Bowling locker = vintage camera storage

Aaron has long referred to himself as “an old film guy.” In spite of the fact that he has yet to hit the big 3-0, this statement is rather accurate. He spent his high school career up to his elbows in darkroom chemicals, and he was in the last wave of budding journalists to capture images on film for our college newspaper (where we met, but that’s a story for a different day). Aaron’s film-loving ways were temporarily set aside as digital cameras fueled the ramp up of our photography business, only to be reignited when his grandma, Grandma E, (She’s beyond awesome. Case in point: She taught me how to make bread.) gifted him with a vintage Polaroid camera she had laying around the house.

That act, that camera, the instant nature of film (no need for hours spent on the computer editing images), the feel of holding a print – it brought it all back. A collection of Polaroids started. At one point they had their own closet and we seriously considered a side business of restoring and selling vintage Polaroids, bouyed in part by the vintage camera trend and the resurecction of Polaroid film. Ultimately, the collection shifted, many Polariods were sold and rare/interesting/toy/just plain cool cameras were added. By the time we were on our second studio (we have moved way too many times in the past 3 years!), the cameras lived on open shelving in a dirty, unsealed basement. You might not know much about vintage cameras, but I’m sure you can guess that this was not an ideal set up. Unaware that we would be seriously considering moving AGAIN and buying the firehouse in just a few months, we sought out a storage solution that would be nice enough to ressurrect the vintage cameras into the studio space. A random Craigslist ad and a free Saturday led us to a used office furniture shop in Illinois (what? That’s not your idea of a good time?) and a set of bowling lockers.


We fell in love. Hello white rounded doors…


Hello individual locks with cool vintage Brunswick 2000 logo…


Hello retro “Notice” taped inside each door reminding university students (these lockers have had quite a life) not to leave valuables inside…


Of course we loved it. You know we have a thing for lockers.

After we lugged it to the studio, it sat. Life was busy and the wedding season was in full swing. Then we bought a firehouse and it’s been stored away in our dining room, waiting among lots of other studio furniture. With the viewing room done and move in in full swing, the bowling locker finally got a good cleaning and a home.

That only took a year…



The cubbies are so deep that all the vintage cameras, film and paraphenalia fit perfectly.






Ok, spill it. We can’t be the only ones who accidentally (ok, sometimes purposefully) hoard vintage/industrial furniture, right?

  1. Ooo, I can almost smell the fixer right now! Oh, wait, no, that’s the smell of rental shoes… I’ve moved more times than I care to count anymore, so hoarding isn’t really my thing (not that there’s anything wrong with a little vintage saving every now and again), but holding onto photography equipment? Yes! YES! YESSSSS! My high school graduation present was a Pentax K1000 and I wish I had held onto it. Live, meet learn.

    1. Hahaha! Thankfully these lockers are odor free… although I have another (YES ANOTHER) locker that clearly spent some time in a workshop/garage. I want it to live in the awesome bathroom so I’m trying to figure out how to rid it of the oil smell. Wish me luck!

      Ah! Don’t you hate those lessons? We’re much more likely to jettison extra belongings and I’m sure it’s going to bite us one day.

  2. For some reason I had pictured one lone camera sitting in each locker. I have no idea why as that would be silly. So when I saw it packed full of goods I had to laugh. Your storage solutions are obviously better than mine 😉

    1. Ha! I think we would need a wall of lockers if each one had it’s one compartment. I can see how the title was a bit misleading 🙂

  3. Oh my, may I come over to gawk at this collection!? And that locker is just unfair… I’m trying to hide my jealousy here. I have a “thing” for old camera’s… recently I dug out a beautiful German 35mm that I was hoarding unknowingly in my closet for a while ( There are still so many more to pull out of storage, and now I’m convinced I need a locker to contain them in!

    1. Ha! Nice dumpster score 😉 Oh man, if you like the bowling locker you’ll love Natalie’s mail sorter turned vintage camera display:

      1. Okay, now I need more cameras. Some for a locker AND a mail sorter! That’s reasonable, right?

  4. Tomorrow night’s the night! Have my dvr set to record House Hunters!

    1. Woot! What did you think?

  5. I bought a single row of these lockers (blue not cool white) and never picked them up, kudos on your follow thru

    1. You should go back and demand those lockers (or your money back). Bowling lockers = epitome of cool.

  6. Wow… I don’t think I could love this more!

    1. Do you shoot with film? Aaron is clearly a film junkie. He’s always looking for similar minded photographers.

  7. […] Add storage for Aaron’s camera collection […]

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