Vintage-Inspired Photography

Courtney Bowlden

Posted on March 30 2014

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

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