THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG

2012

December 31, 2012

It’s been a busy year for the photobooth. As 2012 comes to a close, we’re taking a look at what the last twelve months have brought in the the world of the venerable photochemical machine, now in its tenth decade of life.

Most notably, this was the year that audiences around Europe got to see the most comprehensive and significant exhibition on the history and art of the photobooth ever produced. Curated by Clément Chéroux, Sam Stourdzé, and Anne Lacoste at the Museé de l’Elysee in Lausanne, the exhibition was titled “Derrière le rideau: L’esthétique du photomaton,” or “Behind the Curtain: The Aesthetics of the Photobooth.” I was honored to be able to contribute to both the printed catalog and the exhibition itself, and I traveled to Lausanne for the opening in February. After Lausanne, the show traveled to Le Botanique in Brussels and then to Vienna, where it remains open for another two weeks at the Kunst Haus Wien.

Back in the U.S., another international photobooth event was on the horizon. Three years after our very successful event in Chicago we hosted another International Photobooth Convention. This time, we gathered two photochemical photobooths and a major collection of world-class photobooth art in the sunny confines of Venice, California, and enjoyed two nights and a day of photobooth fun. Read all about it here.

The 2012 Photobooth Convention led to our first official publication, a 25th Anniversary Catalog celebrating the past and present work of the pioneering photobooth artists who first displayed their art in Rochester, New York in 1987. Limited copies of the catalog are still available for purchase; you can order them here, along with signed and numbered copies of the beautiful poster for the show.

International Photobooth Convention

We finished up the convention with a terrifically fun photobooth crawl in a hired van around Los Angeles.

As we do with every convention, we produced a collaborative project with those who attended. This time, it was a collection of Photobooth Shorts, movies told in just four photobooth frames. We still have a limited quantity of numbered copies left for sale; follow the link to get your copy.

On the site itself, we’ve had a busy year of updates. We continue to discover new photobooth locations ourselves, and learn about them from contributors all over the world. In 2012, we added 48 new photobooth locations, plus countless additions, corrections, and updates to other locations already in our directory.

2012 also proved that the photobooth craze in movies, TV, and print shows no sign of slowing. This year, we’ve added 24 new movies, 22 new albums, 21 new TV shows, 15 new magazine articles, 14 new commercials, 10 new music videos, and six new newspaper articles.

year_end_photoboothThe year also saw 30 entries in our blog, from Jack White’s appearance on ‘American Pickers’ to more recent omnibus recaps of additions to our various collections of photobooth appearances around the world. 2012 also brought our first ever guest blog entry, a travelogue from Meags Fitzgerald about her epic European photobooth adventures. Visit our Archives to poke around the entries from the past year.

If we can read anything into these stats and highlights, it’s that the photochemical photobooth is alive and well in 2012, thanks to the vibrant and committed community of enthusiasts around the world, many of whom we had the pleasure of meeting this year.

Best Wishes from Photobooth.net for a joyous, peaceful, productive, and photobooth-filled 2013! (And Happy New Year from two of the youngest members of the Photobooth.net community, both booth enthusiasts in the making)

December 18, 2012

We’ve got a little bit of everything in today’s update, thanks to people from all over the country and the world who have written us to let us know about photobooth appearances. Thanks to Greg, Andrew, Aimee, Siobhan, Katherine, Meags, and Les Matons for the tips that led to this most recent raft of additions.

First, in the world of film, Nights and Weekends:

Next, the recent adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road:

The Dutch film Left Luggage:

Christopher Nolan’s debut film, Following:

And finally, the French film Scenes de crimes:

Next, in television:

From the UK, a social history documentary show, “The Secret History of Our Streets”:

Dead Like Me”:

And another season brings another episode of “Modern Family” that features a photobooth:

A few commercials:

For Barclays personalized debit cards:

And for the Swiss company Sympany:

And finally, the ever-popular photobooth in a music video:

First, from The Great Park, the video for “I Know What I Make Isn’t Fine”:

From Mano Negra, “Pas assez de toi”:

And from Jim Kroft, “Canary in the Coalmine”:

Brian | 10:09 pm | Movies, Music, TV
November 29, 2012

It’s been pretty quiet on the photobooth news front lately, but the stream of tips about photobooths in movies, TV, advertisements, and beyond has been as steady as ever. Here are a few of the new additions we’ve made over the last few weeks:

New movies:

Tabloid by Errol Morris

The Queen of Versailles by Lauren Greenfield

Celeste & Jesse Forever by Lee Toland Krieger

21 Jump Street by Phil Lord and Chris Miller

TV shows:

A 2001 episode of Malcolm in the Middle

Last week’s episode of “Brickleberry”

Locations:

And finally, a new photobooth at a local favorite, Golden Road Brewing in Glendale.

