The Photobooth Convention is just around the corner and we are getting very excited. Regardless of where you are in the USA, you can still make it to the convention if you start driving now. I’ve been busy getting things in order here, and as a result have been a bit slow to post in the past few weeks. I do have a lot to post about (Philly photobooths, my trip to Photo-Me) but it will have to wait until post-convention. Hope to see some of you there.
If you can’t make it but would like to keep tabs on the event, continue to visit the main convention page where we will be posting notes and photos from throughout the convention.
In his NBA Draft preview article on FoxSports.com, writer Randy Hill talks about two players from the New Orleans Hornets this way (and forgive us for doing a double take — there’s a team called the New Orleans Hornets? It’s been a long time since we’ve followed basketball, I guess): “The point guard situation seems less of a disaster, although Speedy Claxton is only dynamite as a backup and Dan Dickau couldn’t guard a rhino in a Fotomat booth.”
I’m not even sure what that little illustrative statement is supposed to mean. I take it to mean Dan Dickau is a poor guard, but really, how is a rhino going to fit into a photobooth anyway? And it seems like it would be dangerous even trying to fit into a photobooth with a rhino, even figuratively. I think it’s probably best not to dwell on this one too long.
A black-and-white photobooth in Eureka, California is up for auction this week on eBay. The booth is described as a “Gorgeous Vintage 4-Strip B&W Photobooth,” and has an unknown reserve as well as a $5000 “Buy It Now” price. The current high bid on the booth stands at $521.
The booth, which dates from 1968, has a bright blue exterior and new floor (both courtesy of the seller, along with a dollar bill acceptor, as well), plus a terrific island motif interior. The booth is in working condition, and comes with a few months worth of chemicals.
Check out some recent eBay listings for photobooths and related material we’ve been following.
According to an article in today’s Guardian, author and media darling Jonathan Safran Foer spent $2,000 in a photobooth “trying to get the right picture” for the dust jacket for his first book Everything is Illuminated. “$2,000 is a bit of an exaggeration,” he corrected, but apparently, he searched long and hard for just the right photobooth in Manhattan (I wonder which one he chose) and then did what it took to get the photo just right. We understand. I’ve read the book but I’ll have to revisit; I don’t recall the photo, but I was also in my “pre-photobooth-aware” days.
The latest edition of “eBay’s weird world of photobooth stuff” features half a photostrip of black and white shots purporting to depict Chicago stage actor Danny Belrose (not to be confused with Evangelist Danny Belrose, with his “Wrods of Guidance”). The description states that the photos were taken “sometime in the mid 90’s” and show Belrose “making out with some unknown snarler.” In a rhetorical leap, the description also boasts that the strip is “a well-preserved example of original, collectible American photobooth art.” Nice.
We cover the tough stories here at Photobooth.net, like this one, about Jai Rodriguez of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” fame, who apparently took photos of himself kissing a woman in a photobooth at Fran Drescher’s “Living with Fran” party this weekend. That’s about all there is to the story, actually.
Another copy of the 2003 Billy Childish book “photo-booth” has been listed on eBay this week, with a starting bid of £50. The description for the item once again mentions Tracey Emin, the most well-known personality photographed in the book, as well as Sexton Ming, and describes the book as having “a very small press run of only 50 books.”
Another copy of the book was listed on eBay in mid-April and eventually sold for nearly £100. The current copy is a little different, with gallows woodcuts covering the front, and, as the description reads, this copy is “signed Billy 03 in red pencil on the back cover.”
Residents in Workington in northern England would rather see a post box in their local post office than a photo booth, according to an article in the Workington Times & Star. We can’t blame them, actually; it seems pretty strange that a customer in the town post office would have to queue up and hand a stamped letter to a postal clerk, rather than be able to drop the letter in a post box.
Is that an excuse for photobooth-bashing, though? As one unhappy resident is quoted about the current setup at the post office, “Instead we’ve got a silly photo booth, which they’ve already got in Woolworths. They could’ve put a post box somewhere.”
The National Trust for Historic Preservation reports on the opening of a restored Woolworth building in Oxnard, California. The building opened as a Woolworth store in 1950 and closed in the late 1990s, when Woolworth closed their 400 remaining U.S. locations. (The article states that the closing was in 1998, though Wikipedia and other sources state July 17, 1997 as the date).
The first floor of the newly restored building houses a museum of Woolworth history, including “vending machines, an antique take-your-own-photo booth and payphone.” Woolworth photobooths introduced the affordable, instant photograph to a great number of people over the years, and the mass closing brought an end to the only photobooth in town for many communities. Nice to see one back in the plus column.
This image, found in the May 2005 issue of Real Simple magazine, takes the cake for the most ambitious faked photobooth yet. The booth is real, I do believe, but the metal delivery chute has been moved (in Photoshop) from the side of the photobooth mechanism (camera, darkroom), to the side where the subject sits. For this configuration to function, either 1) the person sitting for their picture will have to slip the picture in the chute (then step outside and retrieve it) or 2) the picture must be beamed via an as-of-yet undiscovered technology to the metal chute. Perhaps this is a booth from the future.
Also worth noting is the signage that was most certainly removed (again, with the help of Photoshop) to make room for the article title and lead-in.
The article gives 14 tips on how to look great in a snapshot. Some highlights include: how to avoid the dreaded double chin (keep below the level of the lens), avert a fake smile (don’t say cheese, think of something funny), and evade the evil red-eye (dilate your pupils by looking at a bright light).