THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG

Archive: Projects

December 22, 2014

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We first met Meags Fitzgerald at the 2012 Photobooth Convention in Venice, after corresponding via email for fours year 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.

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June 24, 2014

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Cheers!

–Tim & Brian

June 12, 2014

The convention is over, the booths have gone silent, the merch has been packed up, and Meags’ books have been brought back to the four corners of the globe. We’ll have a recap post before long, complete with photos and video, but for now, here’s a shot of the strips I took (or at least the ones I remembered to bring home with me), as well as some other goodies. It was a convention for the ages, and one we won’t soon forget.

Photobooth Convention souvenirs

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

January 12, 2014

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.

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.

And second, a new black and white machine at the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver, a project by Fotoautomaton.

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.

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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!

July 27, 2013

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Lou Southgate sent us an update on a project she’s been working on lately, a public photobooth project inspired by the work of photobooth pioneer Franco Vaccari.

After Franco Vaccari, 2013 was produced live at my graduation show last month as a homage to the great Franco Vaccari. With my work responding to amateur practices in photography, the work has always been an interest of mine and it was an amazing experience to make! My audience were invited to place their strip on the gallery wall and this took place across 4 days. The work wouldn’t have been possible without the loan and sponsor of an analogue photobooth by Stuart at Retro-me. Stuart and his team were absolutely amazing throughout the install and take down of the exhibition.

All the strips from the exhibition are currently being scanned and will be put on my website over the next few weeks. Further to this, I have started to curate sets from the strips for a future exhibition on Warren Street, London which opens on the 17th of July 2013.

Thanks to Lou for keeping us updated on her work.

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July 26, 2013

We have a brief note today about two exhibitions in Europe that feature the photobooth in one way or another. Thanks to Ole and Les Matons for letting us know about the shows.

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First, at the Vögele Kultur Zentrum in Pfäffikon, Switzerland, is a show entitled “Verantwortung: Zum Temperament einer Haltung,” on now through September 22. The J’adore aglisia photobooth project is part of the show. The project, which we covered back in 2009, is a collaboration between RAFAA and Ole Krestchmann.

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Not so far away in Vichy, France, Instantanés ordinaries have put on an exhibition of photobooth portraits, on view now through September 1. We’d love to hear from readers who’ve made it to either show to hear more about what they were like. Thanks again to everyone who let us know about these events.

June 15, 2013

Apologies all around for the recent dormant spell here on the blog. My photobooth focus lately has been on figuring out how to get my own Model 14 photobooth out of the shed and across the country, rather than the larger photobooth world. During the last month, I’ve finished working at my job in Los Angeles and will be heading to Connecticut to start a new job. Photobooth.net West will become Photobooth.net East again, just as I was when this site started almost ten years ago.

I have a few little additions that have arrived in the last few months to present today, but I haven’t sought out much news, and will continue to be occupied with other things over the next month or so. Needless to say, after a perhaps slightly fallow year for the site in 2013, it looks like 2014 is going to be another busy one here at Photobooth.net. Stay tuned, and we’ll keep you posted.

First, our friend Scot at the Massilon Museum in Ohio sent us a short promo video for their upcoming Warhol exhibition, complete with their lovely black and white photobooth for museum goers to take photos in.

Next, thanks to Tony for sending us an account of his Portland Photobooth Hunt. It was great to read about his travels around Portland, searching for and using photobooths, using our site as a guide. It reminded me of my Chicago Photobooth Marathon a few years back, though his was a good deal more successful than mine.

Thanks to Marco for sending in photos from a new photobooth location, the Hoxton Hotel in London. The booth, an Auto-Photo Canada machine, looks right at home. We appreciate the excellent sample photo Marco sent, as well. Slowly but surely, London is returning to the map in terms of photochemical machines, which we’re very happy to see. And speaking of London booths, Time Out London published a guide to black and white photobooths in London. Thanks to Sophie for the tip.

We also heard from our friend Jan Wenzel recently, who let us know about his new solo show at the Klaus Kleinschmidt Gallery in Wiesbaden, Germany. These new pieces were created in a black and white booth, which is a bit of a departure for Jan.

Jan’s show is currently open, and will run through September 20. If anyone goes to see it, we’d love to hear what you think.

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Tynjanow | Zwölf Porträts (2012) 8 Automatenstreifen
Diptychon als Unikat (Schwarzweiß)
je 42,0 x 62,0 cm (Rahmen)
Verso Signet + Stempel

February 14, 2013

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As we mentioned last week, Berlin and Los Angeles-based artist Fette Sans held an event this past weekend, Fette’s Photo Booth Party, at the Cha Cha Lounge, home to L.A.‘s best color photobooth

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Over the course of the hour or so I was there, more than a dozen people worked with Fette to take strips in the booth that incorporated Fette’s photos, photos those of us brought, and both artist and enthusiast alike.

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I talked to a number of people as we watched, waited, and participated, each of whom was enthusiastic and interested in the workings of the photobooth, and we were all excited by the wonderful quality of the Cha Cha’s pictures.

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Each of us took home our own photostrips from the evening, but I hope at some point we can see scans of the collective work of Fette and her collaborators from this evening.

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Thanks again to Joe for letting us know about the event, and to Fette for letting me sit in and take part. It’s always fun to chat with an articulate and enthusiastic photobooth artist. It was a great evening, and I hope her efforts inspire more photobooth interest and work in the future.

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February 13, 2013

We’ve received a copy of Lou Southgate’s new book How to photograph absolutely everything in a Photobooth, which she recently completed and has made available for purchase on Blurb. The book, subtitled “Volume #1: Elements of the Photobooth,” is an earnest and comprehensive guide to taking pictures in the photobooth, taking into account topics such as framing, focus, cropping, and exposure.

The book primarily uses digital photobooths as its examples, but features a few photochemical strips to demonstrate different possibilities. As Southgate put it in a statement,

The work I make responds to and is influenced by amateur photographic practices — which is to say a practice that survives through a social or seasonal desire (holidays, weddings, christmas). I discovered my obsession for Photobooths when I was looking for a cheaper alternative way into photography and I began this research by testing the Photobooths ability — both analogue and digital — to perform as an everyday camera. This developed across a period of 4–5 months and I was inspired at this point to create a book of my findings.

Southgate also has a Twitter account for the book, talking about the book, historical examples of photobooth art, and other photobooth-related topics.

We look forward to further editions of Southgate’s work. As she says, “Elements of the Photobooth is the first in the series. The following volumes will include people, animals, gardens and landscape.”