June 10, 2010

Last night saw the opening of an exhibition at the Fleming Museum at the University of Vermont called Picture Yourself: The Photobooth in America, 1926–2010. Nakki Goranin, author of American Photobooth, organized the show, and told us a little about what can be found there. The exhibit includes

…my working Auto-Photo 14 and my wooden 1934 handmade photobooth plus parts of a street photographer’s photobooth (circa 1930s)… Many vintage photos from my collections, an original handbook written by Anatol Josepho, one of his original lenses, etc.

We look forward to seeing photos from the event and hearing about how it went. 

June 10, 2010

During the 2009 International Photobooth Convention, we screened a short documentary that takes the viewer on a 3‑minute tour inside a photobooth as a photostrip is being developed. If you have ever wondered what is humming and whirring while you wait for your photo, wonder no more: we finally got around to uploading the short to YouTube. The video is in real-time, so you can see what happens at each stage of the development process. The video might have benefited from a musical score of some sort (a la Sesame Street), but opted instead for the natural sounds of the booth’s inner-dialogue.

June 02, 2010

vienna_booth.jpgWe’re happy to be able to bring a report from the opening of the new photobooth in Vienna we mentioned last month. Thanks to Ole for the report and to Asger Doenst for the top three photos. The final photo is by fashion photographer Josef Gallauer; if only every photobooth operator were lucky enough to have Mr. Gallauer capture them and their booth.

After more then one and a half years of preparation and negotiation, the classic Photobooth found a wonderful spot in the courtyard of Klosterhof inside the Museumsquartier in Downtown Vienna. And it is here to stay.

The booth is accessible daily from 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. 4 Photos 2,- Euros.

On May 21st, 2010 we opened the Photobooth Vienna with a party. Famous actor/director Peter Kern gave a speech and actress Katharina Lorenz gave a little performance before we invited our guests to take a seat inside the newly renovated booth. The party went on until after midnight.




May 21, 2010

Photobooths feature prominently the Seattle Art Museum’s new exhibition on the work of Andy Warhol titled “love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death–Andy Warhol Media Works.”

From the museum’s press release:

The exhibition begins with a group of Warhol’s photobooth strip portraits. These strips of images shot form an ordinary photobooth highlight the flux in personality of the artist’s subjects. Unlike a single-frame portrait, the photobooth strips capture change in movement and facial expressions throughout a series of connected images, revealing the sitter’s personality and creating a story of shifting moods or actions. For instance, in Edie Sedgwick (1965), the Factory superstar who Andy Warhol once said “could be anything you wanted her to be” strikes a series of coyly crafted poses that convey multiple moods, if not multiple identities. The photobooth strips on view in love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death include portraits of celebrities such as Ethel Scull and Gerard Malanga, as well as self-portraits by Warhol in which the artist explores his own personality shifts through a storyline of snapshots. 


In addition to these works by Warhol, the museum has installed a photochemical booth for visitors to enjoy. Museumgoers are encouraged to take a strip of photos, cut off one photo, and leave it on the museum wall.

A Facebook page features photos of the wall of visitors’ photobooth pictures.

For a little more on the show, take a look at a Seattle Times review of the show and an article from The Spectator showing some visitors’ photos. 

Andy Warhol Photo Wall” from Seattle Art Museum on Facebook

May 20, 2010

vienna.jpgSee update at the bottom of this entry.

This week is an exciting time to be a photobooth fan in Europe. Tomorrow, May 21, and Friday, May 22, will see the debut of two new photochemical booths in Austria and Italy.

First, from the good folks at Photoautomat London, we learned about the opening party for the first photochemical photobooth to return to Vienna. The event, advertised here with its “Do it like Andy” Warhol-themed poster, takes place tomorrow night, May 21, at 7 pm. We look forward to seeing photos and hearing stories about the event.

Photoautomat have a page up on their website for the booth, which joins their ever-growing European family.

Secondly, we heard from Marco in Italy letting us know about the booth that will be debuting this Saturday night in Florence. More info about the booth can be found on its website at

The opening begins at 7 pm on Saturday, making it easy for a true fan to get there from Vienna and take part in both events. We’ll have photos and an account of the event as soon as we get it, and will add location pages for both booths next week.