After assiduously seeking out photobooth locations all across the world, planning itineraries around places where I knew I’d find photobooths for the last ten years, it was a pleasant and unfamiliar surprise to head to a brewpub for lunch and find an unexpected machine just sitting there, practically shouting at me “Shouldn’t you know I’m here?!” I enjoyed a beer and a sandwich and an unexpected set of photos to boot.

October 20, 2012

Next weekend, Anthony Vizzari of A&A Studios and visiting artist Meags Fitzgerald will give the first of three photobooth workshops at A&A in Chicago. Check out the description of each workshop and sign up if you haven’t already. We can’t wait to see some of the work that results from these sessions.

Workshop One: In Front of the Camera : 10/27/2012

This workshop will give you an introductory knowledge of photobooth mechanics and chemistry. A lecture on photobooth art will show you the possible effects you can achieve.We’ll focus on effects you apply before the photos are taken; experimenting with exposures, filters, gels, mirrors, magnification and external light sources.

Workshop Two: Going Beyond : 11/3/2012

We’ll re-contextualize what photostrips can be with a customized backless analog photobooth being built just for this workshop series. (Think…full body photos!) With it we’ll experiment with focus, wide angle lenses and taking photos at a distance. There will be a short lecture on the workshop’s theme so you can start thinking of larger scale pieces.

Workshop Four: Advanced Techniques & Open Lab : 11/10/2012

This open session allows you to plan and produce your own photos, applying all the skills and techniques from the previous workshops. The instructors will be on hand to help you plan and execute your concept.

October 08, 2012

The wonderful exhibition of photobooth art and history known as “Derriere le rideau” opens in its third and final location this week, at the Kunst Haus Wien in Vienna, Austria.

The exhibition has been installed, the booth is set up, and the opening reception is tomorrow, October 9. The exhibition will run until January 2013, and we encourage anyone with an interest who hasn’t had a chance to see it in Lausanne or Brussels to take the opportunity now. The photographs and other works collected in the show will never be assembled in such a way again, and it’s a real sight to see for the photobooth enthusiast.

We look forward to hearing updates from those who attend, and we’d love to post photos and reports from the lucky visitors.

October 06, 2012

We all read of Meags’ epic travels this summer, and now I’ve had a chance to add all of the new and updated photobooth locations she found to our Photobooth Directory. From Chicago to Toronto to Belgium and France, we’ve got updates on a ton of booths, thanks to her sleuthing. Links to all of the updated booths follow.

First, in North America, two new booths in Toronto and an updated booth in Chicago: The Steam Whistle Brewery, home to the only black and white photobooth remaining in Toronto, and the Gerrard Square Shopping Centre; plus a new booth at the Empty Bottle in Chicago,

Across the Atlantic, Meags confirmed, denied, reported, and recounted visits to more than a dozen photobooths. First, we’re very excited to be able to add Belgium to our list of countries with a working photochemical photobooth available to the public. Thanks to the installation of the “Derrière la Rideau” exhibition at Le Botanique, denizens of Brussels now have a lovely black and white machine to enjoy.

Installed and run by La Joyeuse de Photographie, the machine will remain at the museum now that the exhibition has moved on to Vienna.

​​We’ve added a few new French locations thanks to Meags’ visit. First, a gorgeous booth at ​​L​e​s​
​R​e​n​c​o​n​t​r​e​s​ ​d​’​A​r​l​e​s
in Arles. The show ended in September, so we’ve probably lost our chance to visit, but hopefully the booth will find a new permanent home soon.

New booths can also be found at ​​F​o​r​u​m​ ​d​e​s​ ​i​m​a​g​e​s, ​B​a​t​o​f​a​r​, ​​L​a​ ​C​i​t​e​ ​d​e​ ​l​a​ ​M​o​d​e​ ​e​t​ ​l​a​ ​D​e​s​i​g​n, and ​​L​a​ ​M​a​i​s​o​n​ ​R​o​u​g​e, plus a new booth at C​i​t​a​d​i​u​m​.

Meags also provided updates (some booths gone, some still around, some slightly changed) to the following Paris locations: ​P​a​l​a​i​s​ ​d​e​ ​T​o​k​y​o, ​A​u​ ​v​i​e​u​x​ ​S​a​u​m​u​r​, ​​C​i​t​a​d​i​u​m​ ​B​e​a​u​b​o​u​r​g​, C​i​t​a​d​i​u​m​, ​L​e​s​ ​P​r​a​i​r​i​e​s​ ​d​e​ ​P​a​r​i​s​, and ​Cinematheque de Française​​.

