THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG

Archive: Art

April 01, 2020

Passing on this sad but not unexpected bit of news from Rafa at Autofoto:

Dear friends,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones well.

We are living extremely disruptive times and need to follow the scientists advice. So we are taking the inevitable decision of postponing the International Photobooth Convention this June. We can assure you we will be holding a convention in London in the not too distant future—we can’t wait to welcome you to our amazing city!

We’ll announce the exact date when we have all recovered and are ready to celebrate

I hope you all keep safe (and sane).

Let’s keep in touch,

Rafa and the AUTOFOTO team

March 05, 2020

June 12–14, AutoFoto is hosting the 2020 International Photobooth Convention. The event will see photobooth artists, technicians, enthusiasts, and historians from around the world descend on London to enjoy the selection of analogue photobooths available in the Capital.

To accompany the Convention, a number of exhibitions will be held in various venues. Consequently, the event organizers are looking for submissions of artwork made in analogue photobooths since 2010. Artwork can consist of a single strip or multiple strips, but must have been made in an analogue, photochemical photobooth. Works made with mixed media will be accepted, as long as the photobooth strip is featured. 

In 2010, Instagram began, and with it, the selfie became a phenomenon. This open call seeks analogue selfies taken in the photobooth, a machine often associated with ID photographs. The machine creates four exposures, one after the other in quick succession, traditionally portraying the head and shoulders shot which has become so integral to identity. But, once the curtain is drawn, this enclosed space allows a freedom of expression. A few of these rare machines still exist, and are being used in creative ways by artists across the world. The event will showcase this work, as well as encourage new work to be made for the purpose of this exhibition.

Submission information:

There is no fee for this submission.
Please submit up to 5 images, 1000 pixels along the longest edge, to ipc20@autofoto.org

Please include where and when the images were made.
Deadline: 1 April 2020

Final Artwork Specification:

Final images must be able to fit in an A3 sized space
Mixed Media is accepted.
Please note selected works may be used for promotional purposes.

Brian | 3:28 am | Art, Community
February 07, 2020

We’re pleased to report some exciting news: 2020 will see another International Photobooth Convention, this time in London, presented by AUTOFOTO, who manage a network of analog photobooths in the U.K. and Spain.

The Convention will be held Friday to Sunday, June 12–14, 2020, in London. As usual, the title is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the event will be a relaxed get-together of people who love analog photobooths, featuring talks, screenings, art projects, and a London photobooth tour. The organizers ask those who plan on attending to RSVP via email.

This announcement is also a good opportunity to report on the last of my 2019 European photobooth visits, back in October. I met Rafa and Marco of AUTOFOTO at the Hoxton Hotel, where we hung out, talked photobooths, brainstormed about the convention, and took some photos in the booth in the hotel’s lobby.

I also stopped by their booth at Mercato Metroplitano, another nice booth in a great location. I was pleased to see a reinvigorated photobooth scene in London, especially after bearing witness to the death of the old photochemical establishment era in shops and post offices back in 2004.



I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting other like-minded photobooth lovers in London in June, and hope to see some of our readers there.

September 21, 2019



We heard the sad news yesterday that photobooth artist, Super 8 filmmaker, and gentle soul (and much more) Herman Costa passed away on September 17. Herman was the first artist we added to the Art section of the site back in April of 2005, in honor of his position as the cover artist of the catalog for the 1987 “Photomaton” art show in Rochester, New York (A Portrait of Neil Gordon, 1986).



When we put on a 25th anniversary edition of the show and reprinted the catalog with updates on all the artists, Herman was not only eager to participate, but he connected me with Linda Duchin, who, along with the late Bern Boyle, put the original show together. Herman’s help was invaluable in making the anniversary edition a success. He was excited to tell, as he put it, “The Full Story of Herman Costa Goes to the Photobooth,” and we printed most of his text in the 2012 edition of the catalog, with a few new photobooth images he’d made since, including this terrific one, Self-Portrait as Matisse in Morocco (1992).

On a personal note, I crossed paths with Herman in my other life as a film preservationist, and just this week finished work on a 1975 film he appeared in, Screentest, directed by our mutual friends Frank and Caroline Mouris. Photostrips can be seen decorating the walls of his apartment, and anyone who has seen his photobooth work will recognize his mischievous personality in the film.





Screentest (Dir. Frank and Caroline Mouris, 1975)

I wish I’d had a chance to show him the newly restored version, in which his scenes of roller skating on the Coney Island boardwalk in winter, and “licking” his mustache off (thanks to Frank’s stop-motion photography) look better than ever. We’ll miss you, Herman.

February 12, 2019



Thanks to a tip from longtime friend of the site Stephanie back in December, we found about a photochemical booth located in the museum shop at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. The booth was brought in to coincide with and help visitors celebrate the exhibition Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again, which opened November 12, 2018, and runs through March 31, 2019.





We had a chance to visit ourselves this past weekend, and not only was the booth working (and quite popular), but of course the exhibition itself is full of wonderful photobooth-based pieces, including some rare gems we’d not had a chance to see before. 

