Meet Juho Leppenan of Camera Rescue in Finland & His Paradise of Vintage Camera Equipment
You know what I really can’t stand? When I see a perfectly well-behaved, well-groomed older analog camera just tossed aside like yesterday’s news. These cameras have feelings, too you know! Luckily, there are a few kind souls willing to take them in. French photographer and filmmaker Mathieu Stern recently took a visit to meet with Juho Leppanen of Camera Resue in Finland. Every day, Leppanen and his crew work tirelessly to take these poor little cameras in and find them a good home for the remainder of their days.
Finland’s Camera Rescue Center & ‘Kamerastore’
Juho Leppanen runs the Camera Rescue Center in Finland. His goal: The preservation of cameras for future generations. So far, Leppanen and his team have rescued a whopping 46,000 cameras in total! But the Camera Rescue Center says they’ve only just begun. Sometimes, they get over a thousand cameras in at a time, and the cameras just keep coming every day! New, old, working, broken—it doesn’t matter. These cameras need a good home, and the Camera Rescue Center is there to find it.
Ultimately, their goal is to reach 100,000 cameras by 2020. From the looks of it, they might just make it. Across their five different locations in Finland, they take used and unwanted cameras, traded in for cash. They have a central hub in Tampere, Finland that takes in over 50 cameras a day!
Now, Camera Rescue opened up shop in 2018, but Leppanen has been working with and refurbishing used cameras for nearly a decade. Back in 2010, he helped to open Kameratori, where he and his fellow business partners worked to buy, restore and sell analog camera equipment. Since then, his passion grew and grew, with each new business and campaign expanded his knowledge.
With Camera Rescue, Leppanen works closely—literally under the same roof—with Kamerastore to rehome the cameras they’re able to rescue.
It’s been a long road so far, and Leppanen knows his journey isn’t done, but he’s excited for the future of camera technology. Check out the video above to see more about what Camera Rescue and Kamerastore are doing for the well-being of classic analog cameras around the world!
[Related Reading: Why Some Photographers Refuse To Give Up Shooting Film]