Art/Design, BIPOC Voices

Brand intro: Brooklyn Instant Film Initiative (BKIFI)

Photography customization for you.

words by: Alee Kwong
Sep 20, 2021

It’s just about the end of summer and what better way to capture it all than with a point and shoot camera. Film photography has been on the rise the past few years and getting back into this timeless hobby has become easier (and more fun) than ever. One of the best things about getting into film photography is the customization of the experience.


Not only can you record the last of your summer moments on film, but you can add yet another layer of customization to your shots. The option to mix-and-match camera bodies and film has always made this hobby true to the statement of “to each their own” and an experience that continuously changes and never gets boring.


Who is BKIFI?


Enter the Brooklyn Instant Film Initiative (BKIFI). Brooklyn Instant Film Initiative is a Black-owned and operated analog photography workshop inspired by and designing for the adventurous photographer. Their 35mm series, BKIFI Films, showcases their belief that analog photography should be fun and original. They produce patterned film by hand, infusing each roll of film with elements of chance and wonder, connecting photographers with what first called them to photograph.


Sharon Steven, the founder of BKIFI and a Brooklyn (more specifically, Flatbush) native, started their foray into the world of photography when they were in high school. In an interview with Photodom, they said:

“When I was in high school, I felt like I needed a creative outlet that didn’t have a lot of barriers for entry. So, it’s something I could do myself and kind of figure out how to pick a different medium — and been into it ever since.” When asked why it was important to have Black creatives tell their own story, they replied, “Just because if you have that insight, or a better understanding of what you’re experience is, and maybe more control over how you’re depicting that — versus someone who doesn’t have that knowledge and perspective.”



Where do I shop?

If you’re interested in cool 35mm film, instant film adapters and cameras, you can shop BKIFI’s selection from and now.


In other art news, the Sistine Chapel exhibition is touring the US. If you’re interested in another brand intro, check out Black Bean Grocery, an Asian American-owned haircare and grooming brand.


Photos via Photodom