In addition to the photobooth itself, the museum shop offered a number of photobooth-related items for sale, from a postcard reproduction of “Ethel Scull 36 Times”, on the more affordable side, to an empty aluminum can of Kirin beer with a reproduction of Warhol’s 1964 “Self-Portrait” on it ($388). The USPS’s 2002 Warhol postage stamp was also for sale in a few varieties, singly in a lucite box or in a sheet of ten (though they seem torn from their original presentation sheet). If you’re in the area or are planning a visit to New York in the net few weeks, we encourage you to go see the show and take some photos in the booth!

December 08, 2018

As we come to the end of 2018, I’ve undertaken one of my periodic mass updates, in which I finally get to some of the contributions I’ve received over the last six months or so that I never had a chance to do anything with. We’re eternally grateful to our lovely contributors, and I’m only sorry I can’t get to these in a more timely manner these days. These are only there of many I’ve received; hopefully I’ll get to the rest sooner rather than later.

So, today I can report a few new locations. First, a new booth location at a shop in Toledo, Ohio. Second, a temporary booth at the Whitney Museum of American Art, to appropriately accompany an exhibition about the work of Andy Warhol. And finally, the much-delayed addition of an entry for the booth at the Museé de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland. The machine has been there since the wonderful “Derrière le rideau” exhibition back in 2012, but I’d never added it to the directory. Thanks to Maura, Stephanie, and Yannick for their contributions.

The booth at Jupmode is a BW machine located in the conference room off this screenprinting and embroidering shop in Toledo, Ohio. Thanks to Maura for the info and photos of her and her husband’s new machine. 

At the Whitney Museum, a major Andy Warhol exhibition will be on through March, 2019. A photochemical booth is available for visitors to use in the museum store. Thanks, Stephanie!

And finally I’d like to thanks Yannick at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne for sending in a current photo and sample strip from black and white machine that was brought by Anthony Vizzari to the museum on the occasion of the exhibition “Derrière le rideau — L’Esthétique Photomaton” back in February, 2012. The booth has been providing joy to visitors ever since, and perhaps we can hope that the Whitney will follow Elysée’s lead!

February 17, 2016

ipc_2016We’re excited to announce that the International Photobooth Convention, a celebration of analogue photobooths and the art that is created with them, is back in 2016! Our friends Mr. Mixup, Kate Tyler, and colleagues at Fred Aldous in Manchester, UK, will be putting on the event this May. After a few iterations stateside, the convention is returning to its European roots. Here’s the info:

Returning to the UK for the first time in nearly a decade, The International Photobooth Convention 2016 will take place Monday 9 — Friday 13 of May at Fred Aldous in Manchester.

Led by photobooth artists Mr Mixup and Kate Tyler along with Ali Gunn from Fred Aldous, the convention will be a celebration of analogue photobooths through workshops, discussion, exhibition, and film.

Mr Mixup, Kate Tyler and local artists Caroline Dowsett, Aliyah Hussain, Mariel Osborn, John Powell-Jones and Layla Sailor will be running workshops and informal drop-in sessions throughout the convention which will explore the creative potential of the analogue photobooth. Visitors to the convention will have the chance to collaborate with the artists, experiment with different creative techniques and create their own mini masterpieces.

To coincide with Manchester After Hours, on the Thursday of the convention Fred Aldous be staying open late for Freds at Night III. From 6–8.30pm, Fred Aldous and The International Photobooth Convention will be hosting an evening of creative collaboration, photobooth mugshots, 3 minute live portraits and the legendary Freds at Night Risograph zine workshop hosted by Mono print collective.

On the final day of the week between 12–5pm the International Photobooth Convention play host to a Dog Day Afternoon. Visitors are invited to bring their dog in for a free photobooth portrait and to enter into the Fred Aldous Instagram dog show.

Throughout May, Fred Aldous will be exhibiting work by Mr Mixup and Kate Tyler along with artworks created during the course of the convention. The International Photobooth Convention is free and open to all.

The International Photobooth Convention 2016
Mon 9 – Fri 13 May 2016, 9am – 5pm, FREE

Freds at Night III
Thu 12 May 6pm – 8pm, FREE

Dog Day Afternoon
Fri 13 May 12 – 5pm, FREE

Full Convention Programme and workshop booking information announced in late February via fredaldous.co.uk.

December 22, 2014

meags_bio

We first met Meags Fitzgerald at the 2012 Photobooth Convention in Venice, after corresponding via email for four years about photobooth locations around the world (she’s one of our most prolific contributors). At the convention, she told us about one of her many projects, a graphic novel about photobooths, which sounded like an intriguing idea. Two years later, the book is finished. It’s a remarkable accomplishment, and has been deservedly picking up rave reviews since its release. 

