THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG

May, 2012

May 31, 2012

I’m still in the process of cleaning up the props and supplies that litter my office, and I pack up and ship another piece of art to a contributing artist each day, but the 2012 International Photobooth Convention has come and gone, and it’s time to put down in words and pictures what happened.

After months of planning, the convention began for us with a get-together on Thursday night at my house for some people who had come in from out of town. It also provided an excuse for me to get Anthony over to repair my booth, so we could all take photos in it before the evening was over. It was great to see old friends again, and get to know new ones.

2012 International Photobooth Convention

Earlier in the afternoon, we had a visit from Roman, down from San Francisco with his beautiful Model 11, which Anthony, Tim, and I checked out enviously as it sat in my driveway.

International Photobooth Convention

International Photobooth Convention

Though it wasn’t ready to produce photos yet, Roman was kind enough to bring his booth to the Electric Lodge so convention-goers could admire it during our Friday opening.

On Friday morning, Tim and I loaded all of the materials I’d collected at my house into the car and headed over to the Electric Lodge to get things ready. As we starting setting up and hanging art, Jim and Raul from Foto-Mat and Mike from Classic Photo Booth both arrived with their photobooths and brought them into the Lodge.

We couldn’t have done this event without them, and it was not only wonderful to have both a black and white and a color machine on hand, but it was a real pleasure meeting and talking to the guys. Watching their different techniques for moving, unloading, and setting up the booths was a special bonus for those of us who have done it once or twice (or a hundred times) ourselves.

2012 International Photobooth Convention

2012 International Photobooth Convention

The 25th Anniversary of the seminal PHOTOMATON photobooth art show was a big part of the convention, and we spent most of Friday afternoon hanging the art on the walls of the lobby, the stairs, and the upstairs area of the Electric Lodge. The folks at the lodge were extremely helpful, especially Lavinia, Lexie, and Jenny, and we had a secret weapon in our midst, a woman who confessed to having majored in hanging art, Meags Fitzgerald. I’m not sure what we’d have done without her; we didn’t know we needed her when we began the project, but it became clear how helpful she was once we got down to work. Meags and her gung-ho friend Kory along with Anthony, Tim, and I got all of the art up before the 7:00 opening, while another group of people entirely were taking care of the studio space.

2012 International Photobooth Convention

2012 International Photobooth Convention

2012 International Photobooth Convention

Aimee and Leslie took care of making the merch display a dizzying array of colorful collectables, while Leslie’s husband Keith, a.k.a. DJ National Geographic set up his turntables and speakers to give the evening a soundtrack. They also took care of our wine and soda setup, while our kids played together and occasionally misplaced a toy…

International Photobooth Convention

We opened at seven, and had a steady stream of people throughout the night. The same thing that always happens at these events happened, in which I man the front desk or get wrapped up in some other thing going on and don’t really get to engage in the actual activities of the event, but I think people were having a good time. It’s tough to underestimate what a great addition DJ Nat Geo was for this convention. We can now never go back: every event from now on needs a live DJ. He made the whole thing feel real, and I know everyone was appreciating his thoughtful selections. Thanks, Keith.

It was a fun night: we got to meet a lot of people, we gave away some raffle prizes, and people took a lot of photos before calling it a night around 10:30.

International Photobooth Convention 2012

International Photobooth Convention

International Photobooth Convention

On Saturday, we took care of a few last-minute things that needed fixing before we opened again at 3:00 pm. I set up the looping show of photobooth clips going in the theater upstairs, and we began to hype our collaborative art project. Conceived hours before the show opened and begun timidly that night, the project exploded on day 2 as dozens of convention-goers took the challenge of telling the story of a movie in four frames. Costumes, expressions, props, and text bubbles were all put to very creative use, and we collected the results at the end of the day. We’ll be publishing a pamphlet of the resulting work, hopefully sooner rather than later. Watch this space…

Anthony offered another one of his fascinating workshops, this time taking photobooth photos and creating cyanotypes, exposed in the Southern California sun. Everyone enjoyed the project and their results.

2012 International Photobooth Convention

2012 International Photobooth Convention

2012 International Photobooth Convention

It was great to see friends and families stream in on Saturday, and we had a steady crowd of twenty or so people, all day long. I gave a talk on Photobooths in Cinema upstairs that was well-attended, and Tim and I got to relax a little and talk to the folks who had come for the afternoon.

It really was an amazing gathering of photobooth enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, technicians, and artists. The brain trust of photobooth experience in that room on Saturday was formidable. It was really great to meet folks we’ve long corresponded with, like Sam in Pasadena, Johnny in Sacramento, and Joe in L.A. It was also a nice surprise to see Robin from Foote Photos again, whom I’d last met at the Orange County Fair three or four years ago. I wish we’d been able to have everyone sit down and tell their stories. It would have been a fascinating conversation.

2012 International Photobooth Convention

2012 International Photobooth Convention

Before we knew it, it was 10:00, there was a dog in the photobooth, and it was time to close up shop and begin the long process of taking down the art we’d hung up just over 24 hours before. Note to self: next time, use a combination of less art up for a longer period of time, you’ll appreciate it. We got the booths broken down and cleaned up and out of the way, and said goodnight to the Electric Lodge, which turned out to be a perfect place to hold our little event.

