Sunday, May 20, 2012

My Camera Obsession

Brownie Hawkeye 1949 - 1961
Most of us, when asked the one belonging we'd grab if our house was ever on fire or what we'd miss most after a devastating natural disaster, would say our photos.

 Though the memories are tucked away in our mind, they certainly are brought more quickly and vividly to mind when we see a special photograph.

Ansco Viking Readyset 1950s - ?
Perhaps that is why I am obsessed with vintage cameras.  I like to imagine all the important and even the not-so-important life moments that might have been captured by these simple little machines. A mother capturing the first steps of her child.  A proud father - the moment his baby girl descends the staircase for her first formal dance.  A grandson sneaking a shot of his grandparents sharing a tender moment during the celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary.  A GI snapping one last glimpse of his sweetheart before being shipped overseas.
 It could've happened.  It likely happened.

Tower One-Twenty Flash
Whenever my family gathers together the photo albums come out and our life stories flow.  We reminisce, we laugh, we share a quiet pause, we commune together as one through our shared memories.  

Argus Seventy-five 1949 - 1964
"Remember Mom's amazing Halloween costumes?"  "Here's the one where Jeremy's trying to tie Dad's shoes.  Gees, look how little he is."  "Where's that picture of that old Chevy you guys bought.  Remember how many hours you all spent working on that thing?"  "That's how far the water came up the basement steps during the flood."  "That one was taken during the family reunion just a short time before she died.  Remember how much she enjoyed playing catch with you that day?  That was a good day." The pictures are cherished; the cameras are often forgotten or abandoned when a newer, smaller, fancier, or more convenient model becomes available. 

Brownie Holiday 1953 - 1962

And so I'd like the vintage camera to become the subject, the focus if you will, of today's post.  

Brownie Starmeter 1960 - 1965
Here are some glorious vintage cameras.  Just imagine where they've been, what they've seen, and the collective captured moments they've preserved.

Brownie Starflash 1957 - 1965

Brownie Hawkeye 1949 - 1961
Polaroid Land Camera 1947 - 1983
Brownie Twin Twenty 1959 - 1964
Thanks to the following websites for providing information about some of these great vintage cameras.

Vintage Inspirations @
The Brownie Camera Page @

All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez


  1. Paulette's obsession has inspired me to dig through the old photos of family and friends. Most of the photos have fantastic memories of family past and present, summertime lake adventures with childhood friends, winter hockey games in the back yard,, brothers, sisters, friends, mountains, sunsets, wow. It was great to be reminded how important it is to take the time to smell the roses of my youth.
    We ( my kids and myself) had spilled the picture drawer out on the kitchen table and were letting our fingers do the walking through time. "what's that?", "who's this?", the questions went on and on. . The kids asked why there was a picture of the dome light in the car. They wondered why I kept picture of a leg with a shoe when I didn't even know who's leg it was? I tried to explain to them the concept of photo mats, film development, price per picture, and the fact that we used to have to wait one or two days to review the pictures we took. Pictures are like water these days, back then, pictures were more a snapshot of life. We never threw any of them away. A long discussion later led to me throwing away ten or twenty pictures that I could not explain.
    I have a couple of thousand photos in our picture drawer. I have 653 pictures on my I-phone. Thousands of pictures on my computer. Paulette has reminded me how I need to spend more time letting the kids know how they got here. Some person's obsession has been a great reminder to cherish the things of the past,

  2. Kevin, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts of appreciation for photos. I love that you talked about the anticipation of seeing what you'd tried to capture often days or weeks later. You said exactly what I didn't say. Just perfect!


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