Lomography Partners: Fox Spirit – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Come one, come all. Lomography has partners all over the world to help serve your analogue needs. If you're in Vietnam then it's your lucky day! We're speaking to Jenny Phan, founder of Fox Spirit in Ho Chi Minh City.

© Fox Spirit

Hi, and welcome to Lomography Magazine! Could you introduce yourself and tell us what you do?

I’m Jenny Phan, a founder of Fox Spirit - named after the mythical kitsune (Japanese fox spirit) known for its illusions, which embodies the mystery that unfolds with every click of the shutter. Just like a kitsune's magic, film photography reveals hidden depths within an image, details invisible to the naked eye until the moment the film is developed, scanned and enlarged.

Now I power three brands - each plays a vital role in this journey.

Fox Spirit Film: Your one-stop shop for all things analogue – from finding the perfect film stock to the tools you need to capture your vision.

Saigon Film Photowalk: Embark on photography adventures through the vibrant streets of Ho Chi Minh City. Connect with fellow enthusiasts and capture the city's unique soul.

Bong Cai Photos: Let our expert team bring your memories to life with exceptional photo services.

My work is a creative rollercoaster! I juggle strategy, finances, and connecting with analogue and tourist brands to fuel Fox Spirit's growth and spread the analogue love!

© Fox Spirit

What’s the story behind Fox Spirit? How did it all start?

This was a turning point in my life. Lost in a sea of ones and zeros, my office job felt soulless. I craved something tangible, a way to create with my hands. Then, I stumbled upon analogue photography. The anticipation of waiting for developed photos and the thrill of holding a physical memory was a revelation. This spark ignited a business dream – Fox Spirit. It wasn't just about selling film; it was about building a space for passionate souls who, like me, craved the magic of capturing moments the old way.

Today, Fox Spirit is more than just a store—it's a thriving community. We offer products and tours, as well as workshops and events, that keep the flame of analogue photography alive. We champion slowing down, savoring the present, and creating memories that are more than digital snapshots. Fox Spirit is a testament to the power of analogue and the joy of shared passion.

© Fox Spirit

What is your favorite part about your job?

It's the customer journey, hands down. Seeing someone's face light up when they unearth that perfect film roll or a camera they've been searching for forever – that's pure satisfaction. But the real magic happens in our development workshops. The surprised delight when they see their own film come to life, developed by their own hands – it's pure joy. It's a moment that captures the essence of analogue photography and the sense of community I build at Fox Spirit.

© Fox Spirit

What is the most challenging part of your job?

For someone who isn't naturally artistic like me, the most challenging aspect is definitely the artistic side of photography, especially when it comes to analogue. It's a constant learning curve! On the other hand, it's inspiring to work with a team driven by their creative spirit. Finding the harmony between artistic expression and the commercial needs of a project can be tricky, but it's also really rewarding.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm inspired by the passion of analogue photography enthusiasts. Their excitement is contagious—seeing their eyes light up when they find a unique film roll, a special camera, or a stunning film photograph is truly infectious.

© Fox Spirit

Do you have a favorite Lomography product?

Gotta to be LomoChrome Color '92! It's like this film was made for someone who loves grabbing shots on the go, just like me. Those crazy-rich colors with a dash of that grainy goodness? It's the perfect recipe for photos that feel like stolen moments from a dream. Plus, with ISO 400, we can shoot anywhere, anytime – sunny markets or chill coffee shops – without any fancy processing. The best part? The grain adds a personal touch, making every shot one-of-a-kind. It's like a blank canvas begging me to get creative and have some serious photographic fun!

© Fox Spirit

What is the best part of living in Ho Chi Minh City? Do you have a favorite place in the city to take pictures?

Ho Chi Minh City, or Saigon as it's affectionately known by locals, my hometown, is a fascinating mix. It's got layers, you know? Sure, there are complexities, but that's true everywhere. For me, the beauty lies in the endless variety. One minute, you're slurping down the most incredible pho; the next, you're strolling past French colonial architecture. And the people? Warm, welcoming – they make Saigon feel like a big, friendly hug.

To me, Saigon is a constant source of inspiration. The old French apartments in Districts 3 and Binh Thanh whisper stories of a bygone era while Cho Lon throbs with the energy of daily life. But to truly connect with the city's soul, join our Saigon Film Photowalk. It's about capturing Saigon's essence – the hidden alleys, the smiling faces, the way light dances on weathered walls. There's a magic in the anticipation of those developed photos, a reminder of the journey itself. So, ditch the guidebook and explore Saigon with us – you won't regret it.

© Fox Spirit photos shot with LomoChrome Turquoise film

Do you have any future plans for the store or projects you’re working on that you can tell us about?

Fox Spirit is like a young tree – we're turning two this December, but our roots are strong and our brands are growing! My vision is to become the heart of Vietnam's analogue photography scene, a one-stop shop for everything film enthusiasts crave. We're constantly evolving, not just by expanding our product selection and services, but also by crafting unique experiences. Think beyond the walls of our store. We're developing exciting tours that go beyond Saigon, venturing into the heart of Vietnam's diverse landscape and vibrant cultures.

© Fox Spirit photos shot with Potsdam Kino B&W ISO 100 & LomoChrome Purple film

Of course, we haven't forgotten our Saigon roots. New workshops and events are brewing, fostering a vibrant community of film lovers. Whether you're a seasoned photographer or a curious newcomer, Fox Spirit is your haven for exploring the magic of analogue.

What is the film photography community in Vietnam like these days, especially in Saigon? Why do you think young people are buying and shooting more film?

Ho Chi Minh City's film scene is booming with the younger generation. Online groups buzz with excitement, workshops fill up fast, and a massive Facebook group connects film enthusiasts – all within this vibrant city. So, why the sudden love affair with film photography? Youngsters crave something real. Holding a physical photo, not another digital file, slows them down and encourages them to think more carefully about each shot. Plus, the photos have a unique vibe – a cool blend of nostalgia and vintage style that filters
just can't replicate. And those old cameras? They're not just collector's items anymore. They add a touch of history to the experience and have become trendy accessories as well.

© Fox Spirit photos shot with LomoChrome Metropolis & Lomography Color Negative ISO 800 film

Sure, there's a generational difference. Veteran film enthusiasts might be more focused on technical details and the magic of the darkroom. The younger crowd might be more drawn to the stunning visuals and the sense of community. Some might even use both film and digital, depending on the situation. But one thing unites them: Ho Chi Minh City. The city is a treasure trove for film photography, with historic architecture, bustling markets, and modern streets begging to be captured on film. Shops like Fox Spirit cater to everyone, from beginners to pros, offering everything from workshops to development services. So, film photography in HCMC is thriving and full of passionate people. It's about the tangible results, the slower pace, and the unique aesthetic that film offers.

To keep up to date with everything from Fox Spirit follow them on their Instagram page and check out their website.

Want to see your favorite store featured in our magazine? Please send us an email at wholesaleinquiries@lomography.com and we will check them out!

written by alexgray on 2024-07-02 #gear #partners #vietnam #ho-chi-minh-city #saigon #lomography-partners #fox-spirit-film

LomoChrome Color '92 ISO 400 35 mm Film

This new, unique color negative emulsion provides a burst of retro charm and classic analogue character in any film shooting scenario.

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