THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG
October 20, 2012

Next weekend, Anthony Vizzari of A&A Studios and visiting artist Meags Fitzgerald will give the first of three photobooth workshops at A&A in Chicago. Check out the description of each workshop and sign up if you haven’t already. We can’t wait to see some of the work that results from these sessions.

Workshop One: In Front of the Camera : 10/27/2012

This workshop will give you an introductory knowledge of photobooth mechanics and chemistry. A lecture on photobooth art will show you the possible effects you can achieve.We’ll focus on effects you apply before the photos are taken; experimenting with exposures, filters, gels, mirrors, magnification and external light sources.

Workshop Two: Going Beyond : 11/3/2012

We’ll re-contextualize what photostrips can be with a customized backless analog photobooth being built just for this workshop series. (Think…full body photos!) With it we’ll experiment with focus, wide angle lenses and taking photos at a distance. There will be a short lecture on the workshop’s theme so you can start thinking of larger scale pieces.

Workshop Four: Advanced Techniques & Open Lab : 11/10/2012

This open session allows you to plan and produce your own photos, applying all the skills and techniques from the previous workshops. The instructors will be on hand to help you plan and execute your concept.

October 08, 2012

The wonderful exhibition of photobooth art and history known as “Derriere le rideau” opens in its third and final location this week, at the Kunst Haus Wien in Vienna, Austria.

The exhibition has been installed, the booth is set up, and the opening reception is tomorrow, October 9. The exhibition will run until January 2013, and we encourage anyone with an interest who hasn’t had a chance to see it in Lausanne or Brussels to take the opportunity now. The photographs and other works collected in the show will never be assembled in such a way again, and it’s a real sight to see for the photobooth enthusiast.

We look forward to hearing updates from those who attend, and we’d love to post photos and reports from the lucky visitors.

October 06, 2012

We all read of Meags’ epic travels this summer, and now I’ve had a chance to add all of the new and updated photobooth locations she found to our Photobooth Directory. From Chicago to Toronto to Belgium and France, we’ve got updates on a ton of booths, thanks to her sleuthing. Links to all of the updated booths follow.

First, in North America, two new booths in Toronto and an updated booth in Chicago: The Steam Whistle Brewery, home to the only black and white photobooth remaining in Toronto, and the Gerrard Square Shopping Centre; plus a new booth at the Empty Bottle in Chicago,

Across the Atlantic, Meags confirmed, denied, reported, and recounted visits to more than a dozen photobooths. First, we’re very excited to be able to add Belgium to our list of countries with a working photochemical photobooth available to the public. Thanks to the installation of the “Derrière la Rideau” exhibition at Le Botanique, denizens of Brussels now have a lovely black and white machine to enjoy.

Installed and run by La Joyeuse de Photographie, the machine will remain at the museum now that the exhibition has moved on to Vienna.

​​We’ve added a few new French locations thanks to Meags’ visit. First, a gorgeous booth at ​​L​e​s​
​R​e​n​c​o​n​t​r​e​s​ ​d​’​A​r​l​e​s
in Arles. The show ended in September, so we’ve probably lost our chance to visit, but hopefully the booth will find a new permanent home soon.

New booths can also be found at ​​F​o​r​u​m​ ​d​e​s​ ​i​m​a​g​e​s, ​B​a​t​o​f​a​r​, ​​L​a​ ​C​i​t​e​ ​d​e​ ​l​a​ ​M​o​d​e​ ​e​t​ ​l​a​ ​D​e​s​i​g​n, and ​​L​a​ ​M​a​i​s​o​n​ ​R​o​u​g​e, plus a new booth at C​i​t​a​d​i​u​m​.

Meags also provided updates (some booths gone, some still around, some slightly changed) to the following Paris locations: ​P​a​l​a​i​s​ ​d​e​ ​T​o​k​y​o, ​A​u​ ​v​i​e​u​x​ ​S​a​u​m​u​r​, ​​C​i​t​a​d​i​u​m​ ​B​e​a​u​b​o​u​r​g​, C​i​t​a​d​i​u​m​, ​L​e​s​ ​P​r​a​i​r​i​e​s​ ​d​e​ ​P​a​r​i​s​, and ​Cinematheque de Française​​.