2012 International Photobooth Convention

I can’t thank Aimee, Tim, Anthony, Andrea, Meags, Kory, Mike, Raul, Jim, Keith, and Leslie enough for making the event a success. Also, a special thanks to our guest, PHOTOMATON artist George Berticevich, down from San Francisco to take part in the celebrations, and to all of the artists who contributed their work to this show. Thank you to everyone who attended, took part, took photos, and contributed to our project. We hope you enjoyed it, and we’ll see you next time.

If you’d like to purchase one of our limited edition posters or PHOTOMATON show catalogs, I’d be happy to help.

More of my photos on Flickr, and if you have photos from the event on Flickr, please add them to our 2012 IPC group pool. Up next, a recap of our Los Angeles Photobooth Tour.

May 29, 2012

As we look back on everything that happened during last week’s International Photobooth Convention, we’ll be posting recaps of all of the events that took place, the people we met, and the experiences we had during the three days. It was an ambitious event, and we used the occasion to debut a few of own contributions to the world of photobooth media. We’ll now be making those items, namely the convention poster and the Photomaton 25th anniversary catalog, available to the public.

Our poster is a beauty, designed by Jared Purrington and printed at Level Press in Los Angeles on French Paper. The poster is signed and numbered in a limited edition of 100. The poster is $20 plus postage and handling.

The poster will be shipped to you rolled in a sturdy tube.

The catalog for the PHOTOMATON 25th Anniversary show is a professionally printed and bound 36-page work that combines original biographies and artwork from the original 1987 catalog, which is now quite scarce, with updated information and images on every artist who participated in the original show. The catalog is also in a limited edition of 100, and is $15 plus shipping and handling.

Choose US/Canada or International and then click the image to purchase the item. I’m happy to ship multiple copies of either or both items, but due to the fact that the poster will be shipped in a tube, we need to charge separate shipping costs for each type of item. Please with any questions. If you’ve written me before to reserve an item, I have them set aside for you, but please click through the PayPal links to set up payment and provide me with your shipping address.

May 21, 2012

International Photobooth Convention

The Convention is over, but the memories will live on… Last night, a bus full of photobooth enthusiasts pulled up in front of Mohawk Bend in Echo Park after a four hour point-to-point tour of half a dozen L.A. area photobooths. We lingered on the leather seats while finishing off cheap beers, exchanging stories about faulty bill acceptors and shoeboxes full of photostrips. We told stories, showed off tattoos, and thought about the next convention. We’d had a raft of authentic L.A. moments — getting stuck in traffic in West Hollywood, spotting a celebrity in Silver Lake, and getting lost and having to back a forty-foot bus up a hill — and had also had our share of booths of all kinds: working, sort of working, and out of order. We met a lot of great people, we had a blast, and we even ran into a Photobooth.net fan, completely at random, who was so enthusiastic about the site that he seemed like he’d been planted there to boost our confidence.

We’ll have a full write-up on the convention soon, but the short version is this: a lot of really great people came together to celebrate the photobooth and had a good time taking photos, talking shop, making friends, and being creative. We have a lot of people to thank and stories to tell, and we’ll get to it all once we have a minute.

IMG_8417

May 18, 2012

It’s been a long day and a great opening night at the Convention. More news and photos tomorrow; needless to say, it’s been a huge success already. Great people, great photos, great art, and a lot of fun.

Brian | 11:46 pm | Art, Community
May 14, 2012

It’s Convention Week here in Los Angeles. I received the last three packages of art today (from New York, the UK, and France) and the last-minute preparations are underway. This is shaping up to be the most ambitious Photobooth Convention I’ve been involved in, with an international art show, attendees from at least four countries, a printed catalogue, a post-event chartered photobooth tour, screen printed posters, a ton of raffle prizes, even a DJ. It’s my hope that at least most of what we’re planning comes off, but the real goal of the convention is to get people together and share a good time in and around these machines we love.

I’ve been heartened but not surprised by the helpfulness and enthusiasm the Photomaton artists have shown me, and their artwork, as it has slowly arrived over the last month, is really impressive. I hope people make the trip to come see the show; you’ll see things from private collections, pieces created just for this show, and other amazing works you’re never going to see anywhere else. Right now, outside the Musée de l’Elysée, I probably have the greatest collection of photobooth art in one place right now in my office. I can’t wait to put it up and on display for everyone to see.

May 09, 2012

We’re just over a week away from the beginning of the 2012 International Photobooth Convention, for which we’re making what can only be described as feverish preparations. The booths are lined up. The shirts are ready. The posters are ready. The art is arriving. The catalog is being printed. The raffle prizes are being gathered. And soon, people will be flying from Paris and Nottingham, from Chicago and St. Louis, to join us in Venice for a weekend of photobooth fun.

While I have a second before full-tilt convention mania hits, I wanted to post about a new location we learned of this week: following quickly on the heels of the news about the new booth at Netil House in London, Paul Walker at the legendary Fred Aldous shop in Manchester let us know about their beautiful Model 17, now installed and working in their shop. We’re excited to learn about a third photochemical machine in the UK, and we hope more will join these three pioneers.

May 02, 2012

London’s getting a new photobooth, thanks to the gang at Photoautomat. Check out their blog for all of the details on their opening, which will take place tomorrow, Thursday, May 3 at Netil House.