August, 2009

August 14, 2009

We are still digging out more updates that piled up during our summer hiatus, and present a few more today. First, Stephanie was kind enough to check out the new Ace Hotel in New York City, which we reported on in late 2007, wondering whether it would feature a photobooth in its lobby. Our question was answered: like its counterpart in Portland, the Ace New York does have a black and white photobooth, which takes credit cards only and pushes the upper limit of photobooth pricing up to $5.

The new Ace in Palm Springs apparently has a booth, as well, though we haven’t visited there yet, but when we visited the Ace in Seattle a few years ago, there was no booth to be found. Anyway, the photobooth at the Ace Hotel in New York is a welcome addition to the often volatile New York photobooth scene. Thanks, Stephanie.

Back in January, I visted the Motley Coffeehouse in Claremont, California, and checked out their black and white booth, which looked like it turned out great photos, but wasn’t on at the time, as the coffeehouse was actually closed.

And finally, we add another movie to our long list of films featuring faked photostrips, this one the highly anticipated and promptly critically lacerated Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, starring Nicole Kidman as the famed photographer.

August 13, 2009

For many years now, we’ve heard of a remote colony of photochemical photobooths that have survived in Australia, far from the familiar “photobooth cities” of New York, Chicago, Berlin, and Paris. We’ve seen them in music videos and TV commercials, but we’ve never had any officially submitted to our Photobooth Directory.

We’re happy to report that we’ve received our first Aussie submissions, which came along with the massive group of photobooth locations in Canada that we posted about earlier this week.

Thanks again to Meags, we’ve now got two suburban Sydney booths listed, both in the Broadway Shopping Centre: one a black and white machine , and the other a color booth. We’re very happy to have these booths listed, and we also hope it encourages others, who live in Australia or plan to travel there, to take photos and contribute more Australian locations for our directory.

August 12, 2009


Catching up on some old news from late 2008, we heard about an art piece entitled “Photo Booth,” by American artist Lorna Simpson, which was sold to the Tate Modern at the Frieze Art Fair in London for $70,000. In an article in the Telegraph, Jessica Morgan describes the piece.

As curator of contemporary art at Tate, I am on a committee that buys new work every year at Frieze. We have a budget of £125,000 (the money comes from a philanthropic organisation called Outset). This year we bought six pieces. I was particularly pleased to get Photo Booth by the American artist Lorna Simpson, whose work we have been trying to buy for several years. She works predominantly in photography and video.

For this piece she gathered 50 photo-booth portraits of anonymous African-Americans that she discovered in thrift stores in Harlem in New York, where she lives. She matched these with 50 watercolour-and-ink drawings that are subtle and very beautiful, and play off the formality of the photographs. The whole piece cost $70,000, which is a large part of our budget but by no means an unreasonable price given that Simpson is an established artist who has been working since the early Nineties.

You can learn more about the work and see the work on the Salon 94 Freemans website.

Photo Booth © 2008 Lorna Simpson

August 11, 2009

wenders.jpg Late last year, when I was preparing my Photobooths in Cinema talk for the 2009 International Photobooth Convention, our friend Klaas sent us a scan of a photostrip. It wasn’t just any photostrip, though: it was a set of photos by famed German film director Wim Wenders. When Klaas passed the scan on to us, it made for a nice first: the first photostrip we’ve seen of a director who has also used photobooths in his films. I had to take a quick look through Hilhaven Lodge to make sure, but I’m pretty certain. I can hear jaws dropping around the world, I know.

Not only has Wim Wenders used a photobooths in one movie, he’s used them in three: Alice in the Cities, Paris, Texas, and Faraway, So Close!

We thank Mr. Wenders for letting the strip be published, and Klaas for providing it to us.

In other news, we’ve added some more content recently, including a nice piece called “40 Under 40,” by Crain’s Chicago Business magazine, with photobooth portraits by our good friends at

Anthony brought one of his photobooths into the Crain’s studio and had the 40 up-and-coming powerful Chicagoans take photostrips. The strips were used for a giant collage on the cover, for a table of contents, and to illustrate each individual profile.

The new Fox series “Glee” got an early start on the fall season when the pilot episode aired a few months ago. Tim spotted a photostrip in the locker of one of the main characters, and we’ve now got it listed in our TV section.

If you missed the three-episode series Wallander, based on the Swedish crime novels featuring Kurt Wallander by Henning Mankell, we recommend seeking them out, in high-definition, if you can. They were shot using the Red One digital camera, the first UK series to do so, and they look absolutely stunning, in a way that’s really tough to describe.

Two of the three episodes, which star Kenneth Branagh as Wallander, featured photostrips. We added one episode back in June and have now added the second epsiode, with a much more central role for the photostrip.

We’ll have more updates on booth locations, movies, TV shows, and music throughout the week.

Photostrip © Wim Wenders, courtesy of Klaas Dierks

Brian | 8:41 am | Movies
August 10, 2009

We’ve been seeing and hearing quite a bit about The Dead Weather recently, a new collaboration among Jack White of the White Stripes, Alison Mosshart of the Kills, Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age, and Jack Lawrence of the Raconteurs (another Jack White project). 