Thanks again to Meags for all of these updates. The rest of us have to be content to travel vicariously through her as she visits every photobooth under the sun, and we appreciate her bringing us along with her plentiful and detailed reports.

September 08, 2012

Thanks to Birna Kleivan for sending in a number of articles about the photobooth that she’s written in various Danish, Swedish, and English publications over the years. From the article on the photobooth for The Great Danish Encyclopedia to an interview with Jan Wenzel for an English interiors magazine, she’s covered a lot of territory.

Check out our In Print section for all of the new additions. Thanks, Birna!

August 24, 2012

Thanks to Meags Fitzgerald for this, our first ever Photobooth.net Guest Post:

I’m back and settled in after a three and half week photobooth-themed trip to Europe. For a few months I’ve been researching material for a graphic novel I’m writing & illustrating about photobooths, Photobooth, A Biography. I’ve been following photobooths during my travels for years now, including a trip to Europe in 2009, so I was uncertain how much more I would learn for the book on this trip. Any hesitancy I had was quickly cleared up as this trip proved to be a gold mine of information and adventures.

I started by seeing the art exhibition Derrière le Rideau: L’esthétique Photomaton in Brussels. This is the same show that opened in Lausanne, Switzerland in February and will be in Vienna in the fall. It was this exhibit that spurred the whole idea for the trip. I spent one full day in the exhibit, studying each work and making notes.

La Joyeuse de Photographie (Camille and Igor) installed a black and white booth at the gallery and while I was there it never seemed to get a break. This is the only booth in Belgium, and it has been such a hit that rumor has it that it will stay at the gallery permanently.

Next I headed to Paris, where I stayed with my friend Marion, who helped me immensely with the gaps in my French. I did go to French immersion school when I was little, but as it turns out that that level of education is only helpful if you need to have conversations about school supplies or need permission to go to the water fountain. Marion and I were true photobooth detectives; we visited every Paris location listed on Photobooth.net. We found that about half of the listings are no longer there and uncovered a few that haven’t been listed yet.

Highlights in Paris included an interview I did with one of the curators of Derriere le Rideau, Clement Cheroux. Clement works for the Centre Pompidou and to my surprise, when I arrived there I saw this mural on the wall adjacent to the gallery. The high contrast style and little red arrow looked familiar to me, and sure enough I knew of the artist. The mural is by Jef Aerosol who had several pieces in the exhibition at the International Photobooth Convention this May.

Digital photobooths can be found everywhere in Europe because the photos can still be used for passports and driver’s licenses. I was surprised by the slickness of this digital model, so much so that I couldn’t help but use it, despite my general aversion towards digital. I found out later that it was designed by French superstar designer Starck. His concept was that the seat is the heart of the machine, so the light within it slowly pulses, which effectively lures you towards the machine. (It worked in my case.)

Another highlight was a booth that was made by Eddy from Fotoautomat France last year for the photography exhibition/convention in Arles, France. It now lives (supposedly permanently) in Les Forum des Images in central Paris. The booth has a higher ceiling than usual and no backing. Unfortunately Eddy was out of town when I visited and it was out of order so I didn’t get to use it. It’s still a gorgeous machine though.

In Paris I visited all the booths by La Joyeuse de Photographie and met up with Camille for an interview. It’s sorta funny to use their booths, which all come from my homeland, Canada. I also met with artist Marc Bellini and he filled me in on some interesting projects he’s got on the go.

Next I went to Amsterdam and made an excursion out of the city to visit Peter and Ina’s collection of vintage American arcade machines. They are amazing people and their collection is stellar. They have a beautifully restored Model 11, which they’ve altered slightly to take digital photos, but in the future it can be switched back to take chemical photos again.

I was told that there are no wet chemical booths operating in the Netherlands and this largely has to do with restrictions on the chemicals, which cause health problems. The chemicals are too difficult to purchase and bring into the country, and furthermore it’s expensive and difficult to safely dispose of the chemicals. It’s because of this that I thought there wouldn’t be much to see in this part of Europe… I was wrong.