We’re really pleased to see these new additions, especially the first new booth in Austria, and are enthusiastic about the health of the photobooth scene in Europe. Thanks to everyone for letting us know about the news.

UPDATE 5/21/10: First, we’ve found out the new booth is not the first photochemical booth in Vienna, but the third. We’ll be adding entries for the other two soon.

Second, thanks to Ferdinand for contributing photos from the new booth at Pratersauna in Vienna.

Here’s a video of the booth being installed. Thanks, Ferdinand.


May 19, 2010

Just as I was beginning to think more seriously about photobooths back in 2003, Aimee and I visited Montreal and enjoyed the photobooths that seemed to be found in every metro station. We took a set of photos that never made it back from the trip; they slipped out somewhere along the way, and became a sort of holy grail of lost photos which I always held out a little hope I’d find one day.

I never did find them, and we haven’t been back to Montreal since, but we’ve finally added seven new locations around the metro stations of Montreal, thanks to Meags.

A number of these booths feature the square format rather than the strip, a setup which allows for one large photo, four smaller photos of the same pose, or four photos, each a different pose, a set of options which seems unique to Canadian booths.

In addition to the seven Montreal locations, Meags also contributed four locations in Ottawa: St. Laurent Centre, Bayshore Shopping Centre, Billings Bridge Centre, and Ottawa Bus Central Station.

We now have 40 Canadian locations — not too shabby!

May 02, 2010

ace_ny_2009.jpgIt’s hard to believe it’s been five years since we officially launched, but the calendar doesn’t lie. It’s been an enjoyable and interesting five years, and today we’ll take a look back and see what has happened since we began.

About three months prior to the launch of the blog, in January, 2005, Tim contacted me, introduced himself, and asked about collaborating on a photobooth website, having seen a small collection of photobooth locations I had posted on my own site beginning in 2003. By the next month, we were up and running, collecting and presenting photobooth locations around the world, listing the films and TV shows that featured photobooths, and starting a catalog of artists, projects, and articles centered on photochemical photobooths.

As of February 2005, when we began putting the website together and the pre-cursor to the site was still on my old personal page, here’s what we had:

Take a look through those sections to see how we’ve grown over the years; counting booths that have come and gone since we listed them, we now have more than 350 photobooth locations listed, in a dozen countries around the world.

While the site had its origins in my attempt to visit every photobooth I could, our growth is due in large part to the generous contributions of photobooth fans around the world who have tipped us off, clued us in, and emailed photographs, scans, and information about booths we wouldn’t otherwise get to.

The same is true with the movies and TV shows we list; we now have more 100 movies listed and nearly as many TV shows, with more popping up every month.

Over the years, we’ve documented the two International Photobooth Conventions that have happened in the U.S. since we began, in 2005 in St Louis and 2009 in Chicago. In addition to being great events, these were opportunities to meet photobooth enthusiasts from around the world who have since become friends, including Anthony, Mixup, Danny, Nakki, Siobhan, Carole, Connie, Dina, and others.

The site has also been a way to communicate and collaborate with people we haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting, but hope to one day, including Klaas, Martin, Ira, Marco, Ole, Meags, and Igor.

Looking back, it’s as though we created the site in the knowledge that everything was about to change. I don’t think that’s true, but the photobooth world was a different place in 2005. Photochemical booths could still be found at amusement parks around the country, they weren’t as ubiquitous in bars as they are today, and digital photobooths weren’t a wedding and party juggernaut like they are now.

And for a site that culls most of its information from the internet, it’s tough to overstate the effect that Apple’s “Photo Booth” application has had on the online world of photobooths over the last five years. The program, which was introduced in October of 2005, has now polluted every corner of the web, from Google Alerts, which are now only rarely reference actual photobooths, to the Flickr feed for photos tagged “photobooth.” The feed used to be a great source of information on new photobooth locations, as well as interesting vintage photobooth photos. For the last few years, though, it has become a dumping ground for kids to put up photos from the Apple Store, and a free way for digital photobooth companies to distribute their photos.

