THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG
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
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.

Auto Photo Canada

Auto Photo Canada

Auto Photo Canada

Auto Photo Canada

Auto Photo Canada

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!

December 11, 2013

We are very excited to announce that the 2014 International Photobooth Convention will be held at A&A Studios Chicago, June 6–8, 2014. Organized by our longtime friend and collaborator (and designer of the convention announcement) Meags Fitzgerald, yours truly Tim and Brian, and Anthony Vizzari of A&A Studios and host of the 2009 Convention in Chicago, the event will bring together photobooth enthusiasts, artists, experts, and the generally curious for a weekend of experimentation, collaborative projects, talks, screenings, and a book launch.



Visit the convention page and RSVP for the event on Facebook.

More details to come in 2014. We look forward to seeing you all there!

October 07, 2013

We have a few updates today as we head into fall. Thanks to Brad for letting us know about his Model 14, rescued from near-death in Wisconsin and restored by Brad with help from Anthony at A&A Studios Chicago, now up and running at The Junction Diner in Forest Park.

Thanks to our Canadian correspondent Meags Fitzgerald for another update from our northern neighbors. First, two booths we haven’t had listed before in Montréal: first, at Korova Bar, a color machine with a customized cabinet.

And second, another one of the many booths in the Montréal Metro, this one at the Sherbrooke Metro station.

Secondly, we have some belated news about Meags’ stop-motion photobooth short film, LaCuna, which screened last week at the Edmonton Film Festival, and won! Congratulations to Meags for her film being named Best Animated Short film.

I apologize for being late to the game on this momentous news; if I had my way, I’d be live-tweeting and up-to-the-minute blogging on all sorts of photobooth news, all day long, but it’s been a busy summer and fall, and it seems like keeping up with the news was the first casualty. I have to say, though, as things begin to calm down during winter, we have a lot of interesting stuff coming up, and 2014 promises to be another big year on the photobooth front.

September 27, 2013

Thanks to Tim Mantoani, a photographer in San Diego who owns a lovely Model 9 photobooth which we visited in 2008, for letting us know about his newest venture, Snap Apparel. This photography-themed clothing shop includes a shirt featuring his booth, so if you can’t visit the machine, you can at least carry a picture of it around with you.

snapapparel

Thanks also to Les Matons for another gem of a find, an extended sequence in a photobooth from a 1982 film starring one of my favorite French actors, Lino Ventura, called Espion, lève toi.

Check out more stills from this sequence in a Swiss Prontophot booth in our Movies section. Keep your contributions coming, everyone!

August 31, 2013

The long (and long-awaited) renaissance of the photochemical booth in Europe continues with new booths in Manchester, England and Florence, Italy. Thanks to Paul at Fred Aldous and Matteo with Fotoautomatica for keeping us updated on their latest additions.

The new color photobooth at Fred Aldous joins their lovely black and white machine, which they installed last year. It’s great to see a full complement of black and white and color booths in the north of England. With these booths in Manchester and London covered as well, plus a booth in Dublin, we just need some booths in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to round out the Isles.

Fotoautomatica adds to their stable of black and white machines in Florence with a new machine on Via del Proconsolo (pictured at right). We’re excited to see the proliferation of machines in Italy, and we can make a Photobooth.net pilgrimage to visit them some day.

July 27, 2013

after_vaccari_01

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.

after_vaccari_02

after_vaccari_03

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.

voegele

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.

vichy

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.

wenzel_2013

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

April 08, 2013

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a chance to post news on the blog here, but that doesn’t mean the site has been dormant. On the contrary, we’ve had additions to the site in almost every category over the last few weeks. We’ll take a look at new locations, movies, TV shows, newspaper articles, and album covers today.

First, a bit of history:

In a February 1970 Los Angeles Times interview with singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb, the author describes Webb’s upcoming album this way:

…[A]nother current project is a new album, with Webb compositions sung entirely by Webb. Jim’s been working on the recording for about six months: he has daily sessions—morning and afternoon, often breaks for dinner and returns to work into the small hours. The LP will be called ‘Confessions in a Photo Booth,’ but he’ll introduce the new material, all of it, in his concert debut on Saturday at the Music Center.

In an August 1970 Billboard column (see it here on Google Books), the album is named as his first on Reprise. By the time it was released, “Confessions in a Photo Booth” had become “Words and Music,” so the world was robbed of what could have been a prominent photobooth-titled album.

webb_billboard

Continuing in the world of music, Callan Furlong wrote to let us know that his EP The Fool I Was Before features photostrips on the cover.

And finally, while browsing the aisles at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, I spotted this recent CD from The Living Sisters:

We have a few new locations to mention, the first not too far from (my) home, at Dexter’s Camera in Ventura, California, where Photo-Me installed a black and white booth this week. Thanks to Matt and Raul for letting us know about the booth.

The second is slightly further afield, in Riga, Latvia, where Kate Tyler found a color machine, one of the only original booths still active in Europe. Time for a road trip to Riga! Please keep your contributions coming.

Next, we’ll move on to television, where the photobooth continues to be a mainstay of current shows: this time, reality juggernaut “The Bachelor” took a turn in the booth. During Week 7 of the most recent series, the Bachelor and one of his ladies visited the photobooth at Orange Dracula in Seattle, and took some photos.

Looking back a few decades, Les Matons clued us into a 1960s French TV show, La Caméra Invisible, that featured a photobooth in an episode:

We were excited to read a nice newspaper piece on our buddy Anthony Vizzari and his company, A & A Studios, this past weekend. The original article in the Chicago Grid is here, and we’ve got it archived here, as well. Congratulations, Anthony and all the crew at A & A.

We’ve also added a few new movies to roster. Last year’s Academy Award-winner in the Documentary Feature category, Undefeated, features a photobooth shot of a young Bill Courtney, who would grow up to be the coach at the center of this story.

Going a little further back, we have a few more passing photobooth shots in the animated short The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation, as well as in the 1984 West German film Wundkanal.

Finally, a French film about a woman obsessed with the photobooth who ends up meeting the photobooth repairman… Sound familiar? Well, it’s not Amélie. It’s Lucille et le Photomaton, a 1993 short by Sébastien Nuzzo that we’ve long been meaning to add to the site.