THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG

Archive: Site News

January 28, 2011

The newspapers of Australia’s Fairfax Media Limited have hit the stands today with a one‐two punch of photobooth‐related stories by reporter Lindy Percival. First, the bad news: in The Age, Percival interviews Melbourne photobooth proprietor Alan Adler in a piece titled “Future of the old photo booth not so picture perfect” (archived on our site here). Adler, who has been running photochemical booths in Melbourne for nearly 40 years, sees the end of the business in sight, saying “We’re having trouble getting paper at the moment. I’ve got a couple of months’ supply and I’m hoping I get some more, but it’s becoming very expensive … We’ll keep going for another couple of years probably. But I’d sooner be playing with my grandchildren than playing with photo booths.” Here’s hoping he keeps up the booths as long as he can; we know those machines have a lot of fans (see our Melbourne listings here, here, and here).

Then, of course, there’s the good news. In a companion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald called “The strip of a lifetime” (archived here), Percival writes about the enthusiasts and artists who are still using the photochemical booths today, with a timely look at Raynal Pellicer’s book Photobooth: The Art of the Automatic Portrait (which we’ll review soon) and a mention of our site as well. Australia’s photobooths are some of the furthest‐flung examples of the photochemical machine still in use today, cherished by locals and sought out by visitors, and we hope renewed interest thanks to these articles will help them continue well into the future.

January 20, 2011

While it’s a change that probably means more to those of us behind the curtain (get it?) than to our readers, we’re happy to announce that we’ve successfully emerged from a somewhat hairy changeover from Movable Type, the blogging platform with which we began this site back in 2005, to WordPress, something we’ve wanted to do for years but finally had the time and inclination to do recently. Thanks to Tim for all of his technical expertise, to MakeMyBlogPretty.com for their migration walk‐through, and to the creators of the plugins and widgets we used to make the transition as seamless as possible for our readers: Custom Upload Dir, PHP Markdown, Search and Replace, Relevanssi, Wickett Twitter Widget, and Widget Context.

The only changes readers will notice will be for the better, we hope: better searching, fewer missing pages due to crashes on the back end, and so on. We’re still checking through to make sure all of our entries and comments are there, that all of the incoming links to our old pages redirect to our new ones, and so on, so if you see anything fishy, please let us know. We look forward to years of greater stability, flexibility, and creativity in the future. Now, back to those photobooths…

Brian | 12:56 pm | Site News
December 01, 2010

Over the past week or so, we’ve made made additions to nearly every section of the site. The contributions keep rolling in (thanks, dear readers) and we’ve also had a moment or two to delve into the vastness that is the “Photobooth.net To‐Do” folder, shrinking it ever so slightly. Here’s a tally of what’s new:

Photobooth locations:
Barbary, Philadelphia, PA
Highline, Seattle, WA

Album covers:
Stinky Toys, by the French punk band Stinky Toys.

Movies:
The Comebacks (2007)
The Joneses (2009)
A Casa de Alice (2007)

TV Shows:
“Quints by Surprise,” in which the family squeeze into a photobooth at an Amy’s Ice Cream location in Austin, Texas.

TV Commercials:
A JCPenney spot partially set in a photobooth.
A series of three commercials for French social security, all set in a photobooth: Rene, Paul, and Philippe et Isabelle.

Music Videos:
“Touch a New Day” by Lena Meyer‐Landrut

Never Said” by Liz Phair

In Print:
Emily Blunt in a photobooth in Interview Magazine.

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Shots: A Magazine about Fine Photography, a 1989 large‐format photography zine special issue dedicated to photobooths.

July 12, 2010

Last year we took the Photobooth.net discussion forum offline due to a few problems we were having with the software. After a few false starts, we finally settled on a solution that is more robust and easier to use than the old system.

We are happy to announce that the new and improved forum is now live and ready for your questions, comments, thoughts, answers, tips, tricks, stories, and suggestions. We spent a lot of time and effort making sure all the content from the old forum made its way into the new version and that all existing user accounts were maintained, so if you had posted on the old forum at some point, please log in and re‐start your account.