The last five years have brought a host of positive changes, as well. When we began our site, the last photochemical booths were being replaced with digital machines all across Europe. From the UK to Switzerland, Italy to Germany, the photochemical photobooth was a thing of the past. But slowly, bit by bit, in Berlin and Hamburg, Paris and London, Zurich and Moscow, we’ve watched the booths return. While the machines seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate in the United States, we’re heartened to see the great work done by the entrepreneurs, artists, and technicians (sometimes all the same person) to keep the booth alive in Europe.

Since the site began, we’ve added a section on Music and revamped our location listings to make them easier to navigate. You may also have noticed that our discussion board, once a thriving place to ask questions and share ideas (and then a cesspool of spam comments), is no longer active. We are in the process of restarting the board, and hope to have it up again soon, alongside a new section on the history of the booth, an improved gallery to share your photostrips, and a place to share technical manuals and instructions for operating and repairing photobooths.

We’re grateful to everyone who has contributed to the site over the last five years, as well as to those who have written in simply to tell us how much they’ve enjoyed it or found it useful. Thanks for reading, contributing, and helping keep the photobooth alive!

April 20, 2010

We’ve recently come across an issue of Time magazine from January 1965, featuring a cover by Andy Warhol, using photostrips of teenagers to illustrate a story on the subject in the issue. From Publisher Bernhard M. Auer’s letter:

The cover illustration was done by Pop Artist Andy Warhol, who has made his name and fame by getting his literal renditions of Campbell Soup cans into leading art galleries. Warhol, 33, worked in a five-and-ten as a kid in McKeesport, Pa. For this week’s cover, he took seven youngsters–aged 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19, and all relatives of TIME staffers–to a Broadway arcade, where they posed for pictures in one of these old five-and-ten type camera booths. These pictures were Warhol’s starting point for the cover illustration. We asked him to use the same techniques for the accompanying “self-portrait.”

In the following issue, readers responded to the article, and to Warhol’s art. Here are two such letters:

Sir: Andy Warhol’s cover illustration portrays the antics of monkeys in a sideshow. One might infer that today’s teenagers make a joke of the responsibility inherent in their premature sophistication.

D. R. HUNNEMAN III, New Haven, Conn.

Sir: Your Andy Warhol cover is evocative and refreshing. The squares, unfortunately, won’t pay attention to how he’s manipulated his patterns, and thus will miss the rhythm and wit.

R. C. JONES, New York City

April 19, 2010

Our friend Mixup has sent in this note about the late photobooth artist Jaroslav Supek.

Multimedia artist and writer Jaroslav Supek died after a short illness on 9th July 2009. He was born in 1952 and lived in Odžaci in the Vojvodina region of north Serbia and he took part in many group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally over four decades. 

He shared the Slovak background of Andy Warhol (Warhol’s parents were from Miková in north-eastern Slovakia) and maybe this had a small part to play in his passion for photobooth machines, something which interested Warhol too. 

I had the good fortune to meet him twice during 2004 when I was working on art projects with Saša Marković and we were staging the 6th International Photobooth Convention in Belgrade. He came along to Belgrade to join in the activities and a few days later we travelled to visit him at his home. We spent an afternoon sharing a drink or two and looking through his many works and catalogues and because of his connection with Slovakia he also owned genuine photobooth strips of Andy Warhol. Maybe not the greatest photobooth artist but certainly the most well known so holding them in my hand was a moment to savor.


Of most importance were pieces relating to the 1997 show “First International Exhibition of Photo-Booth Photography” held at the Srecna gallery, Belgrade, for which he was curator, featuring photobooth work from South, Central and North America and all over Europe. I had a small piece showing and although I had been formulating the idea of a regular convention (still two years away) it spurred me on to achieve this goal.

I feel it can be honestly said that Jaroslav was one of ours.


Supek in the booth at the 2004 International Photobooth Convention in Belgrade

March 26, 2010

This is not what I want my relationship to look like.“

Our hats are off to the team behind “The Office” for finally featuring a photobooth on the show, and for doing it right. In last night’s episode, Andy and Erin had a bit of an argument in a photobooth at the bar where the office were enjoying their happy hour. Not only was the photobooth a real Model 21GB (thanks, Anthony), but the strip of photos Andy sadly displayed at the end of the episode was an honest-to-goodness real dip-and-dunk strip from that machine. Well done.