October 25, 2010

Kate Burt, writing for The Independent on Sunday, has written a nice piece on the current state of photobooths in the UK, and around the world, titled “Camera obscurer: Meet the enthusiasts that are determined to keep photo booths alive.” She was kind enough to contact us for the piece, and includes some of our thoughts on photochemical booths. Also featured are digital entrepreneurs The Mighty Booth and The Expressive Booth, as well as our fellow photochemical enthusiasts Carole and Siobhan of Photomovette, Alex of Photoautomat, and Steve “Mixup” Howard.

Burt provides a brief history of the booth as well as a look at the current state of the photochemical machine, attempting to survive in a digital world:

However, enthusiasts argue, digital booths just don’t have the same appeal. Tim Garrett, who, with his friend Brian Meacham, co-founded the appreciation site in the US, believes that “Digital ‘enhancing’ of the experience with cheesy voiceovers and graphics has taken away from the beautiful simplicity of the vintage booths.” The charm of the old-school booths, he continues, is “a special sauce of ingredients: the tiny precious images, beautifully lit and exposed; the instant gratification; the cramped space of the seating area that inspires intimate photos; the anticipation as you wait for the strip to pop out, unsure exactly how they will look; the pungent smell of the chemicals and the low whirr of the machine…” 

Thanks to Kate for a great piece, which you can also find archived on our site.

October 21, 2010

fontaine.jpgFor our readers in Italy and around Europe, we’d like to make note of an upcoming exhibition of photobooth photos in Viterbo, Italy (about 90km north of Rome) at the Studio Fontaine. The exhibition is called “4x20 Lasciare Asciugare” (which translates to “Let it dry”).

Gianmaria Ponzi, one of the co-founders of the gallery, got in touch to let me know about the show. His description follows:

Sabina Scapin and I have founded a gallery of contemporary art in viterbo. Sabina is a photographer and I am, above all, a collector of vintage photos, the blurry and unusual, and a researcher of photos. We like the photographic portrait and have thought that the true portraits of the common people are more interesting and authentic. We have thought about picking up photos from photobooths, but we have found problems in Italy, because they cannot be found in the markets. We have made announcements in newspapers but without any answer.

We’ve bought them on eBay, and gone to Brussels and Berlin where there are photo markets. We succeeded in borrowing some photos on loan from our friends who had preserved them.

The show that opens October 30, 2010 will display around 100 photobooth photos taken over the last 50 to 90 years, and are almost all in black and white.

Please let us know if you attend the show, and send photos so we can let everyone know what it was like. Thanks to Gianmaria for getting in touch with us.

October 18, 2010

Our friends at Photomovette are taking part in a great event this Friday: a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the motion picture to the people of South East London. The New Cross Cinematograph Theatre opened October 22, 1910, in the same location where Photomovette have their black and white booth, an event and exhibition space called Utrophia.

We are very excited to be taking part in a very special event at Utrophia, home of our photobooth. The New Cross Cinematograph Theatre opened on the spot of Utrophia in 1910, providing the people of South East London their first look at moving image. It was officially opened by the Mayor of Greenwich and Deptford on 22 October 1910, and now, exactly a hundred years later, Utrophia are re-enacting the occasion with the creation of a portal that loops back to that time and space, charting the ensuing journey of how we captured and represented the light of life. Dress up, eat cake, marvel at light projections and document the process in true old-fashioned style in one of the only black and white booths in London!

For more on the event, see Photomovette and Utrophia.

October 04, 2010

passportKateTyler.pngBrian and I were honored to participate as judges in the Best Narrative category for the Art of Waiting photobooth contest. There were quite a few entries we liked, but one stood out as the clear winner: Kate Tyler’s piece entitled “Alot can happen in 3 minutes…,” a portion of which is pictured at right. Kate’s playful exploration of immigration and assimilation tells an interesting story and makes great use of photostrips. Kate’s piece also took top honors in the “Most Out of the Box” category. Congratulations, Kate!

The other entries and winners can be viewed on the Art of Waiting website.

Tim | 12:48 am | Art
September 24, 2010

PocketboothIf you’re a reader, then perhaps you dream about owning your own vintage photobooth some day. Since this might not be the easiest dream to fulfill, we’re pleased to announce the arrival of the world’s smallest — and least expensive — photobooth: Pocketbooth, a vintage photobooth simulator for your iPhone or iPod touch.

Now, you may ask why we’re mentioning a digital photobooth app on our site. While we don’t typically post about digital photobooths, this app is special for two reasons: 1) we had a hand in designing it and 2) all of the elements in the app are based on actual design elements of vintage photobooths.

While the overall look of Pocketbooth was inspired by the Model 11, much of the woodgrain textures and the delivery chute are from a Model 17 booth. Great care was taken to ensure that the booth is true to the look and feel of its analog counterpart. From the woodgrain-surrounded delivery chute to the red and green lights behind the reflective glass, right down to the size, proportions, and texture of the resulting photostrip, it feels like the real deal.