Thanks again to Meags for all of these updates. The rest of us have to be content to travel vicariously through her as she visits every photobooth under the sun, and we appreciate her bringing us along with her plentiful and detailed reports.

September 08, 2012

Thanks to Birna Kleivan for sending in a number of articles about the photobooth that she’s written in various Danish, Swedish, and English publications over the years. From the article on the photobooth for The Great Danish Encyclopedia to an interview with Jan Wenzel for an English interiors magazine, she’s covered a lot of territory.

Check out our In Print section for all of the new additions. Thanks, Birna!

August 24, 2012

Thanks to Meags Fitzgerald for this, our first ever Photobooth.net Guest Post:

I’m back and settled in after a three and half week photobooth-themed trip to Europe. For a few months I’ve been researching material for a graphic novel I’m writing & illustrating about photobooths, Photobooth, A Biography. I’ve been following photobooths during my travels for years now, including a trip to Europe in 2009, so I was uncertain how much more I would learn for the book on this trip. Any hesitancy I had was quickly cleared up as this trip proved to be a gold mine of information and adventures.

I started by seeing the art exhibition Derrière le Rideau: L’esthétique Photomaton in Brussels. This is the same show that opened in Lausanne, Switzerland in February and will be in Vienna in the fall. It was this exhibit that spurred the whole idea for the trip. I spent one full day in the exhibit, studying each work and making notes.

La Joyeuse de Photographie (Camille and Igor) installed a black and white booth at the gallery and while I was there it never seemed to get a break. This is the only booth in Belgium, and it has been such a hit that rumor has it that it will stay at the gallery permanently.

Next I headed to Paris, where I stayed with my friend Marion, who helped me immensely with the gaps in my French. I did go to French immersion school when I was little, but as it turns out that that level of education is only helpful if you need to have conversations about school supplies or need permission to go to the water fountain. Marion and I were true photobooth detectives; we visited every Paris location listed on Photobooth.net. We found that about half of the listings are no longer there and uncovered a few that haven’t been listed yet.

Highlights in Paris included an interview I did with one of the curators of Derriere le Rideau, Clement Cheroux. Clement works for the Centre Pompidou and to my surprise, when I arrived there I saw this mural on the wall adjacent to the gallery. The high contrast style and little red arrow looked familiar to me, and sure enough I knew of the artist. The mural is by Jef Aerosol who had several pieces in the exhibition at the International Photobooth Convention this May.

Digital photobooths can be found everywhere in Europe because the photos can still be used for passports and driver’s licenses. I was surprised by the slickness of this digital model, so much so that I couldn’t help but use it, despite my general aversion towards digital. I found out later that it was designed by French superstar designer Starck. His concept was that the seat is the heart of the machine, so the light within it slowly pulses, which effectively lures you towards the machine. (It worked in my case.)

Another highlight was a booth that was made by Eddy from Fotoautomat France last year for the photography exhibition/convention in Arles, France. It now lives (supposedly permanently) in Les Forum des Images in central Paris. The booth has a higher ceiling than usual and no backing. Unfortunately Eddy was out of town when I visited and it was out of order so I didn’t get to use it. It’s still a gorgeous machine though.

In Paris I visited all the booths by La Joyeuse de Photographie and met up with Camille for an interview. It’s sorta funny to use their booths, which all come from my homeland, Canada. I also met with artist Marc Bellini and he filled me in on some interesting projects he’s got on the go.

Next I went to Amsterdam and made an excursion out of the city to visit Peter and Ina’s collection of vintage American arcade machines. They are amazing people and their collection is stellar. They have a beautifully restored Model 11, which they’ve altered slightly to take digital photos, but in the future it can be switched back to take chemical photos again.

I was told that there are no wet chemical booths operating in the Netherlands and this largely has to do with restrictions on the chemicals, which cause health problems. The chemicals are too difficult to purchase and bring into the country, and furthermore it’s expensive and difficult to safely dispose of the chemicals. It’s because of this that I thought there wouldn’t be much to see in this part of Europe… I was wrong.

On my last day in Amsterdam I impulsively decided to visit the Prontophot warehouse, a two hour train and bus ride away from the city. I knew that the company has been all digital for seven years, so initially I didn’t plan on visiting, but then I got word that they had a few old rare models. By the time I got there it was after closing but Peter (a different Peter) happily stayed late to talk with me for a few hours. They had an old American Model 11, which was funny to see with Dutch signage. The real gem though was this Fotoautomat Model 9 from Zurich from 1963. The booth is huge and extremely heavy. Peter told me it was the only intact model left in the world. It also appeared in the 1998 film, Left Luggage. I did an illustration of it for my Photobooth Portrait series, which you can see here.

