THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG
September 30, 2014

Fall is in the air, and it’s time to return after our post-convention vacation. Over the past few months, we’ve been chipping steadily away at the big to-do list of contributions, updates, and news from our readers around the world, and we’ve got more in the pipeline.

Later this week, we’ll have a post gathering together all of the new additions we’ve made to the site since June, but for now, I’ll leave everyone with a shot of Milton Berle coughing in a photobooth mirror, from an ad for Vicks Forumula 44 cough medicine (hat tip to @classicshowbiz and Charles for the link).

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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

June 01, 2014

The 2014 International Photobooth Convention is less than a week away! We’re all gearing up for a great event in Chicago, and can’t wait to see the international photobooth community descend on the Windy City for a weekend of art, fun, photos, and hardcore photobooth nerdery.

First, we have an updated schedule:



And second, if you’re interested in signing up for a slot in one of the three workshops offered during the convention, Photobooth Art Techniques, Photobooth Anatomy and Diagnosing Problems, and Photobooth Camera Outside of the Booth, head over to the A&A Studios Store to reserve and pay for your spot now before these space-limited events sell out. You can also purchase a three-day pass to the convention there, but don’t worry, if you don’t do it online, you can always purchase your convention admission in person. We’ll see you this weekend!

May 29, 2014

As I prepare for the 2014 Photobooth Convention and my talk about the history of the photobooth in film, I’ve been adding some updates to our Movies & TV listings.

It’s been awhile since we made a count, and at this point, we now have more than 325 films and televisions shows listed, each one containing a photobooth or a photostrip. Of the 180 films and 146 TV shows, two-thirds of them were released in the last ten years, which is probably more of a result of our having paid attention over those years (and the films being readily available) than any kind of photobooth resurgence. I’m still on the lookout for more films and TV shows from the golden age of photobooths, in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, and I’m always excited when we get a tip about one, like we did for In God We Tru$t. Thanks, Charles!

On the somewhat less interesting side of things — but hey, we’re completists — we have a brief appearance by a photostrip in Ghost Rider, starring Nicolas Cage and Eva Mendes. Thanks to Les Matons for letting us know about this one.

And finally, from a film not even released yet, we have a brief glimpse of a photostrip on a freezer door in the trailer for Joe Swanberg’s upcoming Happy Christmas.

For more on photobooths in cinema, as well as talks, workshops, and all the free photobooths you could ever want, come to the convention in Chicago next weekend! We hope to see you there.

May 08, 2014

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Our friend and longtime photobooth.net contributor, Meags Fitzgerald, just released her graphic novel entitled Photobooth: A Biography which she describes as an “illustrated history meets travel journal.” We would describe it as beautiful and ambitious. Several years in the making, the 280-page book is now available at North American comic shops and bookstores but you can get an author-inscribed copy here. Or better yet, come meet Meags and pick one up in person at the upcoming Photobooth Convention in Chicago.

Congratulations, Meags.

May 06, 2014

Here’s the tentative schedule for the 2014 International Photobooth Convention. It is just under a month away and we are getting excited. Hope to see you in Chicago June 6–8. Details here.

IPC Schedule

April 03, 2014

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Our friends Ole and Asger, founders of Photoautomat, were featured on last week’s episode of BBC’s The Travel Show. It is a great piece and showcases a portion of their beautiful collection of outdoor photobooths in urban Germany.

See the full video here.

February 27, 2014

We’re fresh off another planning meeting for the 2014 International Photobooth Convention, and we’re excited about the plans that are coming together. We’ve got a host of workshops, talks, screenings, and other events lined up, and we’ll be making some more concrete announcements in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, a few things: first, for those of you who haven’t attended one of the previous conventions, we encourage you to check out the recaps and photos from past events here. The term “convention” is used in the loosest possible manner; in fact, it’s downright misleading if you’re expecting vendor booths, name tags, and schwag. Well, there may be some schwag, but it won’t be branded flashlight pens and business card holders.

The International Photobooth Convention is an occasion for enthusiasts, artists, photographers, collectors, and the otherwise intrigued to get together and celebrate the wonder that is the photochemical photobooth. We take photos, engage in collaborative projects, share tips, give talks, play games, make art, and have a great time. Bring your friends, bring your kids, but leave the business plans and stock tips at home.

We’ll close with a shot from inside our host venue, the amazing A & A Studios in Chicago. We can’t wait to see you all there in June. If you’re coming, let us know on the Convention’s Facebook page, and get in touch if you have any questions.

A&A

Brian | 7:00 pm | Art, Community