A Camera of One’s Own: Kelly Angood’s Pop-Up Pinhole Project

As the creator of the Pop-Up Pinhole Company, Kelly Angood wants to help people reconnect with the tactile experience of analog photography. But quality photography equipment can be expensive and inaccessible. It’s a problem she knows well — one she’s tried to address with her DIY pinhole camera kits.

In 2010, as a student at the University of Brighton, Angood wanted to buy a sleek Hasselblad camera so she could shoot on medium-format film, but the cost of the camera was prohibitive. So she decided to make her own.

Screen-printing the Videre assembly sheets.

Screen-printing the Videre assembly sheets.

Angood designed a DIY camera that could be assembled out of inexpensive materials. It had a single small aperture — a pinhole — instead of a lens, using a photography process dating back to the 1800s. She also created a blueprint for the camera, which she made available online as a PDF so that others could print and assemble their own cameras at home. “I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who were as passionate about pinhole photography as me,” she says.

That design evolved into The Pop-Up Pinhole Project, which she brought to Kickstarter in 2013. With the support of 881 backers, Angood raised £35,164 to produce and ship her DIY pinhole camera kits all over the world.

Screen-printed and die-cut Videre sheets.

Screen-printed and die-cut Videre sheets.

“The community around my projects has always been very important to me,” Angood says. That’s why she created a second camera, Viddy, in 2014. “People wanted to be able to use 35mm film, and for the camera to be easier to construct and more suitable for kids,” she says. “That’s exactly what they got!”

For Kickstarter Gold, Angood designed a new version of her original camera, called Videre, incorporating more suggestions from her community. It’s more compact and durable than the previous model, and the design has been simplified so that it’s easier to assemble, letting backers “go from flat-pack to shooting your first roll of film within an hour.”

An assembled pinhole camera.

An assembled pinhole camera.

Angood says she’s had many memorable experiences over the course of her Kickstarter campaigns, but there’s one that sticks with her the most. After hearing how her project got started, not one but two backers gifted her their Hasselblad cameras — the same camera she’d been unable to afford back in 2010.  “I use one of them regularly, and I donated the other to a local college’s photography department,” she says. Still, she’s glad she couldn’t get her hands on a Hasselblad at the time, or the Pop-Up Pinhole Company might never have existed.

The Videre pinhole camera.

The Videre pinhole camera.

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