We’ve reset all passwords, so you’ll need to have your password emailed to the email account you first posted with. Contact us if you’re having difficulty accessing your old account.

We’re excited to have all of the old discussions restored, and even more excited to have this resource back up and running for everyone to use. Please have a look around and add your cents.

May 02, 2010

ace_ny_2009.jpgIt’s hard to believe it’s been five years since we officially launched Photobooth.net, but the calendar doesn’t lie. It’s been an enjoyable and interesting five years, and today we’ll take a look back and see what has happened since we began.

About three months prior to the launch of the blog, in January, 2005, Tim contacted me, introduced himself, and asked about collaborating on a photobooth website, having seen a small collection of photobooth locations I had posted on my own site beginning in 2003. By the next month, we were up and running, collecting and presenting photobooth locations around the world, listing the films and TV shows that featured photobooths, and starting a catalog of artists, projects, and articles centered on photochemical photobooths.

As of February 2005, when we began putting the website together and the pre‐cursor to the site was still on my old personal page, here’s what we had:

Take a look through those sections to see how we’ve grown over the years; counting booths that have come and gone since we listed them, we now have more than 350 photobooth locations listed, in a dozen countries around the world.

While the site had its origins in my attempt to visit every photobooth I could, our growth is due in large part to the generous contributions of photobooth fans around the world who have tipped us off, clued us in, and emailed photographs, scans, and information about booths we wouldn’t otherwise get to.

The same is true with the movies and TV shows we list; we now have more 100 movies listed and nearly as many TV shows, with more popping up every month.

Over the years, we’ve documented the two International Photobooth Conventions that have happened in the U.S. since we began, in 2005 in St Louis and 2009 in Chicago. In addition to being great events, these were opportunities to meet photobooth enthusiasts from around the world who have since become friends, including Anthony, Mixup, Danny, Nakki, Siobhan, Carole, Connie, Dina, and others.

The site has also been a way to communicate and collaborate with people we haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting, but hope to one day, including Klaas, Martin, Ira, Marco, Ole, Meags, and Igor.

Looking back, it’s as though we created the site in the knowledge that everything was about to change. I don’t think that’s true, but the photobooth world was a different place in 2005. Photochemical booths could still be found at amusement parks around the country, they weren’t as ubiquitous in bars as they are today, and digital photobooths weren’t a wedding and party juggernaut like they are now.

And for a site that culls most of its information from the internet, it’s tough to overstate the effect that Apple’s “Photo Booth” application has had on the online world of photobooths over the last five years. The program, which was introduced in October of 2005, has now polluted every corner of the web, from Google Alerts, which are now only rarely reference actual photobooths, to the Flickr feed for photos tagged “photobooth.” The feed used to be a great source of information on new photobooth locations, as well as interesting vintage photobooth photos. For the last few years, though, it has become a dumping ground for kids to put up photos from the Apple Store, and a free way for digital photobooth companies to distribute their photos.

The last five years have brought a host of positive changes, as well. When we began our site, the last photochemical booths were being replaced with digital machines all across Europe. From the UK to Switzerland, Italy to Germany, the photochemical photobooth was a thing of the past. But slowly, bit by bit, in Berlin and Hamburg, Paris and London, Zurich and Moscow, we’ve watched the booths return. While the machines seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate in the United States, we’re heartened to see the great work done by the entrepreneurs, artists, and technicians (sometimes all the same person) to keep the booth alive in Europe.

Since the site began, we’ve added a section on Music and revamped our location listings to make them easier to navigate. You may also have noticed that our discussion board, once a thriving place to ask questions and share ideas (and then a cesspool of spam comments), is no longer active. We are in the process of restarting the board, and hope to have it up again soon, alongside a new section on the history of the booth, an improved gallery to share your photostrips, and a place to share technical manuals and instructions for operating and repairing photobooths.

We’re grateful to everyone who has contributed to the site over the last five years, as well as to those who have written in simply to tell us how much they’ve enjoyed it or found it useful. Thanks for reading, contributing, and helping keep the photobooth alive!

