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My Analogue Life: Vintage Style Inspires

We each draw inspiration from different sources. For some, it’s a gorgeous view or pretty sunset; for others, it’s the people around them that feed their creativity; and for others yet, it’s a mood thing. For me, more often than not, it’s an object or a piece of clothing that triggers the idea for a photograph — or sometimes an entire series — and that certain something is almost always vintage.

I love thrift shops, garage sales and flea markets. And I spend way too much time browsing the vintage category on Etsy for that elusive item I don’t know I need until I see it. (My latest scores were a creepy 1950s child’s fake-fur hand-warming winter muff with a plastic, googly-eyed doll head atop it and an equally creepy red-and-blue ski mask with the word “Superstar” repeatedly woven into it — who could resist?)

When I say I’ll-know-it-when-I-see-it, I mean it. It’s an odd sensation, but when I find a vintage piece that immediately sparks ideas and images and thousands of converging thoughts in my brain, I know it’s a good purchase. But if it’s something I buy simply because it’s considered collectible or think I might use it “one day,” chances are I should leave it behind.

I’ve recently started to catalogue my vintage collections and during that process, I’m coming across all sorts of stuff: some of which I’ll use and items that are fabulous, but I know I won’t or already have. The ones I’ve already exhausted in images or won’t likely use, are going to be sold, and the others? My notebook is filling up rapidly with ideas and badly-drawn storyboards for new series and one-offs. It just takes that one thing, whether it’s the vintage Little Red Riding Hood mask that inspired the series I’m finishing now or the metre-high light-up plastic Santa from the 1950s that I’m featuring in my annual Christmas card, like the saying goes, it’s always something.

What inspires your photographs? Share your stories and images with me!

Pamela Klaffke is a former newspaper and magazine journalist who now works as a novelist and photographer. Her column appears weekly in the Analogue Lifestyle section of Lomography Magazine.

written by pamelaklaffke

14 comments

  1. kerpella

    kerpella

    I love vintage!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  2. disdis

    disdis

    I must think about this....

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  3. metzgor

    metzgor

    i*m inspirated by my girlfriend and my friends and the moment!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  4. azabanana

    azabanana

    old school is the coolest!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  5. froupster

    froupster

    Silent movies inspire me.
    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  6. mikahsupageek

    mikahsupageek

    hey Pam, another great article !
    here's my story about inspiration :)
    http://www.lomograph(…)417-puzzled

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  7. stouf

    stouf

    I'm not an artist, I'm a technician. What inspires me is technical challenge. If results turn out artsy, I'm glad, but didn't really mean it : )

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  8. juanix

    juanix

    I love vintage cars!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  9. shoujoai

    shoujoai

    I am inspired by everything I see - at work I am writing little notes about all things I want to do with my cameras! But most of them are not yet realized and wait in my coin purse for the big moment to come out (need holidays!). And for sure, I am inspired by my beautiful girlfriend, I'd love to take pictures of her the whole day (when she lets me)! http://www.lomograph(…)os/12092339

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  10. erinwoodgatesphotography

    erinwoodgatesphotography

    inspired by too much to write in a comment! will definitely use your article as inspiration to write my own article about inspiration!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  11. bethangallagher

    bethangallagher

    I love vintage too!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  12. tallyho

    tallyho

    Another can't-miss article! Thanks for giving me another reason to expand my vintage collection!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  13. mephisto19

    mephisto19

    again a great article, pamela! thanks for it!
    my inspiration? well... it is a mood. i kind of collect ideas for artworks when i hear something, see something or read something. words inspire me. but what also inspires me are friends or people in general. the way they behave, the way they make me act or see the world, the places they show me,...
    often it is a picture i see. i like the idea behind it, the composition, color,...
    or a word. reading a novel finding something nice, interesting, something i read wrong and that does not leave my head anymore, a word game,...
    therefor i have my lomo notebook, that is covered with words, sentences, ideas,...
    if i have too many ideas i cannot sleep. writing them down helps to get them out of my head.

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam
  14. pamelaklaffke

    pamelaklaffke

    it's so interesting to hear where different people draw inspiration from — thanks for sharing your comments!

    almost 4 years ago · report as spam

Read this article in another language

This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Deutsch, 中文(繁體版) & Spanish.