Shooting on film, also known as analog photography, has become more and more popular over the last few years.

This year’s World Photography Day takes a look at Qatar’s growing community of film photographers and how the space was created.

Founded by local Qatari photographer Khalid Al Hassini, analog film qatar is an Instagram page dedicated to connecting the film photography community in Qatar.

From a young age, photography has been an important part of Khalid’s life.

“I’ve been taking pictures since middle school,” Khalid said. doha news“I took portraits of people and sent them to the dean [office] And they add it to the almanac. The idea of ​​making time stand still really stuck with me. ”

Film photography was a venture Khalid wanted to pursue. Seeing people take up different hobbies during the pandemic inspired him to dive into the world of cinema photography while in college in Chicago.

After graduating from college and returning to Qatar, Khalid found himself longing for community.

“We all have different backgrounds in our own little bubbles. Maybe we just want to take a few hours a week to let go and do something therapeutic. It may be.”

Convinced that there were others who shared the same interest in shooting on film, Khalid launched the Analog Qatar Instagram page with no expectations of what would happen.

“I had five or six followers and started talking to a few people who shared similar interests here and there.

“[One day] I was stuck at a traffic light and saw the Gulf Cinema on my right. It’s a very nostalgic place. When I saw a camera that had a nostalgic feel to it, I decided to combine the two. I entered the building and asked to come with a few people to take a tour and shoot. and they agreed. ”

The next night, to Khalid’s surprise, people turned up with cameras, film and enthusiasm, even from the owner of the Khalifa Art Center, Qatar’s only film development center.

To keep the momentum and excitement going, Khalid started the #analogqatar hashtag to allow people to showcase Qatar, its culture and art scene in their films. Starting with a few modest photos, the hashtag now boasts about 2300 posts.

“It’s something I’m proud of and very self-reliant. It’s not made by me, it’s made by all of us.”

As the community began to thrive, Khalid began organizing photo walks. Photo walks bring together a group of photographers to walk around selected areas and take pictures.

“We started going to a nostalgic area of ​​Doha, capturing a place that is here today but might be gone tomorrow as the next mega-project is built.”

Here, Khalid shares one of his favorite captures from his latest photowalk.

“This was filmed in the Old Al Ghanim district. The area is so crazy and unique. They turned it into a volleyball court and they were just playing…it’s their own community and they’re having the best time of their lives playing.”

The diversity of the Analog Qatar community is a big part of what makes it so special.

“It’s not all Qatari, it’s not all men, it’s not just one thing. There are teenagers, young adults, beginners, professionals, enthusiasts. People who have really helped shape this into a family.” Many friendships have been made thanks to these grassroots communities, and that’s what has been most successful for me.”

Over the past few years, Khalid has witnessed mere beginners become experts with the help, guidance and even friendship of the group. He hopes it will continue to grow and welcome new faces.

“When people come to Analog, it’s important to me that they take the initiative to try something new. If you like it – it’s cool, it doesn’t matter if you don’t. You can still participate.”

Meet some of our community members

Abdul Latif, Qatar college student

Started shooting on film a year ago

“By chance, a friend told me about the club. I researched film photography and found it really suited me. It’s just, you don’t have to worry about it, it feels so intuitive and more natural.”

Abdul Latif emphasizes that film photography has helped him improve his creative process.

“I used to be a perfectionist, but this really taught me to let go and do more. The constraints make me more thoughtful, I am more involved in the process.”

Through movies and friendships, he shares that Analog Qatar is one of the best art communities the country has ever seen.

“It’s so carefree. Everyone is there to have fun and everyone is welcome. It’s great to interact and meet other people with common interests.”

Here he shares one of his favorite photos.

“My favorite subject to photograph is people. This was just a hangout with me and my friends. We were out camping in the desert. And I thought the boys looked cool. So I took a picture and they always say it looks like an album cover or something.”

Mariam, Palestinian architecture student

Started shooting film two years ago

“I have seen old family photos on film and I feel a sense of nostalgia and warmth. During Covid, shooting on film has started trending again, especially on social media. So when I found out I had attended my first photo walk at Gulf Cinemas, I decided to experiment.”

“Everyone is very welcoming and supportive. It’s a very small community, but it’s definitely growing now and there are a lot of people wanting to join.”

Getting used to shooting on film can be quite a learning curve, and navigating this alone can be difficult. I was able to.

“Even if your photos have technical problems, there is always something really beautiful in them. Even with the mistakes, I really like them.”

Here she shares one of her favorite photos.

“I am an architecture student, so I love photographing buildings, but I also love photographing people, especially strangers. This building is one of my favorites in Doha. It’s easy to forget that one person has their own life as complicated as theirs.

Al Waleed, QNL Copywriter

I grew up shooting on film

Al Waleed has been interested in photography since he was 10 years old and rekindled his love of film photography through a disposable camera purchased at the Khalifa Art Center.

“It was an amazing feeling. I was taking pictures of my family with this disposable black-and-white film. There’s something amazing about taking pictures and not knowing what you’re going to get. On your phone.” In contrast to the fast pace of digital photography, you are living in the moment.

The feeling of waiting for that email to be scanned and delivered is a very refreshing feeling. ”

Al Waleed said Qatar’s film community continues to grow with each photowalk he participates in.

“I hope the community will continue to grow. It will ensure that film photography will last for generations.”

“Most of my photos are actually from my family, and I hope my grandchildren will one day find these photos in 50 years.”

Here he shares one of his favorite photos.

“This is the Al Wakrah metro station. It’s a multi-exposure photo. I’ve superimposed two photos taken on film. It’s like, it captures the essence of a subway station.”

Ahmed, video editor and photographer

Started shooting on film four years ago

Ahmed’s journey into film photography began with a family heirloom. That’s the camera his grandfather bought his father in his 80’s.

“I saw it and really liked the idea of ​​this vintage feel. Especially my grandfather used the camera that my grandfather bought for my father to take pictures and I can still use it to make art .”

For Ahmed, developing the photos himself is the additional therapy that shooting on film offers him.

Here he talks about one of his favorite photos.

“This was taken early in the morning outside my house.As I was walking I saw these two motorbikes.The interesting thing about the house is that everything has a secret. I tried to show both bikes, so I can see there are probably two people using the delivery bikes.”

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