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.
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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. As writer and radio host Jonathan Goldstein writes,
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“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.
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It’s been a busy few months around here, and as we end 2013, enter 2014, and prepare for the upcoming 2014 International Photobooth Convention, it’s time to take stock of the latest additions to the site.
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We start with Le Photomémo, un jeu de mémoire. This limited edition memory game uses beautiful vintage French Photomaton photos as the cards which players are challenged to remember and match. The game was created by Les instantés ordinaries; check out their site for this and other lovely photo projects. Thanks to Les Matons for sending us a copy!
Next, a few locations. First, another Ace Hotel means another black and white photobooth, this one at the Ace Hotel, Shoreditch. Angelenos, now that I’ve moved from L.A., I’m counting on one of you to visit the new Ace Hotel there and send us info about their booth.
Next, a photobooth at a mall — yes, they still exist! This one is at the Illinois Star Centre Mall in Marion. Thanks to Stephanie for sending us the photos and info.
Please send us your location updates, as the world of photochemical booths is constantly changing, and we can only keep up with your help.
As always, we have a few more TV shows to add to our ever-growing tally, one old and one new. Thanks to Rob and Anthony for tipping us off to a great, fleeting photobooth appearance in the pilot of the “The Fugitive,” the television show that inspired the Harrison Ford film (which also features a photobooth, strangely enough).
And second, from 2012, an episode of the U.K. children’s TV show “Shaun the Sheep,” part of the wonderful family of Aardman creations, in which Shaun has to visit a photobooth when he discovers he’s accidentally been cut out of the farmer’s family photo. Thanks to Katherine for the tip.
Two recent films have been added to our list over the last few weeks, both contributed by our French friends Les Matons. First, from the trailer of Jonathan Caouette’s Walk Away Renee, we see some of the same photobooth photos of Caouette and his mother, Renee, that he used in his first film, Tarnation.
Second, a French romantic comedy, La chance de ma vie, in which a photo-themed rom-com montage features some photobooth-style photos.
Finally, the biggest event for me in the past few months: a visit to Auto Photo Canada in Montréal. For more than ten years, I’d been hearing about the Grosterns and their photobooth business, and I’d always wanted to have an opportunity to visit.
A trip to Montreal in November, which involved cold weather and a lot of free time, offered that chance. After a false start in which I ended up at their old warehouse, which they’d vacated months before, I spent a great afternoon with Jeff and George and their colleagues, talking booths and listening to their great stories.
I’m very grateful to Jeff and George for their hospitality, and for taking the time to show me around the offices, warehouse, and shop. I got to hear first-hand the long and illustrious history of Auto Photo Canada, and see their machines and their process in action. Meags Fitzgerald was working on a project there that day, as well, so it was a nice chance to catch up with her, too. My visit once again proved that the photobooth business is filled with interesting, friendly people, and I was very glad to have had the chance to stop by.
We’ll be planning the Convention in Chicago over the next few months, and will have more updates as soon as they’re available. Happy new year!