THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG
June 09, 2012

2012 International Photobooth Convention

The photobooth crawl was one of the parts I was most looking forward to as the Convention approached. Andrea came up with the idea when we were all in Lausanne earlier this year, and I knew we had to make it part of the event. Los Angeles has a lot of photobooths, the best way to get around the city is to drive, but driving in L.A. is also no fun. Why not get everyone together and pay a professional to drive?

We all met at Mohawk Bend in Echo Park, a relatively new restaurant with great food and an amazing beer selection that is also home to a black and white photobooth. By the time the giant bus arrived, we had dined, taken photos in the booth, and witnessed a partial solar eclipse out on the sidewalk. What a day! We had 18 enthusiastic photobooth lovers on our massive bus with blacked-out windows and leather benches, people who had traveled from France, the UK, Austin, Portland, Chicago, and St Louis, as well as a number of local Angelenos.

After Mohawk Bend, we headed for West Hollywood and the Churchill, where we took a bunch of photos and had the whole upstairs of the bar to ourselves. I tried taking a strip, but the machine seemed conk out at that moment from a sudden burst of activity, so we moved on.

From the Churchill, we headed back east to the Cha Cha Lounge. This place has always been a favorite of mine, and I think everyone on the crawl really enjoyed it, as well. A color booth with a custom facade and photostrips for just $2? What more can you ask for? Everyone had a good time taking photos and having some drinks, but before long, it was time to move on.

Edendale was our next stop, a bar and restaurant in Silver Lake, located in an old fire station. We took the long way, to say the least, to get there, as our driver got us into a little GPS-induced trouble. The streets around Silver Lake can be tricky, and our route to Edendale found Tim and I out on the street, waving the bus on as it slowly backed out of a dead end with a too-tight corner. Once we got to the bar, we were ready for more photos. The booth was working fine, people took a lot of photos, and we even spotted Marisa Tomei, checking off a big to-do item for some of our visitors…

We headed to the Satellite next, a venue I’d been to when it was Spaceland, but hadn’t visited recently. The booth was sadly out of order, our first miss of the night. It wouldn’t be a photobooth crawl without a non-functioning machine, though, right? We reconvened on the bus and headed to another must-visit location, the legendary Short Stop. When I visited during my dry run, it was out of order, but I was hoping it had gotten a visit from the technician.

No such luck, and we were faced with our second out of order machine of the night. I was hoping at that point to bring everyone downtown to Bar 107 so we could all endure a pat-down in order to use a photobooth, but we didn’t have the time. With just a few minutes left on our scheduled time, we headed back to Mohawk Bend and took a bunch more pictures. Our minor disappointment at not hitting as many booths as we’d have liked was quickly forgotten when we heard someone mention “Photobooth.net” while waiting for his photos to come out. “Hey,” I said, “We’re Photobooth.net!” Turns out Sim was a big fan of our site, and we had a great time talking to him and taking some photos together. Everyone took group shots to remember the evening by (like the one here, with the gang from La Joyeuse de Photographie, who came all the way from Paris for the event), and we had a great time hanging out.

The evening was a great success, and I hope we can replicate it the next time around, wherever the next International Photobooth Convention may be. We’ve posted a Facebook album of photostrips I took during the Convention and the crawl, and another Facebook album of Pocketbooth photostrips from Tim’s iPad, taken at both the Convention and on the bus during the crawl.

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