Frequently, I’ve gotten the question in relation to my photography; “What equipment do you use?” People often think that it’s the camera, the lens, or even the tripod that make their photos great. While that can definitely be a factor in helping a young photographer in getting started, I truly believe that it’s not what camera you use, but what you do with it. Regardless, I’d like to create my own little camera catalogue for the folx who are curious about my art and want to know more about the camera babes I own and love. (Note: The parenthesis next to the camera name is the production start year and the manufacturing location.)
Welta Welta I (1936, Germany): I bought this beautiful baby from an antique shop in Leipzig, Gemrany in 2018. I love the classic elements of the body and the simplicity in use. I haven’t shot using this beaut yet but I hope to once I have the time to get back into film. This camera also takes classic 35mm film so I will be able to use it fairly easily once I learn the camera better.
Kodak Six-16 Brownie Special (1938, United States): This camera was gifted to me by my paternal grandparents as the earliest camera they owned. It has a special place in my heart. I mostly use this babe as decoration because the large format film for the camera is no longer in production. I hope one day I’ll be able to find a way to use it, even if it’s just with light sensitive paper!
Kodak Baby Brownie Special (1938, United States): This camera is very similar in shape and style to the Kodak Six-16 Brownie Box Special. Don’t let the picture fool you, though. This baby is about 1/3rd of the size of the other Kodak Brownie Box camera I have. This was also given to me by my paternal grandmother as it was her first camera when she was young. I just received this from her at the beginning of summer so I haven’t had a chance to play around too much with it but it’s a cutie! (Added note, this camera takes 127mm film which I don’t have and is a little more difficult to find.)
Agfa Optima I (1960, Germany): This baby I also got in the same antique store in Leipzig, Germany as the Welta Welta I in 2018. (I got a really good deal for purchasing both, although I had to run around Leipzig for about 30 minutes to find an ATM because the shop didn’t take cash). This camera has such a modern look for being ~60 years old. This takes classic 35mm film, and I have loaded it and attempted to use it but I’ve not succeeded quite yet. It doesn’t help that the manual is in German!
Hanimex Praktica novaIB (1967, Germany): This camera was given to me, once again, by my paternal grandfather. It was one of his earlier film cameras that he actually purchased in Germany. As a note, I have been incredibly blessed that my grandparents have so many amazing cameras to give to me. My grandfather’s sister (also originally Madeline Kluz although I wasn’t named after her) is an amazing film photographer. She runs her own darkroom and takes some of the most wonderful landscapes I’ve seen in black & white. My grandfather is an artist himself so he is truly able to recognize the art in my photography and how important it is for me to have an array of media to use. I just received this camera a few weeks ago when I visited and I’ve barely had a chance to look at it. It takes 35mm and I’m excited to get to use something more familiar than the older film cameras I own.
Canon AE-1 Program (1976, Japan): This classic 35mm film camera is quite frankly my child. I got this camera from, you guessed it, my paternal grandfather when I took a film photography class during my sophomore year of high school. 6 years later, and this baby is still my favorite film camera to work with. Any of my film photography I’ve published, has been with this camera. This camera is the camera that made me fall in love with film photography and pursue my dream of being a fine arts film photographer. I can’t wait for the adventures to come with this one.
Olympus OM G (1983, Japan): I received this camera from my paternal grandfather’s friend. I’ve known him for a while and this was his deceased wife’s camera. He doesn’t have a use for it anymore so he gave me it with a bunch of nice lenses and equipment. I am forever grateful. My sister has been using this for her high school film photography class so this one has just recently come back to me. I’ve yet to shoot with this beauty. Hopefully soon!
Canon Rebel 2000 EOS (1999, Japan): This is a classic automatic film camera that my dad used when I was first born. I don’t use this one often because I like manual film over automatic. And if I’m shooting automatic it is most likely with a digital camera. It’s nice to think about the photos my parents took of me as a 2 year old being taken on this camera though.
Canon EOS 10D (2003, Japan): This digital camera was one my dad used to use for everything. He would take product photos with it for his business, family pictures, and even let me use it as a kid. My love for photography came at an early age. This was the camera that made me realize I wanted my own camera. I think I got a silly point and shoot camera as a gift after expressing my love for my dad’s camera. This was passed down to me about a year ago when my dad finally wore it out and decided he needed a new one. I don’t use this camera except for fun because it takes a bigger memory card than I use and doesn’t shoot as high of quality as my other camera does.
Canon EOS Rebel T3 (2011, Japan): This digital camera is my other child. This is the first “professional” camera I got after begging for over a year. I finally got this for Christmas when I was 13. I didn’t stop carrying it around for days. This is the camera I currently shoot any digital work on. Once I find the money, I’d like to get a little bit of a better camera (maybe mirrorless!) since I’ve been using this for professional shoots like weddings and senior photos. But like I said, it’s not the equipment but what you do with it! Regardless, this is still the baby that led me through learning all the wild realms of digital photography–from learning manual exposure to exploring different lenses. This camera has been all over the world and experienced nearly as much as I have. I have so much love for this babe.
Polaroid Snap (2016, United States): The “newest” camera I have is the Polaroid Snap. To be honest, I don’t know why I still own this camera. I don’t use it because I never buy film for it. I’d like to get an original-styled Polaroid instead of this one but for now this is what I have!
So there we have it! These are all my beautiful babies and I hope you enjoyed learning about them! If you have questions or would like to talk cameras with me, feel free to reach out!