Next I headed to the South of France to interview Les Matons, an artist couple in Nimes. I really enjoyed talking to them about their approach to their practice and was fascinated by the scale of the projects they’ve done with photobooth pictures. From Nimes I went to Arles, a small town with a large photography exhibition/convention.

I heard through the grape vine that Fotoautomat France installed another specially designed booth at the convention again this year, I visited it a few times. While walking around town I saw a few of these large prints of photobooth pictures glued onto walls. By chance, the last time I went to visit the booth I bumped into the technician, whose name also coincidentally happens to be Peter. We chatted about technical stuff and I asked him if he knew what the posters were about. They’re part of a project by the well-known French artist JR.

I’ve since looked up his work and this project Inside Out and I’m totally amazed by it and would like to participate myself.

Next I headed to Florence, where there are two booths by two different companies. It was super hot in Italy and so I couldn’t help but be curious about what the heat does to the water, chemicals and mechanics of the booth. The poster on this booth, which gets direct sunlight was essentially melted.

While in Florence I met with Matteo of Fotoautomatica, who has restored and operates several booths in Italy. I was awed by his artisanal craftsmanship, his booth was meticulously clean and expertly constructed.

From there I visited a small town, Cesena, to visit a Canadian booth at a photography studio. I stayed with the nicest photobooth lovers you could find, Michele and Cristina. I had a few more plans that fell apart at the last minute, partially due to language barriers and because in August everyone in Italy apparently goes on vacation.

I came back to Halifax with a whole lot of insight and a bunch of goodies too. My suitcase got pretty heavy by the end, especially with books. Now I’m preparing to temporarily relocate to Chicago to do an internship with A&A Studios. From there I’ll make trips to New York and to Vermont to visit Nakki Goranin. After that, in theory the research for my book should be finished… though I have this nagging thought in the back of my head that I should really try to sneak in a visit to England, Germany and Austria in 2013. We’ll see!

July 17, 2012

We’ve finally returned all the artwork and cleaned up the supplies and props from the two days of fun and photos that were the 2012 International Photobooth Convention, but there was one thing left to do: collect and publish the amazing photostrips made by everyone as part of the “Photobooth Shorts” collaborative project.

For those who haven’t attended a recent convention, the collaborative project is something we do each year, a collective effort based around a particular theme or subject. In 2005, St Louis photobooth enthusiasts tackled four different moods in a piece called “Emotions.” In 2009, photobooth convention-goers in Chicago answered questions posed in photostrips made by photobooth fans in Moscow in a project called “Fotomost: Moscow-Chicago Space Bridge.”

This year’s project asked participants to tell the story of a film in four frames of a photobooth, using whatever was at hand including costumes, signs, props, and random strangers. I think everyone had a lot of fun coming up with ideas, and the resulting strips are hilarious, clever, and surprisingly evocative.

I picked up the finished booklets from the printer today, and they look great. They’re professionally printed and bound in full color, in a limited run of 100 numbered copies.

If you contributed a photostrip and want to have a memento of the project, or if you missed out and would like to see the results of our work, we’re happy to ship one your way for $8, postage included ($10 international), to cover the cost of printing and postage.

Choose your shipping destination and click the button to go to PayPal, or contact me to make other arrangements.

June 15, 2012

One more entry this week to shed some light on what we’ve been adding to the site lately, this time focusing on new photobooth locations. We only have a few to add, but each is noteworthy in its own way.

First, we start with an old faithful, the booth at the Lakeside Lounge in New York. After the news broke in April that the Lakeside was closing, concern for the photobooth was second only to the grief about the bar itself. Thankfully, the owners found a new home for the booth, not too far away at the Hi-Fi Bar. The booth is a legend in the East Village, and we’re glad to see it’ll still be serving up great photos even after the sad demise of its former home.

Next, we’ve heard from Matteo that he’s installed another photochemical booth on the streets of Italy, this time on Via Squadroni in Reggio Emilia. Picturesque, indeed.

And finally, thanks to last month’s photobooth crawl, we finally had the opportunity to check out the booth at the Satellite here in Los Angeles. Now, it was in need of some attention and wasn’t turning out photos when the busload of photobooth lovers stopped by, but we trust it’s back in working order now, and I hope to visit again soon and take some photos.