THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG

2012

June 14, 2012

We’ve added a number of new photobooth sightings to our Music section, including both videos and album art. First, and most recently, the new video from the Walkmen, for their song “Heaven.” Thanks to Daniel for the tip.

We also heard from director Patrick Bossé, who was kind enough to let us know he used our site in putting together his video for the song “On fait quoi?” by Julien Pilon.

A few weeks ago, we added a video for the song “You Can’t Get into My Head” by Tatana (feat. Natalia Kills) which features a real booth and real photostrips.

In the world of photobooth photos in album art, we have a few new additions. First, King Khan and the Shrines:

NRBQ’s debut album:

And finally, an LP re-release of an album by Gareth Williams & Mary Currie from the 1980s, Flaming Tunes

Brian | 7:53 am | Music, Site News
June 13, 2012

It’s time to get some of these PDFs, scans, and links sitting in my To-Do folder up on the site in our In Print section. First, thanks to Victoria for letting us know about an article in the magazine Strongbox. It’s a nice piece, and features work and comments from Victoria, Marco, and others about what the photobooth means to them.

More recently, the trip to Switzerland yielded a few pieces for the site: first, the weekend guide section of the Lausanne paper Le Matin featured a nice two-page spread about the Musée de l’Elysee’s photobooth show.

I even had one moment of unexpected photobooth-ness, coming across these photos, taken in the Zürich booth, for Zett Magazine, a publication of the Zurich University of the Arts.

Boston’s Weekly Dig used photostrips on the cover of their nightlife issue back in February.

And thanks to Les Matons for more great contributions from France. This time, they’ve sent in a scan of a comic by Tronchet, showing his character Raymond Calbuth on vacation in a series of photostrips.

June 11, 2012

Today, we’ve got a raft of updates in our TV and Commercials sections, thanks to our helpful readers.

First, the second appearance by a photobooth, this time a real Model 14, in the show “The Big C.” Thanks to Anthony for the tip on this scene, in which one character protests “photobooth discrimination.”

I’ve been catching up on the excellent new show “Girls” lately, and Hannah (Leah Dunham) and Marnie (Allison Williams) have at least three photostrips in their apartment, as seen in episodes 2 and 5:

I finally came across a copy of the Weird Al Biography from A&E, in which we see a number of photobooth photos of a young, not yet weird Al with his mom.

Thanks again to Anthony for telling us about the episode of American Pickers with Jack White in which the guys trade a mounted elephant head for one of Jack’s photobooths (you’ve got to see it to believe it).

And just last night, on the second episode of the new series “Longmire,” a photostrip provided a clue in the death of a girl. Thanks to Gary for the tip on this one.

I’ve also added updated, higher quality images for some of the first TV shows I posted to the site back in 2005: Roswell (I had no idea that was Katherine Heigl…), As Time Goes By, and The X‑Files.

In the world of commercials, I spotted one running on ESPN a few days ago, an ad for Corona Light featuring the adventures of everyman Stan, shown in a series of still photos. Once Stan has a Corona Light, his life gets more interesting, and he finds himself in a photobooth. Of course.

And finally, thanks to Siobhan for tipping us off to two ads (adverts, I suppose) from the UK, for the TV show “Take Me Out,” and for Thinkbox, an ad which stars Harvey and Rabbit.

June 10, 2012

Now that the Convention is over, the art has been returned, the wrap-up has been written, and my office is getting back to normal, I’ve had a chance to uncover a lot of updates and contributions that I hadn’t had a chance to post in the last few months. Over the next few days, I’ll be making note of all of the new content on the site, starting today with Movies.

First, we have Christopher Nolan’s first feature film, Following (1998), which features a photostrip. Thanks to Russ for the tip.

Our friend Tara tipped us off to a photobooth in Step Up 3, where two characters take refuge to get away from a dance club fight.

Thanks as well to found photobooth pioneer Dick Jewell for letting us know about a photostrip spotted in Danis Tanovic’s film L’enfer.

And finally, I’ve updated the entry for The Mambo Kings with higher quality images for the film’s photobooth sequences. The film uses a nice booth and even makes photostrips into an editing tool, so I’m happy to have been able to replace the horrible VHS transfers from 2004 with new stills from DVD.

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.

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 our 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.