When their first single was released online, the accompanying music video, for “Hang You from the Heavens,” was shot in a photobooth.

More recently, they’ve released their full-length album, titled “Horehound,” and have included a photostrip in six copies of the album. Those lucky enough to purchase a copy with a photostrip inside will win a trip to White’s record studio. A news brief about the contest states

The winners will receive an all expenses paid trip to tour Jack’s factory, Third Man Records in Nashville, TN. The winners are given round trip airfare, two night hotel accommodation, and ground transportation. The winners are also allowed a plus one for the duration of the trip. The last chance to redeem is August 15th.

The contest is publicized on the band’s website, where you can view the video.

Readers might remember that the Kills have also used photobooth photos in their album covers, and have several hundred photostrips featured on their website.

Brian | 6:15 am | Music, Projects
August 09, 2009

Today we’ve got another in the sporadic series of photobooth-related nuggets we’ve come across on eBay. This set of seven photos, with one tantalizingly missing from the full complement of eight advertised on the envelope, show a striking young woman dressed in a fur collared coat and pearls. We see her smiling, unsmiling, looking to the right, looking to the left, and so on; what was in the final photo, and who ended up with it? Maybe she used it for a commutation ticket.


August 08, 2009

Just when you start to think you’re hearing more about photobooths disappearing than you are about new locations being discovered, a kind reader of our site will send in a massive update that makes you feel a little better about the whole situation. Courtesy of Meags Fitzgerald, we just received a big update, twelve photobooths in all, none of which have appeared on the site before. 

We’re adding them in installments, so the first to go up are the Canadian locations: nine booths in Alberta and one in Vancouver. The majority of the new booths are in Calgary, which just jumped from “unlisted” to somewhere in the top ten as far as active photochemical photobooth cities are concerned. We’ve always known that Canada is home to many active photobooths, but beyond a few in Toronto and BC, we haven’t had much documentation before now.

So here they are:

Edmonton City Centre 

Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre, Edmonton

Northland Village Mall I, Calgary

Northland Village Mall II, Calgary

North Hill Centre, Calgary

Eau Claire Market, Calgary

Deerfoot Mall, Calgary

Chinook Centre, Calgary

Calgary Greyhound Station

Antisocial Skate Shop, Vancouver

I don’t think we’ve ever seen a photobooth decked out like a bag of popcorn (at the Chinook Mall), but now that I see it, I can’t believe no one else seems to have thought of it before now. Very nice. Thanks to Meags for these locations, and we’ll have the rest of her contributions soon.

August 02, 2009

Our trickle of new additions to the site continues, with two new locations and news of a photobooth gallery show, for those of you in the Pacific Northwest. First, thanks to Nathan for our long-awaited first-ever photobooth location in Montréal. We’ve long known of Montréal’s great Metro station photobooths, and even taken a few photostrips (and squares) there in the days before, but we’ve never had an official submission to the site. Here’s hoping the booth at the Rosemont Metro Station is the first of many.

We received word of a new photobooth location in Portland a few months back, so after much delay, we’re happy to list the black and white booth at the House of Vintage, thanks to Victoria. And speaking of Portland, our friend Myles Haselhorst, whom we first met here in L.A. earlier this year sent us news of a photobooth exhibition that just opened at his gallery, Ampersand Vintage:

Out of the Booth : Photobooth Enlargement from the Robert E. Jackson Collection

July 29th to August 23rd, 2009

ampersand_show.jpgFor a little over a decade, Robert Jackson has been collecting vintage American snapshots, an activity that culminated in a 2007 exhibition at the National Gallery titled “The Art of the American Snapshot 1888–1978.” The photographs exhibited in that show provided a comprehensive record of all the nuances, anomalies, visual tricks & standard subjects that comprise what one thinks of as a typical (& in some cases, not so typical) American snapshot. The same can be said of Jackson’s collection of vintage photobooth images, the single panels & unclipped strips being suggestive of what he considers the photobooth’s ability to meld a sort of unseen photographic technology with one’s personal aesthetic. Collaborating in the curatorial process with Jackson, our August show features enlargements of 32 pieces from his collection that exemplify the uncanny, self-expressive quality inherent in photobooth images. 

More information here.

And finally, a new film has been added to our list, last year’s Choke starring Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston.

August 01, 2009

We’ve posted the first of the backlog of submissions and new additions to the site since our hiatus; in the true spirit of summer, they’re locations at state fairgrounds and beachside boardwalks. 

Check out the black and white photobooths at the Minnesota State Fair in Minneapolis, as well as Jilly’s Arcade and Castaway Cove in Ocean City, New Jersey. Thanks to Tony for the Minnesota booth, and thanks to my friend Molly for doing what no other friend has, and following through on that promise: “Oh, you run a website about photobooths? Next time I see one, I’ll take a picture of it for you.“


Photo by Molly Wheeler