The Making of a Camera Collector
G'day, my name is Holger Schult. I am the founder and curator of Camerasdownunder.com. The passion for all things photographic runs the family. Both my sons have played with cameras from the early years of their lives and as the digital revolution arrived they become increasingly fond of the old mechanical nature of the cameras they grew up with. It has been a win-win situation of me over the years as my sons financial support for my collecting has allowed me to enjoy my hobby and allowed them to continue being ‘exposed’ to cameras from the pre digital era and in many cases to cameras older than all of us.
For me my life began for me in post-war Germany as a press photographer, capturing images of the British Queen, the Beatles and other famous visitors to my birthplace of Hamburg, Germany.
Photographers never die, they just lose their focus.
When the Collecting Bug Bites
I met my wife Anke in the darkroom J . Our relationship 'developed' and we married in 1967. We decided to honeymoon in Australia and we loved it so much we decided to immigrate. We moved to a small town in Victoria called Bendigo and our sons, Patrick and Rodney were born and raised in Melbourne, Victoria.
After cleaning eggs on a chicken farm, and making truck fan belts for Dunlop, our small family moved to Melbourne where we became naturalized Australians. I then went out on my own as a photographer, and together with my son specialized in speedway photography around Victorian speedway tracks.
As the family’s interest in cameras and photography grew so did our private photographic collection. Being a member of various national and international camera preservation societies, I am now the proud curator of a nice collection.
In our search for unique and rare items we have traveled the world and uncovered interesting items from places as far apart as Argentina to Brazil. I am also pleased to say that the collection continues to grow and with the generous help of friends, many wonderful cameras have literally been saved from the rubbish bin. Ultimately they will be here long after we have all gone and we are therefore very satisfied to be preserving them for future generations.
So, if you have a piece of photographic history that might sit nicely in our little ‘museum’ we would be pleased to hear from you. Items of interest include any wooden cameras (broken or not, with or without brass lenses), stereo cameras (two or more lenses), novelty cameras, old wooden movie cameras or any equipment from old camera studios or shops, etc. If in doubt – write to me anyway. We will of course agree on a fair price for your items.
So just in case there is any doubt about our obsession with this hobby, we are also interested in old photographic advertising materials and interesting old photographs or negatives (especially old shots of people holding cameras).
You can contact us in English or in German. We would love to hear from you.