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  1. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    A&A Studios, Oak Park

  2. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    A&A Studios, Oak Park

  3. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Medium format plastic cameras at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  4. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Darkroom and camera epherma at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  5. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Shelf of goods at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  6. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Passport cameras at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  7. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Polaroid Land camera at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  8. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Instant cameras at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  9. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Polaroid at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  10. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Box of cameras at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  11. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Photography epherma at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  12. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Medium format vintage cameras at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  13. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Kodak vintage camera at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  14. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Handmade Pinhole cmaera at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  15. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Leica rangefinder at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  16. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    When a customer called ahead and said he was planning to propose to his girlfriend in this photo booth, Anthony slowed the booth�s timer by a couple of seconds so the guy would have enough time to get the ring out. Who wants to bet they�ll have a photo booth at their wedding?

  17. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Greeting cards at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  18. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Kodak instamatic cameras at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  19. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    The impossible project goods at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  20. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    The impossible project goods at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  21. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Film for Polaroid cameras may be expensive (around $25 for 10 pics), but the actual cameras are affordable. A&A occasionally has one for as low as $15.

  22. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    VIntage cameras and art by the owner at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  23. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    35mm cameras at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  24. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    A&A Studios, Oak Park

  25. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    A&A Studios, Oak Park

  26. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    A&A Studios, Oak Park

  27. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    A&A Studios, Oak Park

  28. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    This Imperial 127 camera is one of Anthony�s favorites. �It�s a great little camera with a cool, retro design,� he says.

  29. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    A&A is the only Impossible Project partner in the Chicagoland area.

  30. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Camera necklaces at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  31. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Twin lens reflex cameras at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  32. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Magicubes and vintage cameras at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  33. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Anthony of A&A Studios, Oak Park explains the PDQ camera

  34. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Andrea of A&A Studios, Oak Park shows an SX-70 camera.

  35. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Vintage photobooth at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  36. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    A&A Studios, Oak Park

  37. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Film at A&A Studios, Oak Park

  38. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    Kodak Instmatic A&A Studios, Oak Park

  39. Photograph: Nicole Radja
    Photograph: Nicole Radja

    A&A Studios, Oak Park

A&A Studios

A Oak Park camera shop offers old-school cameras and cool photo booths.

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Anthony Vizzari and his wife, Andrea, didn’t plan to open a vintage camera shop. The couple own and run the successful 312photobooth company and needed an office space near their Oak Park home in 2010. “We thought it’d be nice to have a few cameras up for sale,” says Anthony, an avid collector of old-school cameras. The small selection of cameras grew into a display area that now fills most of the space and last year became a full-fledged store. “You start as the collector and the collector usually ends up becoming the dealer,” he says. “It was an organic development.”

Not to mention perfect timing. As camera-phone apps such as Instagram (which lets you make your photos look as if they were taken in 1977) become more popular, more people are becoming interested in retro cameras and film. “It’s funny, [those apps] are trying to re-create what these cameras actually do,” Anthony says. Adds Andrea, “Those appshave increased the appreciation for that whole analogue aesthetic.”

A wall of Polaroid cameras proves the art form isn’t dead. And the store’s collaboration with the Impossible Project (which saved the last Polaroid production plant and found new ways to produce instant film materials) means shoppers have access to film that works in Polaroid cameras. Anthony says a lot of people come into the shop for the Impossible instant film, then gravitate toward the other vintage merch.

A&A is all about new lives for these relics. The store holds monthly workshops featuring demonstrations of new ways to use vintage cameras. For example, a recent get-together showed customers hacks for using 35mm film in a 126 cartridge. And even if you have no interest intaking pictures, a lot of these retro cameras could be used as cool home decor items.

Another draw to the store (The Vizzaris say out-of-town customers often tell them they’re visiting Oak Park just to stop by) are the classic photo booths. A&A refurbishes and makes vintage-looking photo booths that can be found everywhere from the Empty Bottle to a photo booth exhibit in Switzerland. The store features three working booths, and many folks stop in for a quick $3 photo session. One couple even got engaged in the booth. “People always hang onto their photo booth strips,” Andrea says. “These [photo booths and cameras] are all about the experience, and then you get to a keep a great photo.”

A&A Studios, 128 Harrison St, Oak Park (312-278-1144).

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