May, 2006

May 31, 2006

rice_yearbook.jpgEver since owning my first photobooth I have been trying to get a school or church to let me set the booth up on premises and create their yearbook or directory.

Well, as you might have guessed, I am about 36 years too late to claim the “Mr. Originality” prize. Take a look at this 1970 yearbook from Rice University. (Full yearbook here.)

The students really seemed to get into the spirit, resulting in some creative images. Make sure to note the name of the woman pictured on the fifth page of images in the photostrip on the far right. Elton Joan. Nice.

Tim | 4:56 pm | Art
May 30, 2006

lifematon_blog.jpgLifematon, a new French website dedicated to collecting photobooth photos, has been added to our Projects section this week. The site states that its goal is to “collect the largest possible number of photo booth photos. So, no need to throw them away any more, we will just recycle them!

Every month the photo with the most votes from each category will have a “Place of Honour” on the welcome page of the web site for one month.”

The interface for the site is one of its more interesting aspects; photos are arrayed on a field of green grass and the user can move around to find more photos scattered in different directions. It’s a little more fun than useful at this point, but it is an interesting approach. We’re hoping nobody was going to throw their photobooth photos away to begin with, but if you’re interested in feedback, you might try sending one Lifematon’s way.

Brian | 8:13 am | Projects
May 28, 2006

sawada.jpgA new addition to the Art section this week is 29 year-old Japanese artist Tomoko Sawada. Sawada is best known for her piece ID-400, a collection of 400 “single photo-booth images rephotographed, multiplied times four and arranged in squares, then fitted together in framed grids of 100 squares each, adding up to a regular rogue’s gallery of unprepossessing little women.” More can be found on Sawada and her work at the Zabriskie Gallery page for the show.

In addition, we’ve added a 2003 New York Times article to the In Print section. The article describes Sawada’s work, as well as Babbette Hines’ Photobooth book and the booth and show at the Griffin Museum in 2003.

May 27, 2006

Thanks to Ricky, our listings for photobooths in Maryland has tripled, with the addition of two color booths in the Beltway Mall in Greenbelt, MD. Booth I and booth II are typical modern Photo-Me booths, and each runs $3 a strip.

May 26, 2006

As reported in, a man stopped in the manager’s office in a shopping center in Trowbridge, England, this week, to report that the photobooth was “on the blink,” only to spot a photograph of his mother, working in the woollen mill that once sat on the site of the Shires shopping center. Gwen Earle, now 92, began working in the mills at age 14, and after raising a family, retired at 62. The photograph, taken in 1976, was presented to Earle by the mall management. Even when they’re not working, photobooths exert a special power…

May 25, 2006

anne_frank.jpgWe’ve often thought of assembling a show or book made up of well-known people in photobooth photos, less along the lines of the MTV Photobooth celebrity-fest and more a collection of photos of people before they were well-known, or photos of people you might not expect to have been in a photobooth. Continuing where we left off with the Robert Johnson photobooth story from over a year ago, we’ll take a look at some other faces in history as they appear in photobooth pictures.

These historical figures don’t have much in common, but we’ve gathered links to images of Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Anne Frank, and the world’s foremost Surrealists.

Tim told me about this “pre-fame” photo of Elvis Presley; one day I’d like to see it in person, especially without the watermark.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono included a reproduction of a photostrip, visible in this eBay auction, as part of the packaging for their 1969 “Wedding Album.” Apparently, on a side note, a photobooth photo of original Beatle Stu Sutcliffe was included in an exhibition in Liverpool a few years ago, as well.

A photobooth photo of Anne Frank is used as the cover of a book, pictured here. Visit GettyImages for more details on the photo.

Finally, check out the Guardian article about the Surrealists and the photobooth in Paris in the 1920s, and then look at the photos: two frames of a strip of Andre Breton from the Edwynn Houk Gallery, as well as low quality photos of Breton, Magritte, and Buñuel. Also, an article on the auction of those images.

Stay tuned for another installment of “famous people in the photobooth,” and please, send in any links and suggestions.

Brian | 8:20 am | History
May 22, 2006

bunch_photos.jpgAnother artist has been added to the list here at, an American painter named Lordan Bunch. Bunch, who has exhibited his work around the world over the last few years, makes small, photo-realistic paintings adapted from old photobooth photos. More info on Bunch can be found at this Davidson Gallery page and this Museum of Contemporary Photography page.

Also added today, Arty Carter’s A Life In A PhotoBooth 1974–1999, now found in our Projects section.

C.I. 1929” © 2001, Lordan Bunch.

Brian | 6:28 pm | Art, Projects
May 15, 2006

sylvan_beach.jpgThis weekend found us heading to the amusement park at Sylvan Beach on Oneida Lake, north of Syracuse, New York. Thanks to the ever-useful LiveJournal photobooth community, I had heard there were a few booths there, and indeed, we found three booths — two color (here and here), one black and white — at the carousel building in the center of the park. It’s still a little early in the season, and it was a little chilly at the park. Sadly, by the time of our visit, the machines hadn’t yeat been loaded with their chemicals and prepared for the summer rush. I peeked inside the booths, had a nice chat with Sue and Larry, and took some pictures of the booths, but I was a little sad not to have been able to take any photos. The park looks like a real gem of a place, and I’d love to return in better weather.

For more on the park, read this recent article from, titled “Sylvan Beach stands on the brink.”

May 14, 2006

paris_perfecto.jpgMore additions from the backlog of “to do” items, this time, two films with photobooth appearances. First, Paris, Texas, one of at least three Wim Wenders films to feature a photobooth or photostrip (we’ve already got his Faraway, So Close! posted, and we’re looking for Alice in the Cities). It’s also not the only time Nastassja Kinski appears in a photostrip; her clever appearance in Terminal Velocity has also been duly noted.

Second, we have Crimen Perfecto (or Crimen Ferpecto, depending on whom you believe), a dark comic farce from Spain from a few years back. The main characters squeeze into a photobooth, though one is a lot more wiling than the other.

Brian | 6:23 pm | Movies
May 10, 2006

jan_wenzel.jpgPhoto-London, billed as “London’s first international photography fair,” opens next week, offering thousands of photographs for sale to the public. A preview of the show from the Times of London describes the breadth of the show, and includes a mention of the works of “lesser-known young photographers such as Jan Wenzel, a German artist based in Leipzig, who creates his pictures in an old passport photo-booth.”

A quick search revealed this bio of Wenzel, mentioning his “künstlerischen Arbeit allein dem Paßbildautomaten,” and another hit led to story called “Pass-Bilder: Die Fotofixkunst von Jan Wenzel,” an informative piece that also links to his recent book, Fotofix (or Fofofix, as Amazon calls it…)

I’ve never heard of Wenzel’s work before, and from the photos and descriptions I see, it looks fascinating and different than anything else I’ve seen. Time to add him to our Art section.

Photo: Jan Wenzel, “Interieur #3