March, 2008

March 17, 2008


Photobooth photos appear by the dozens on eBay every day, and sell for anywhere from 99¢ to $50, depending on their condition, subject matter, and provenance. After watching photobooth photo sales over the last few years, we’ve jumped in, tentatively, on a few occasions, and have found a few gems.

This miniature album, which is positively tiny (the photos are 1 1/2″ by 1 7/8″), has room for ten photos, and came to me with seven photos, all of the same young soldier, inside. I’ve never seen anything like it, with its transparent color cover and plastic ring binding. I’ll be posting some other eBay finds as they come.


Brian | 9:09 am | History
March 15, 2008

Thanks to all of our readers and friends who pointed us to John Strausbaugh’s article in yesterday’s New York Times. The piece, titled “Coin. Smile. Click!”, focuses on the history of photobooths in Manhattan, mostly through the lens of Nakki Goranin and her new book American Photobooth (which we’ll have a full review of when we get our hands on a copy). Mr. Strausbaugh contacted us prior to the publication of the article, and was kind enough to list as one of the links in a sidebar to the main piece. 

Read the article online (and be sure to watch the accompanying video). We’ve also archived it here in case it disappears in the future.

Previously, the Times has covered photobooth artists in 2003 and the photobooth scene in Los Angeles in 2005, but I think this is the first time that a photobooth story made the front page of the Times website. 

March 10, 2008

We’re always happy to help out folks working on photobooth projects, and we’ve received a few (very different) calls lately for photobooth photos. Perhaps some of our readers can help out.

First, Cameron Woo, publisher of Bark magazine, a publication about the “history, art and culture of canines,” is looking for your photobooth photos of dogs. Readers may remember a previous issue of Bark from 2005 that featured dogs in photobooths. This time, Bark is interested in “vintage or, at least, pre-1980” photobooth images of dogs in booths, and readers who would like to submit images from their collection can contact Cameron at cameron [at] thebark [dot] com.

Second, D’arcy French-Myerson, a photobooth artist in San Francisco, is looking for complete photostrips with the following specifications:

Use a non-digital photobooth (the old-fashioned one with 4 vertical frames). Preferably, use a color booth with a sold background. If in b/w, leave the background white. During each shot, please shake your head as loosely and vigorously as possible without injury. Simultaneously, open your mouth and sigh. Wait for the strip to develop. Please allow it to dry and send me the original:

D’arcy French-Myerson, 1230 Market St. #728, San Francisco CA 94112

You may remain anonymous, or for credit, please write your name on the the back of the strip.”

From Switzerland, where traditional photobooths have recently died off, we received a call for photobooth photos of kids age 12–16 for an English textbook. The pictured student and parents would have to approve the use of the photo, so if you’re interested in getting in touch with the publisher, email us and we’ll pass on the info.

And finally, a project of a different sort, happening this week in San Diego. Jess Jollet writes:

On Thursday March 13th, myself and three other writers here in San Diego will team up with local 60s djs, the Deadbirds, and PhotoBooth rental company PhotoBoof! to host a creative and interactive night at the local bar Whistle Stop. 

We came up with the idea to host an artistic collaborative night surrounding photobooth strips a few months ago. Since then we have been collecting photobooth strips through friends and family, and also bars where people have left their pictures behind. 

Throughout the night the writers will be reading original stories in response to photobooth pictures. The Deadbirds have created a visual that will be a moving collage of the photobooth strips we have collected. Also Gavin from PhotoBoof has generously donated his time and will be bringing his own photo booth to the bar. Everyone will be able to take free pictures. 

The five of us who have been planning the event have had so many interesting conversations and revelations about the magic of a photobooth. The mystery of what happens behind that velvet curtain and the amazing stories in each strip. 

Brian | 7:50 am | Projects
March 06, 2008


In what could be called a trend, or just a coincidence, or simply overkill, two recent window displays in Southern California Gap stores (and, presumably, Gap stores around the country) have centered on a photobooth theme. The first, seen in February on the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, announced the winners of the “Gap Casting Call,” and featured kids photographed in three poses arranged vertically with a white border — a fake photostrip, but, as I thought at the time, pretty prominent placement of the photobooth idea in an ad campaign. I should have waited a month…

Gap Green

Spotted last week and photographed last night at the Gap store on Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica, two window displays featuring Andy Warhol’s photobooth portraits. First, a single shot of Warhol, flanked by some striped polo shirts. And second, four shots of Judith Green (last seen at The Warhol Museum) complemented by a cute red jacket and some peach flared pants. Or whatever they’re called. This particular Gap store featured three sets of these windows, alternating down the length of the storefront, which made an eye-catching display. The photobooth as marketing tool lives on.

Gap Green

Brian | 2:17 pm | In the News
March 03, 2008

Some recent additions to the site, as well as photobooth news:

  • Photobooth auteur Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the man behind Amélie, directed a video for ’80s French pop sensation Etienne Daho featuring animated photobooth photos, years before he and Audrey Tautou made photobooths hip again

  • One of our favorite photobooth locations, Faces in Northampton, Mass., has replaced their color booth with a black and white machine.

  • winehouse_pb.jpgGrammy winner and tabloid idol Amy Winehouse was snapped carrying a framed set of photobooth photos out of her London abode as she prepared to move to the country; apparently this is big news, and you can find photos of the photostrips on this blog, and this one, and on the Daily Mail’s site.

  • And finally, this bit is a little old, and we’ll have to do some more research to see what came of it, but Women’s Wear Daily reports on a vintage booth accompanying promotion for designer Stella McCartney’s products at Selfridge’s department store:

McCartney’s brand blitz at Selfridges isn’t just about commerce, however. Caricature artists will be on hand to draw customers’ portraits throughout the two weeks, and a one-man band commissioned by McCartney will play. The designer will also install a vintage photo-booth on Selfridges’ second floor, in which customers can take a shot of themselves for 1 pound, or about $2, which will be donated to the Red Cross. McCartney will make a personal appearance during London Fashion Week on Feb. 13.