December 09, 2009

We say goodbye this week to a few Utah photobooth locations: two different contributors emailed this week letting us know that the veritable bonanza of Utah Kmarts with photochemical photobooths was too good to last. Booths at the Kmarts in Salt Lake City, West Jordan, and Draper are now gone. Thanks to Kylie and Steph for the updates.

We also say goodbye to our old hosting provider this week, and hello to a new one. Hopefully, our readers won’t see anything but a more responsive and reliable site; on our end, things are already miles better.

One more new addition: the appetite for poorly‐faked photostrips on TV seems unsated, and this week we bring you a pseudo‐strip from an October, 2009 episode of Desperate Housewives (who knew that show was still on?).

September 30, 2009

In an article published this week by the Associated Press and picked up by news organizations around the country (and in Canada), writer Ryan Kost takes a look at the current state of photochemical booths from the perspective on the ground at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon, as well as with some words from Tim and myself.

We’ve posted the article in our In Print section, and while it lasts, the article is available at a number of news outlets’ websites: ABC News, Newsday, OregonLive, Artdaily.org, The Asbury Park Press, the Batavia Daily News, and WRAL from Raleigh, North Carolina, among others.

We’re curious if the article is actually in print anywhere, and would love to see a copy if anyone has actually held it in their ink‐stained hands. Thanks to Ryan for the well‐written article (and for not misquoting us), and welcome to those who are visiting us for the first time because of his piece. Have fun looking around!

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Photo: AP/Don Ryan

September 02, 2009

Just in time for back‐to‐school shopping, we’d like to let everyone know about our Photobooth.net t‐shirts, available in a variety of styles and colors for him and her in our Spreadshirt Shop. Tim and I tried out the first versions during the Photobooth Convention a few months ago, and since then, readers all over the world have picked up their own shirts and, in some cases, sent us photos of them in the wild. We know you won’t all have quite such a dramatic backdrop, but if you’d like to send us a photo of you in your Photobooth.net shirt — in or out of the booth — we’d love to see it and post it on the site.

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Thanks to the wonderful Martin and Ira of Schnellfoto in Moscow for the photo.

Thanks to a tip from Stephanie, we see that Time Out New York has updated its somewhat‐annual New York photobooth article. In September of 2007, we noted a Time Out piece called “Strip Mining” that the author, Rachel Sokol, contacted us about as she was researching. Looking at that link again, it seems the 2007 article has been replaced by this new one, with the much more pedestrian title of “The city’s best photo booths,” by Anna Brand. Both articles list photochemical and digital booths, and neither seems to make much distinction between old style and digital. Eight of the eleven booths in the original article were photochemical; now the ratio has slipped to six out of ten photochemical booths in the new piece. The booths are at Otto’s, Lakeside Lounge, Bubby’s, Bushwick Country Club, Union Pool, and the Smith.

We’ve added a new Manhattan booth which apparently didn’t make the Time Out cut, a black and white booth at The Living Room. Thanks to Gabby for the photos and info.

August 01, 2009

We’ve posted the first of the backlog of submissions and new additions to the site since our hiatus; in the true spirit of summer, they’re locations at state fairgrounds and beachside boardwalks.

Check out the black and white photobooths at the Minnesota State Fair in Minneapolis, as well as Jilly’s Arcade and Castaway Cove in Ocean City, New Jersey. Thanks to Tony for the Minnesota booth, and thanks to my friend Molly for doing what no other friend has, and following through on that promise: “Oh, you run a website about photobooths? Next time I see one, I’ll take a picture of it for you.“

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Photo by Molly Wheeler

July 28, 2009

We seem to have taken a bit of an enforced summer vacation here at Photobooth.net, but thanks to some yeoman’s work from Tim, the three major functions of the site — the blog; the databases of locations, art, movies, and so on; and the discussion board — all seem to be back up and running. The discussion board is functioning again, though we’re still working on getting it looking sharp again. We’ll be rolling out a bunch of new locations, films, artists, and so on over the next few days, the backlog from a few months of no postings. Thanks again for your patience.

Brian | 8:03 am | Site News