The Collector Series is a photography and interview project documenting vinyl collectors in their most natural and intimate environment.
Want to get featured on #vinyloftheday? Send us a photo of your collection and a few words about your collection to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Ben King
Location: Canberra, Australia
Size of collection: My Best guesstimate would be around 1500.
Tell us a bit more about yourself:
I’m a 29 year old freelance photographer. Photography takes up a huge part of my life, it’s my day job and also my hobby outside of work hours. I’ve recently started a website and Instagram for my record collection and photography, so I really enjoy listening to my records, taking pictures, and writing about the music.
What started your interest in music?
I had regular exposure to music through my Dad, he was really into Americana music and other stuff from the 60’s and 70’s. He's more of a casual listener but has pretty good taste in music. One of the first albums of his that got me hooked was the Forest Gump soundtrack, I just thought it was the coolest thing ever. But I think I started developing my own taste in music around the time that Napster kicked off. It was so great to cruise the internet and then instantly have access to the music that caught my attention. Napster introduced me to so many new genres, hip-hop, Jazz, punk, country etc. Hopefully through buying vinyl I can repay all those artists for the endless hours of music i stole lol.
How long have you been collecting?
A started collecting records when I was 15 or 16, so around 13 years ago. I had a quite small collection for many years, maybe only 100 or so that I would cart around from share house to share house. But once I got into a more long term living situation it gave me a good reason to build up my collection. For so long I didn’t have the time, money or space to be able to have a really enjoyable collection, so it means a lot to me to be able to have it now.
What does your collection mean to you?
As a 90/00’s kid I had quite a hefty cd collection. So its been really fun do get some of my old favorites on a bigger and better format. It makes me feel like a grown up when i buy an “adult sized version” of my favorite albums. It’s also great to have something tangible to collect and to attach to all of my memories. I really love all the innovations in music streaming and the massive libraries that are available, but there's always a time and a place for vinyl.
How has record collecting affected other areas of your life?
About a year ago I really wanted to get into commercial photography and start an Instagram. I remember thinking to myself…whats something that I own a lot of…looks nice…and is appealing to a lot of people? Funnily enough it took a while for it to click, but I eventually started taking photos of my records. Its been fun and has taught me a lot more about photography, and its been great seeing how much people enjoy my photos and records. The vinyl community is really awesome, Ive met some cool people through collecting and sharing my love of music.
Do you have a record collecting philosophy? A price you won’t pay, maybe, or a total number of records you won’t go past. Do you buy reissues?
I’m pretty easy going when it comes to records. I’d rather have a rough old copy of something I love than wait forever to get an overpriced re-issue or spend a bucket load on a pristine original pressing. That said I am a little more OCD about the artists that I really love. I’ve been quite picky about my Dylan collection, ill only pick up re-issues for anything after 1990, and Ive done my best to get as close as I can to original pressing dates with the older stuff.
What’s your comfort record, the one you can always go back to? What makes it so special?
Freewheelin' Bob Dylan has always been one that put on when I need to take a break from life. It’s like sitting down and getting into a really great book. And Stevie wonder of course, those albums never fail to put a smile on my face.
Any tips for other record collectors out there?
Don’t get too hung up on collecting gear and what not unless you can really afford it. If you’re a music lover, you’re moneys best spent on the music itself. And buy from local record stores whenever possible, It might cost a bit more, or be a bit inconvenient, but its worth it.