On my last day in Amsterdam I impulsively decided to visit the Prontophot warehouse, a two hour train and bus ride away from the city. I knew that the company has been all digital for seven years, so initially I didn’t plan on visiting, but then I got word that they had a few old rare models. By the time I got there it was after closing but Peter (a different Peter) happily stayed late to talk with me for a few hours. They had an old American Model 11, which was funny to see with Dutch signage. The real gem though was this Fotoautomat Model 9 from Zurich from 1963. The booth is huge and extremely heavy. Peter told me it was the only intact model left in the world. It also appeared in the 1998 film, Left Luggage. I did an illustration of it for my Photobooth Portrait series, which you can see here.

Next I headed to the South of France to interview Les Matons, an artist couple in Nimes. I really enjoyed talking to them about their approach to their practice and was fascinated by the scale of the projects they’ve done with photobooth pictures. From Nimes I went to Arles, a small town with a large photography exhibition/convention.

I heard through the grape vine that Fotoautomat France installed another specially designed booth at the convention again this year, I visited it a few times. While walking around town I saw a few of these large prints of photobooth pictures glued onto walls. By chance, the last time I went to visit the booth I bumped into the technician, whose name also coincidentally happens to be Peter. We chatted about technical stuff and I asked him if he knew what the posters were about. They’re part of a project by the well-known French artist JR.

I’ve since looked up his work and this project Inside Out and I’m totally amazed by it and would like to participate myself.

Next I headed to Florence, where there are two booths by two different companies. It was super hot in Italy and so I couldn’t help but be curious about what the heat does to the water, chemicals and mechanics of the booth. The poster on this booth, which gets direct sunlight was essentially melted.

While in Florence I met with Matteo of Fotoautomatica, who has restored and operates several booths in Italy. I was awed by his artisanal craftsmanship, his booth was meticulously clean and expertly constructed.

From there I visited a small town, Cesena, to visit a Canadian booth at a photography studio. I stayed with the nicest photobooth lovers you could find, Michele and Cristina. I had a few more plans that fell apart at the last minute, partially due to language barriers and because in August everyone in Italy apparently goes on vacation.

I came back to Halifax with a whole lot of insight and a bunch of goodies too. My suitcase got pretty heavy by the end, especially with books. Now I’m preparing to temporarily relocate to Chicago to do an internship with A&A Studios. From there I’ll make trips to New York and to Vermont to visit Nakki Goranin. After that, in theory the research for my book should be finished… though I have this nagging thought in the back of my head that I should really try to sneak in a visit to England, Germany and Austria in 2013. We’ll see!

July 17, 2012

We’ve finally returned all the artwork and cleaned up the supplies and props from the two days of fun and photos that were the 2012 International Photobooth Convention, but there was one thing left to do: collect and publish the amazing photostrips made by everyone as part of the “Photobooth Shorts” collaborative project.

For those who haven’t attended a recent convention, the collaborative project is something we do each year, a collective effort based around a particular theme or subject. In 2005, St Louis photobooth enthusiasts tackled four different moods in a piece called “Emotions.” In 2009, photobooth convention-goers in Chicago answered questions posed in photostrips made by photobooth fans in Moscow in a project called “Fotomost: Moscow-Chicago Space Bridge.”

This year’s project asked participants to tell the story of a film in four frames of a photobooth, using whatever was at hand including costumes, signs, props, and random strangers. I think everyone had a lot of fun coming up with ideas, and the resulting strips are hilarious, clever, and surprisingly evocative.

I picked up the finished booklets from the printer today, and they look great. They’re professionally printed and bound in full color, in a limited run of 100 numbered copies.

If you contributed a photostrip and want to have a memento of the project, or if you missed out and would like to see the results of our work, we’re happy to ship one your way for $8, postage included ($10 international), to cover the cost of printing and postage.

Choose your shipping destination and click the button to go to PayPal, or contact me to make other arrangements.

June 15, 2012

One more entry this week to shed some light on what we’ve been adding to the site lately, this time focusing on new photobooth locations. We only have a few to add, but each is noteworthy in its own way.

