Vintage Camera Collection
How a boutique photographer in Poole built an impressive vintage camera collection of 70 …and counting
My boss had a few old fashioned cameras on display and I fell in love with them. I thought it would be great to have a collection like this but I never thought about it seriously as I knew that I didn’t have enough money to invest in completely unnecessary things, and I had no clue where to look for them. So back then I gave up on the idea.
Then one day my boss wanted to get rid of one of the cameras as he had a double one. It was a Lubitel twin lens camera. I took it without knowing that it was the beginning of my vintage camera collection.
Growing my collection
Then I started thinking about how I could grow my collection. So I looked online and particularly on eBay and… there they were. Lot’s of them. I could have as many as I could afford! But there was a small problem…I couldn’t afford them.
I had my basic salary, contributing towards house bills (I used to live with my parents at that time) and of course funding my busy weekend life. My collection grew anyway but slowly. Some vintage cameras I got as pressies for my birthday. Everyone knew I collected old fashioned cameras so some of them were just given to me.
Then I thought I would check in charity shops. Some of them had a few but unfortunately very ‘fairly’ priced. One day I visited a charity shop and asked if they had any old cameras. The old lady said that they had some at the back room. She invited me in there and showed me a whole box of vintage cameras. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Very old bellows cameras and box cameras were just chucked in one big box. She asked only little for them as obviously she wanted them to go to a good home. I bought 17 of them on that day and a travel bag to pack them into. My collection suddenly expanded plus I felt good about supporting a local charity too.
So in my experience places to get vintage cameras are eBay, charity shops, Gumtree and private people who are kind enough to give them to you. Also don’t forget car boot sales. They are hard to find but you can get lucky.
How to display
At the moment my vintage cameras are displayed in my living room in two half glass cabinets. They are very tightly displayed because I don’t really have any more space for them. A few I have in my boutique studio on a shelf made from an old wooden ladder that my partner upcycled for me. This gives the studio a proper professional look and an exclusive feel.
Looking after your vintage cameras
One thing to remember when you have a collection like I do is that it involves some time to look after the cameras on a regular basis. They need to be dusted very often despite being closed in a cabinet; they still need some love and attention. Oh yes, they are like little puppies 😉
Where can you see my collection
Having this collection is always a good start for conversation when you have people visiting you. But then I realised that no one except me, my family, friends and clients see it. So I started photographing the cameras one by one for my Instagram
I show my cameras amongst my photography on Instagram. Believe it or not, the photographs here are taken on my smartphone without any flash in my bedroom on the side table! The table is white and the wardrobe behind the camera is white too which creates a perfect background for the vintage cameras.
Sometimes I make use of the cameras and I take them for photo shoots. I also use them as props for my photographic sessions.
Maybe you have some old cameras for my vintage camera collection?