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My Camera Collection



Confession: I have this thing for cameras...Most of my collections are confined to my wardrobe; like my fox clothing collection or my addiction to novelty purses (they're so ridiculous, but I can't stop buying them....). This is because my wardrobe gets "worn" and "used." Clothing items are also less fragile. Those things matter when you move a lot. As I do; I think the most recent tally is seven houses in the last six years. I've never been a minimalist, but I avoided collecting things that were just for decoration. In fact my clothing often became my decoration as I hung vintage dresses on the walls instead of pictures and held the books of my shelves together with high heels. Recently though I've realized that another collection has unintentionally been growing: my camera collection.
I didn't start this collection young, in fact I didn't have a camera until I was a senior in high school, but I loved it immediately. In college I started borrowing my father's old Pentax camera (the same camera he had used when he was in college and later I got his old tripod as well) and spent a lot of time playing around with that. Eventually I upgraded to a basic SLR when I broke my original digital camera and then for many years that was it--one SLR, one film camera. Then a few years ago a friend gave me her family's old Polaroid camera and I enjoyed that one so much I bought an Instax since the film was cheaper & more reliable. Then I met Thomas and the camera collection really started to blossom. His first present to me was an old Super 8, then in the summer we found another vintage camera together while antique shopping, and at Christmas a beautiful Conway box camera was wrapped up under the tree. Since then we often seem to be buying cameras for each other. He found an old Girl Scout camera for me because I have an old Girl Scout uniform. I got him the larger Instax camera because he liked the mini so much and found a teal 88mm that still winds and makes the coolest noise.
What do we do with all of these cameras? Some we use, some we are planning DIYs with, but most just decorate our shelves and occasionally see daylight when I use them as props in photographs. We just enjoy our cameras the way any collector enjoys the random object that appeals to them. I didn't even photograph all of our cameras for this post, some were on shelves out of my reach, but this is the bulk of our collection. The Graflex is the oldest one in our collection; found for a steal at an antique shop in Pennsylvania and carefully transported back to Northern Ireland in Thomas's carry-on. I'm a little disappointed in myself that with my whole camera fascination (one of the reasons I love collecting them is seeing how they work/how people used to take photographs; like the way you look "down" into the tops of old box camera instead of in the backs like today's modern cameras) that my camera clothing is lacking! I do have one novelty purse (by Betsey Johnson) and a few camera necklaces, but it seems like a pithy amount for someone with a dozen novelty purses!

details: Choies dress & vintage brooches
*all pictures by me*


10 comments:

bestie said...

nearly hyperventilated at the sight of this post! such a gorgeous collection. <3 i love how you share the same fascination + passion for cameras with thomas--really makes it all the more special! i'm curious: do all of your vintage cameras still work? is it a requirement for you guys before making a purchase? i am always so tempted to buy the vintage cameras i see around here, but a lot of them are so ridiculously overpriced and don't even work anymore. they do make for fantastic props/decor but it's hard to justify the price sometimes...

Victoria said...

Oh wow, I love this! I'm hoping to collect more cameras too - especially the vintage ones! :)

Rebecca, A Clothes Horse said...

@bestie, I'm not actually sure if all of them work. A lot of the buttons still work and they make the noises of a functioning camera, but I think the only way of testing them really is to have film and a lot of them are types of film we can't even find. My vintage Polaroid cameras still work, b/c I've gotten Impossible Film in the past, but a lot of the film that goes in box camera or some of the other models seem nearly impossible to find (b/c they don't fit simple film rolls). So yeah, working isn't really a perquisite for us because we don't test or play with most of them that way. Film is also expensive and then expensive to develop, so even the ones that do work (like my dad's old vintage camera) I barely use and I have a few rolls of film in drawers that need to be developed that are years old!
& yeah, I'm glad it's a collection we can build together. It's nice because it's obviously going to takeover our home to decor, but it's something we both really like rather than one person's collection filling shared space. :)

Cristina C75 said...

I absolutely need a Polaroid camera, now :))
Gorgeous collection!
Kiss :*
Cristina

Mani said...

Oh, I absolutely love looking at other people's camera collections! Even if they're non-functional the little details are so fun to ogle at. If only more cameras nowadays had the same retro look...

Pui Yee said...

I just love the first photo where you look super duper excited! Gorgeous collection, by the way, Rebecca!

the honey home said...

What a great collection! My dad was a professional photographer and worked at a photo lab my whole life (until the digital era took over film and the lab went under.) I remember we had quite a few antique cameras around the house--but I don't know what has happened to them. I remember we also had a lamp made out of one of the oldest ones.

Christina said...

This is so awesome! Old cameras just look so cool that I completely understand that you would collect them.

I have my mom's old typewriter because it still works and seemed like fun to try out. Then my husband bought an antique typewriter for our wedding. Now I think he wants to collect them, but they take up way too much space and are super heavy!

Christina
http://www.asentimentaladventure.com

Linda Tran said...

This is an amazing collection! I love absolutely every camera! I, too, have a small polaroid collection and am in love with every one of them (& still use them too). We have two of the same ones! :)

http://www.llindatt.blogspot.com

Sunniva said...

This was such a cute post and it is really interesting to see what people collect