First, we start with an old faithful, the booth at the Lakeside Lounge in New York. After the news broke in April that the Lakeside was closing, concern for the photobooth was second only to the grief about the bar itself. Thankfully, the owners found a new home for the booth, not too far away at the Hi-Fi Bar. The booth is a legend in the East Village, and we’re glad to see it’ll still be serving up great photos even after the sad demise of its former home.

Next, we’ve heard from Matteo that he’s installed another photochemical booth on the streets of Italy, this time on Via Squadroni in Reggio Emilia. Picturesque, indeed.

And finally, thanks to last month’s photobooth crawl, we finally had the opportunity to check out the booth at the Satellite here in Los Angeles. Now, it was in need of some attention and wasn’t turning out photos when the busload of photobooth lovers stopped by, but we trust it’s back in working order now, and I hope to visit again soon and take some photos.

June 14, 2012

We’ve added a number of new photobooth sightings to our Music section, including both videos and album art. First, and most recently, the new video from the Walkmen, for their song “Heaven.” Thanks to Daniel for the tip.

We also heard from director Patrick Bossé, who was kind enough to let us know he used our site in putting together his video for the song “On fait quoi?” by Julien Pilon.

A few weeks ago, we added a video for the song “You Can’t Get into My Head” by Tatana (feat. Natalia Kills) which features a real booth and real photostrips.

In the world of photobooth photos in album art, we have a few new additions. First, King Khan and the Shrines:

NRBQ’s debut album:

And finally, an LP re-release of an album by Gareth Williams & Mary Currie from the 1980s, Flaming Tunes

June 13, 2012

It’s time to get some of these PDFs, scans, and links sitting in my To-Do folder up on the site in our In Print section. First, thanks to Victoria for letting us know about an article in the magazine Strongbox. It’s a nice piece, and features work and comments from Victoria, Marco, and others about what the photobooth means to them.

More recently, the trip to Switzerland yielded a few pieces for the site: first, the weekend guide section of the Lausanne paper Le Matin featured a nice two-page spread about the Musée de l’Elysee’s photobooth show.

I even had one moment of unexpected photobooth-ness, coming across these photos, taken in the Zürich booth, for Zett Magazine, a publication of the Zurich University of the Arts.

Boston’s Weekly Dig used photostrips on the cover of their nightlife issue back in February.

And thanks to Les Matons for more great contributions from France. This time, they’ve sent in a scan of a comic by Tronchet, showing his character Raymond Calbuth on vacation in a series of photostrips.

June 11, 2012

Today, we’ve got a raft of updates in our TV and Commercials sections, thanks to our helpful readers.

First, the second appearance by a photobooth, this time a real Model 14, in the show “The Big C.” Thanks to Anthony for the tip on this scene, in which one character protests “photobooth discrimination.”

I’ve been catching up on the excellent new show “Girls” lately, and Hannah (Leah Dunham) and Marnie (Allison Williams) have at least three photostrips in their apartment, as seen in episodes 2 and 5:

I finally came across a copy of the Weird Al Biography from A&E, in which we see a number of photobooth photos of a young, not yet weird Al with his mom.

Thanks again to Anthony for telling us about the episode of American Pickers with Jack White in which the guys trade a mounted elephant head for one of Jack’s photobooths (you’ve got to see it to believe it).

And just last night, on the second episode of the new series “Longmire,” a photostrip provided a clue in the death of a girl. Thanks to Gary for the tip on this one.

I’ve also added updated, higher quality images for some of the first TV shows I posted to the site back in 2005: Roswell (I had no idea that was Katherine Heigl…), As Time Goes By, and The X-Files.

In the world of commercials, I spotted one running on ESPN a few days ago, an ad for Corona Light featuring the adventures of everyman Stan, shown in a series of still photos. Once Stan has a Corona Light, his life gets more interesting, and he finds himself in a photobooth. Of course.

And finally, thanks to Siobhan for tipping us off to two ads (adverts, I suppose) from the UK, for the TV show “Take Me Out,” and for Thinkbox, an ad which stars Harvey and Rabbit.