January, 2007

January 31, 2007

A press release from Skidmore College announces an upcoming photography exhibition from Joachim Schmid, whose “Photoworks” show includes all variety of photographs, including forgotten photobooth photos. The show will be presented at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, and will run through April 9, 2007. 

As an artist who works in the medium of found photography, Joachim Schmid salvages photos from flea markets and archives, cuts them out of catalogues and publications, retrieves them from city streets, and finds them on the Internet. He then assembles series of photos as artworks that explore the emotional power and recurrent eccentricities of everyday photography. 

The 111 images randomly excerpted for the Tang exhibition include family snapshots, ID photos, and photo-booth discards that Schmid picked up over the past 25 years on walks through cities around the world. Many images are creased, tire-tracked, torn up, walked on, rain-soaked, and/or sun-faded. 

January 30, 2007

Photo-Me, the international company responsible for photochemical and digital photobooths around the world, has hired Lazard as financial advisors to help them deal with a potential break-up of the company into three separate sectors.

The appointment of Lazard, which will work alongside JPMorgan Cazenove, the group’s existing financial adviser and joint broker, marks the start of a strategic review that could lead to a sale of one or all of the three businesses, Photo-Me said.

As we noted last month, Photo-Me has been considering splitting up its three sectors — vending, minilab manufacturing and wholesale manufacturing — and selling off one or more of them. In light of changes in the photography industry as well as the approach of biometric passports, Photo-Me has seen rough financial times over the last year or so.

Brian | 3:16 pm | In the News
January 29, 2007

Phoeniz Arizona’s Trunk Space, home to a photobooth we’ve long had on our “To Visit” list, is having, as we speak, a sort of going away party for their photobooth technician, Mike.

More about Mike: He has worked at this job for 21 years! In the past 2 months he has lost all his profitable photobooths (the ones at Spectrum got robbed twice) and the other mall went digital. He has kept our photobooth from getting removed (due to poor sales) more than once. 

The gallery, whose booth was voted best photobooth in Phoenix, is home to “Experimental Theater, Performance, Music, Puppets, Weird Stuff, Circus Side Show Acts, Fine Art, Handmade Gifts, & Espresso drinks, as well as being a meeting place for artists, curious people and weary travelers.”

We’ve seen a lot of photos from the booth on Flickr and LiveJournal, but we’d really love an official contribution to our Locator in the form of a photo of the booth itself and a nice high-quality scan of a photostrip. It would double our count of Arizona photobooths, and we’d love to have the ‘Space represented. 

January 19, 2007

sedlik_sale.jpgA not-to-be-missed photobooth buying opportunity is happening right now, as a Los Angeles-based photographer is having a moving sale that includes a 1945 Auto Photo booth. The booth, which looks like a classic rounded-end Model 9 and seems to be in absolutely mint condition, comes with a stock of paper, chemicals, parts, and a copy of the original manual. If you’ve got $16,500 to part with or make the best offer received, the booth is yours.

A piece of downtown Los Angeles history, manufactured at the original Auto-Photo factory on Santa Fe. Sit down, drop a quarter in the slot, and the fun begins. The original air compressor fires up, the lights turn on and off four times, an amazing mechanical contraption processes your portraits, and two minutes later, out slides a vintage looking b&w photo strip. Ready to use.

If only we had enough time to start a fundraising campaign for the purchase of an official Photobooth — this would be the one. We’ll try to keep tabs on where this beauty goes.

January 10, 2007

save_tillie.jpgSave Tillie, a “volunteer organization comprised of 1,000 friends of Asbury Park,” New Jersey, is an organization dedicated to saving the Palace amusement park and its iconic Tillie image. After the demolition of the building in 2004, the group “saved more than 125 internal artifacts from the Palace and the Tillie mural from the Cookman Avenue wall…; In the last few weeks, another prized element from the Palace’s past is on its way home: the photobooth.

In a great story on the Save Tillie site, the group tells the story of the photobooth, which had been at Palace for 30 years, making a move to Folkheart, a store in Vermont, in 1988. Now, nearly twenty years later, as the photobooth sat in disrepair and Folkheart’s owners prepared to close up shop, they donated the booth to Save Tillie. Folkheart was long on’s radar as home to the only booth in Vermont, so we’re saddened to hear that it’s no more. Any other leads, readers? Now, back to the story:

On December 28, 2006 Save Tillie members Dan Toskaner, Frank Saragnese, and Mary Lynn Purcell drove to Vermont with a large trailer to rescue this valuable Palace artifact. Despite some dust, grime, and a large spider web inside the camera window, they found the machine to be in remarkably good condition. The exterior oak and white/gold speckled Formica is completely intact. The illuminated script “Photographs” sign still sits on top. In recognition of its history, someone stamped a small Tillie face next to a handwritten $2.00 sign. Best of all, beneath a sheet of plexiglass on the outer graphic panel there is a homemade collage of very old photo strips. The owners of Folkheart confirmed that these strips were already there when they bought the booth, which means that they were taken at the Palace. Save Tillie is hoping that some of the people in these photos can be identified.

The photobooth is currently undergoing restoration, and will be ready for action again soon; Save Tillie hope to return it to use in Asbury Park, where it began its life. Besides being a great story about nice people who care about history, the story is a testament to the power of the photobooth and the pull it has on generations of New Jersey amusement park-goers and Vermont store-browsers and all of us. We wish the best of luck to the folks at Save Tillie, and hope they keep us updated with the progress and the future of their beloved booth.

Photo of Save Tillie volunteers and the booth outside Folkheart from

January 06, 2007

2007 should be a banner year for, our second full year of existence, bringing new changes and additions to the site, as well as more coverage of the continuing saga of the world’s favorite somewhat instant, usually affordable, always unique moment-capturing contraption. We hope to bring news of another Photobooth Convention for 2007, as well as other interesting an exciting developments. For now, we’ll rattle off a few new additions that have come around in the last few weeks:

Let us know what you’d like to see in 2007, and keep your submissions, tips, and suggestions coming. 

Brian | 10:37 am | Site News
January 01, 2007

Just goes to show you shouldn’t listen to your summer intern when they suggest a “super-hip” way to get your customers’ attention. Seems Saatchi & Saatchi are behind a United Kingdom advertising campaign in which a person sits in a photobooth and poses for three photos. Seems pretty standard, that is until the photo comes emerges from the side of the booth. The photos are taken by a camera mounted above the subject, and as such, show the shoulders and top of the head of the sitter. And their dandruff. Get it?

We will be interested to see if this sells any bottles of shampoo.