We were lucky enough have an early look at the book and an inside peek at how it was made at the 2014 Photobooth Convention in Chicago earlier this year. We may be a little biased, as we make a cameo appearance in the book, but it’s a beautiful and thoughtful look at the history of photobooths as well as the story of Meags’ life-long relationship with these machines and the photos they produce. photobooth_bio_nostalgia As writer and radio host Jonathan Goldstein writes,

Fitzgerald has created something that’s more than candid personal memoir, more than carefully researched cultural history — she’s created a work brimming with that rarest of things: love. That I should use such a word to explain a young woman’s feelings for photobooths certainly sounds improbable and maybe even a little crazy. And that’s precisely why this book is so wonderful.”

You can read reviews and listen to interviews with Meags about her book on her blog.

It might be a little late for Christmas, but for the photobooth lover in your life, we recommend you pick up a copy from Meags’ website.

photobooth_bio

June 24, 2014

convention_merch

It was a busy and inspiring three days in Chicago, and we’re sad to see it go, but the 2014 International Photobooth Convention is now behind us. We connected with friends new and old, talked shop, and of course, took loads of photos. Thanks to Meags for her peerless organizational skills, and to Anthony and the crew at A & A Studios Chicago for hosting the event. Needless to say, we were reminded all weekend how lucky we were to be putting on a photobooth event in a workshop dedicated to photobooths. 

Friday

We had a great turnout for the opening night. The halls were lined with art and we had eight operational photobooths: five chemical (four B&W, one color), as well as three digital machines.

Here’s a ninety-second slice of the opening night: music flowing, booth flashes popping, people having a great time.

convention_art

Saturday

Meags Fitzgerald (Two Hands Two Crowns, Edmonton, AB) kicked off Saturday’s program with a workshop on Photobooth Art Techniques. Participants were treated to an overview of contemporary photobooth art, with discussion focusing on the various techniques employed. Participants were then given a bag of props and tools to make their own pieces.

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Todd Erickson (Photobooth Memories, Minneapolis, MN) and his wife Leslie drove in from Minneapolis to give the “Photobooth Anatomy & Diagnosing Problems” workshop. Todd is the “Photobooth Yoda,” a walking encyclopedia when it comes to the vintage booths and their inner-workings. Not only does he know the booths like the back of his hand, but he has also spent many hours improving the weak links in booth design and construction (improved camera knife springs and magnets in the transmission drain plug, to name a few innovations). If ever there were a photobooth hyper-miler, Todd is it.

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For the mid-afternoon panel, Jocelyn Dean (Portland, OR), Matt Dewalt (Photo-matica, San Francisco) and Rob Oldham (312 Photobooth, Chicago) shared tales from their experience starting and working in a photobooth business. The crowd was regaled with stories of booths mistaken as bathrooms, unsatisfiable customers, and lessons learned.

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The final panel of the day focused on collectors. Ron Slattery (bighappyfunhouse.com, Chicago), Nick Osborne (Square America, Chicago) Nakki Goranin (author of American Photobooth, Burlington, VT), and Brian Meacham (Photobooth.net, New Haven, CT) shared their secrets for navigating the wild world of eBay, finding vintage pictures, and storing them safely.

collectors-ipc14

Brian capped off the evening’s program with an updated version of his “Photobooths in Cinema” talk.

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After shutting down the booths for the evening, a small crowd of 25 photobooth faithful (plus one guy we ran into on the street who decided to join us — thanks, Brad!) all hopped on a trolley later for a photobooth pub crawl, stopping at four Chicagoland photobooth hotspots: The Rainbo Club, The Empty Bottle, Quenchers (A holdover from the 2009 post-convention photobooth crawl), and The Charleston.

Sunday

The day began with a workshop lead by Anthony Vizzari that explored the use of the photobooth camera outside the booth. The group got a tutorial on making their own control boxes as well as a camera wiring diagram. Open air photobooth photos (and a good bit of silliness) ensued.

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The final organized event of the day was a book launch and signing for Meags Fitzgerald’s new graphic novel, “Photobooth: A Biography.” Meags gave a brief presentation describing her process creating the book and signed copies afterward.

meags-book-talk

Read some accounts of the convention from those who were there:

The fine folks of Photo-Matica wrote a nice piece about their experiences at the event. Kyla Herbes at House of Hipsters has a very nice writeup of her time at the convention, as well. Thanks, Kyla and Photo-Matica!

All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. Thanks again to Meags, Anthony, Andrea and the many A&A employees and volunteers who made this convention extra-special. For those of you who missed it, we’ll see you at the next convention in a few years. It usually takes us a few months to even think about the next one, but when we do, you can read about it here.

We’ll close with a great 360° panorama taken with the help (and phone, and app) of our farthest-flung convention attendee, Ksenia, who came all the way in from Wroclaw, Poland. Thanks for the photo, Ksenia!

IPC14_pano

Cheers!

-Tim & Brian

June 06, 2014

We’re putting the finishing touches on the space, the booths, and the activities, and the doors will open in just over an hour. We’re excited to welcome convention-goers to A & A Studios to enjoy photobooths, art, and camaraderie with like-minded photobooth-lovers. We’ll see you soon!

Photobooth Convention prep

Photobooth Convention prep

Photobooth Convention prep

Photobooth Convention prep