TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — During the pandemic, a growing interest in film photography has sparked and led one business to success during a tough year.
“I go back to this idea that something we take for granted its ability to capture light, actually record images we just take for granted, it is a really a really a small sliver of history," said Lee Walker, owner of Monument Camera.
Walker bought the camera shop in January and said just five weeks later the pandemic hit, but he explained there is a silver lining — camera equipment bringing loved ones together.
“Because [families] had more time together and they were cleaning out their closets. So, their parents found their old SLR from the 70s or the 80s. They passed it on to their teenager," Walker explained.
He says the age group most interested are those in their twenties, like Andrick Aviles.
Film photography caught Aviles' attention four years ago, but there was no better time for him to really dive into the hobby than during the pandemic.
“I have a lot of time on my hands now. I'm able to go outside a lot more and the internet has a lot of information on how to learn how to shoot photography and film photography," said Aviles.
Aviles has made the two-hour drive from Phoenix twice just to visit Walker’s small business.
Walker explained with customers like Aviles coming in, it's created something much bigger than the profit he needs to keep his doors open.
“It's provided really interesting, sort of more sense of community and connection with people," he said.
Building off of the new trend Walker is seeing, he’s created classes to teach new photographers how to shoot and hopes to welcome more people in — once the pandemic slows.