Part of the fun of being a film photographer is the thrill of finding great thrift store cameras and weird expired film and realizing that analog photography can be fun, experimental and not at all expensive. Some of my favorite film cameras came from thrift store finds or were gifts from family and friends. In late May Pdexposures issued The $20 Challenge and it presented the perfect opportunity to demonstrate that film photography is achievable at any budget. The challenge gave each participant $20 to purchase a camera, a roll of film and get the roll developed.
It took me longer than expected to pick up a camera because I had just gotten a pug from Seattle Pug Rescue and most of my time was spent adjusting to my new life. A few weeks ago I finally made my way to Goodwill in Ballard and found the following cameras:
The Minolta Freedom Zoom was $5.99 but the battery was dead so I rummaged around and found one in another camera and swapped them out. The roll of C-41 film was on another shelf behind some VHS players and didn’t have a price tag so the cashier charged me $0.50. Once I exposed the roll I sent it to Walgreens and was charged $3.99 bringing the total to $10.48. Sweet!
The second camera was a Fujifilm disposable already loaded with film for $1.99. I had Walgreens develop this roll also for $3.99 bringing the total to $5.98. This means that the total cost for two cameras, two rolls of film and the development of both rolls totalled $16.46, well below the $20 limit for the Pdexposures challenge. Holy cow!
Here are some favorite shots from the Minolta for the challenge. No surprise that a majority of the images were of my pug. If I’m reading the Pdexposures post correctly, you have until July 15 to get your film developed so if you haven’t already, get out there and get shooting!