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Vintage-Inspired Photography

I am not sure where my obsession began with vintage things. Maybe it was the time I got into my grandmother’s jewelry when I was 3 or when my mom introduced me to Mad Men. Either way, I'm a fan of all things vintage. There is something so captivating about past generations. I like to imagine a time when things were simpler and the world was a bit slower paced. Let's not forget the vintage fashion. I love it most of all. 

Second to clothing, props play a big role in taking your photography back in time. Where do you hunt for vintage items? I like to shop on Etsy, a site filled with both vintage and handmade items. I'm also a fan of antique stores. (They smell wonderful. Am I the only one that think that?!) The process is a lot like a treasure hunt, but antique stores are great places to find things like furniture, hats, soda bottles, cameras and suitcases. These pieces are visually appealing and instantly give life to the shoot.  

One of the best parts about my job as a photographer is being able to recreate scenes from my imagination. Thankfully, I live in a beautiful state with lots of history and old architecture. This helps to accentuate the vintage pieces I photograph. If I ever feel uninspired or bored with where I am at creatively, I pack up my collection of vintage clothes and props, grab a friend and go out for a vintage-inspired shoot. It’s these outings that help to keep my creative juices flowing. 

Over the past couple of years, I have done a lot of vintage shoots. I'm hoping to add a few new eras and centuries to my repertoire this year--a Grecian styled shoot, a Downton Abbey themed shoot and a Jane Austen inspired shoot. These may be harder to pull together in terms of wardrobe and location, but the end result will be stunning. 

Vintage clothing and props temporarily transport you to another time. The effect is almost like watching a movie and escaping the here and now. These moments are important to have because they let you be creative and dream. It’s what keeps me going as an artist. 

Photos by Courtney Bowlden Photography via

Courtney Bowlden

Frank Sinatra & the Shabby Apple Girl

Chances are, you have a favourite Frank Sinatra song even if you don't realize it. Frank's songs are so ubiquitous, so ingrained into our shared cultural experiences, that it's impossible to not have one that you find yourself singing to yourself every now and then. Frank's popularity was at its height during the Golden Age [...]

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How-to: Throwing a 1950s Inspired Dinner Party

The 1950s was a time of flourishing styles, lively music, and positive energy. Women wore full skirts, men carried briefcases, and at the end of every day people in suburbs everywhere gathered around the table for a home cooked meal. Although we might not spend as much time around the table these days, hosting a [...]

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Hunting for Vintage Treasures

Vintage shopping is what I like to call a high-risk, high-reward activity. You can spend hours digging through musty, dusty piles and come away with nothing but allergies, or you can find the treasure of your life. Because we care about you (and your sinuses), here are some tips to keep you in the high-reward [...]

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Downton Abbey: 1920’s Fashion

Downton is back! Just a few weeks ago, the British drama captivated us (yet again!) with the story of the Crawley family. This time with even more wit, plot twists, and Maggie Smith's infamous quips. The series begins at the dawn of a new era: the 1920's. Society, ideas, and even fashions start to change [...]

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The Cat Eye

Looking to add a bold and fresh new look to your everyday makeup routine? Then get out the eyeliner and try your hand at one of the most classic makeup techniques: the cat eye. This timeless style worn by old Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn is all the rage this year. It’s versatile, elegant, [...]

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Women in the Olympics

Are you ever watching something, like a Broadway Show or ballet, and it's almost (almost!) un-enjoyable because you just wish you could be up there dancing or singing with that kind of skill yourself? That's how I feel about the Winter Olympics.Watching these women dominate in their respective fields is inspiring. I'm not calling it [...]

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Love on Screen: Vintage Romance and Fashion

Valentine's Day is here. Whether you look forward to this annual holiday of love with giddiness or dread, it's hard to deny the allure of a vintage romance on film. There's just a certain je ne sais quoi about watching two iconic actors of yesteryear engage in a (often doomed) romance on screen.Looking back at [...]

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Waltzing Matilda Ball Skirt Review

I still remember the first time I saw Gone With the Wind. I was mesmerized by Vivien Leigh. I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. And her dresses?! They were dreamy. It's thanks to her that I've always been in love with a long, full skirt. It was a childhood [...]

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Wardrobe In Bloom: Radiant Orchid is Pantone’s Color of the Year

Each year, Pantone releases the name of the color that is poised to set trends in fashion and beauty. And each year, they get it spot on. I remember two years ago when Tangerine Tango was named as their Color of the Year just as I was becoming obsessed with anything and everything coral. How [...]

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