You might recognize the Autophoto Model 11 photobooth from the splash screen: it is none other than the beautifully-restored booth that belongs to Peter and Ina in the Netherlands, a booth we posted about last April.

The app is available on the iTunes store and is currently discounted to 99 cents. It will be returning to its normal price in early October.

If you don’t have an iPhone or iPod Touch, or feel it somehow unfaithful to use this app, please continue to use our Photobooth Locator and find an actual photobooth near you.

August 27, 2010

Our friend Scot Phillips, whom we met at last year’s Photobooth Convention in Chicago, let us know about a unique event at the museum where he works: an art auction whose proceeds will go towards helping the museum purchase a photochemical photobooth.


The Massillon Museum is seeking help in the form of donated artwork to be auctioned to help raise funds to purchase their photobooth.

The Massillon Museum will host its one-night only Photobooth Project: Silent Art Auction on September 25th from 7:00pm to 10:00pm in the Main Gallery at the Massillon Museum. All proceeds from this event will benefit the Photobooth Project.

Each donor will be recognized in the event program. Upon purchase of the photobooth, your name will also be included on a plaque installed on the photobooth.

If you want to donate your original artwork, download an application from the website ( and click on the Support tab) or contact Scot Phillips at 

Donations outside the fundraisers will be greatly 
appreciated. If making a donation, just specify that you want it to go to the “Photobooth Project” fund.

The deadline to donate artwork is Saturday, September 18th. You may donate artwork from now until the deadline, just contact Sandi to arrange pick up/drop off — don’t hesitate. We greatly appreciate your consideration and hope you will help make the Photobooth Project a success. Hope to see you at the Silent Art Auction! 

August 24, 2010

We’ve had a steady stream of updates from our trusty contributors over the summer, filling out the picture of the world photobooth scene in 2010. To recap:

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:

New York:

Las Vegas, Nevada:

Sydney, Australia:

Thanks so much to our contributors for sending in photos and information these booths: Meags, Ricky, Stephanie, and John. We couldn’t do it without you!

If you’ve found a photobooth you’d like to contribute to our list, here’s how.

Images: Eldridge Park, Elmira, New York, and Cargo Bar, Sydney, Australia

July 17, 2010

Not since 2005’s fracas in Fitchburg has the photobooth shown up so prominently in the global police blotter. In what can only be described as global photobooth crime spree (it’s all relative, right?), two separate photobooth-related incidents transpired in the past few days.

The first incident took place in Northern Scotland and looks to be an inside job. Colin Smith, 35, misused his role as a photobooth technician to steal £10,000 from booths he was in charge of servicing. The money was being used to pay down his mortgage, not buy drugs, so he has that going for him.

The second incident comes to us from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A disgruntled arcade patron became angry when a photobooth would not refund his money. He did the only sensible thing; he punched the booth and cracked the glass. The report fails to mention whether the booth ever gave any money back, but at least the perpetrator has a nice photo of his bloody knuckles.

July 12, 2010

Last year we took the discussion forum offline due to a few problems we were having with the software. After a few false starts, we finally settled on a solution that is more robust and easier to use than the old system. 

We are happy to announce that the new and improved forum is now live and ready for your questions, comments, thoughts, answers, tips, tricks, stories, and suggestions. We spent a lot of time and effort making sure all the content from the old forum made its way into the new version and that all existing user accounts were maintained, so if you had posted on the old forum at some point, please log in and re-start your account. 

We’ve reset all passwords, so you’ll need to have your password emailed to the email account you first posted with. Contact us if you’re having difficulty accessing your old account.

We’re excited to have all of the old discussions restored, and even more excited to have this resource back up and running for everyone to use. Please have a look around and add your cents. 

June 23, 2010

Happy summer to all of our readers across the country and around the world! To kick off the summer, Jeff from The Art of Waiting has launched a contest centered around photobooths that he has invited us to help out with. 


Head over to the contest page to find out more about it, and get going on your entry! 

The Art of Waiting’s summer contest hearkens back to a simpler time. A time when waiting for your betty crocker leftovers to reheat in the sears roebuck oven didn’t seem like an eternity. A time when waiting for the television commercial to end was more of a fascination than an annoyance. A time when waiting 3 minutes for a strip of 4 pictures to drop into the slot was the only option. You know what I’m talkin’ ’bout Willis. Old style, wet chemistry, dip ‘n’ dunk photobooths have a special niche in the analogue photo world, and as a staple of summer carnivals, festivals, and fairs for many decades, they seemed to be an appropriate subject for the summer contest. 

We’ll be back in September with some outstanding entries and the contest results. Get boothing (and waiting)!