has long had a place for film enthusiasts to develop their rolls. Bell Arte Camera on Ottawa Street North has been serving this community since 1972, witnessing a resurgence in film development in recent years. Owner Robert Bagliolid notes that the tactile nature, privacy, and focus required by film photography contribute to its enduring popularity among younger photographers.

A Sense of Community and Passion

Photographer and writer Steacy Easton recognizes the sense of community and passion that has emerged within Hamilton’s film photography scene. The ability to share and exchange creations with like-minded individuals adds a unique dimension to the experience, fostering connections and camaraderie among enthusiasts.

In a world inundated with digital technology, the resurgence of film photography in Hamilton offers a refreshing reminder of the value of intentionality, quality, and creativity in visual storytelling. As individuals like Katie Sadie and Neil Guo continue to champion the art of film, the timeless allure of analog photography remains as captivating as ever, inviting us to slow down, focus on the moment, and truly appreciate the beauty of capturing images on film.”



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