THE PHOTOBOOTH BLOG
February 19, 2013

I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for photobooths in cinema for ten years now, and most sequences I’ve come across focus on the photobooth, or at least feature the booth prominently. Carnival of Souls is a film of a different sort, in many ways. It’s a terrifically moody, evocative, singular film (check out the excellent Criterion release on DVD), and for our interest, wins the award for most oblique, obscure photobooth appearance in a film. In one brief shot that lasts just a few seconds, one edge of the end of a photobooth can be seen behind a Williams Titan shooting game. I thought I spotted something when I saw the film screened, and confirmed my suspicions with the DVD.

From the sign on the end of the booth that reads “Take your own miniature portraits / Photos in 2 1/2 minutes,” the “N” of “OWN,” the “S” of “PORTRAITS,” and the “S” of “MINUTES” are barely visible. If you look even more closely, you can see the drying slot at the right edge of the booth.

February 18, 2013

Paul Fejos’ 1928 (mostly) silent masterpiece Lonesome is an important film in the history of American cinema, but it’s downright seminal in the story of the photobooth, as it has the earliest known example of a photobooth appearing in a film. Thanks to a new Criterion Blu-ray release, we can upgrade the images on the site. Roll over the new image to see the improvement from the old: better image quality, more detail, and the correct aspect ratio.

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.”

February 12, 2013

Not a week goes by here at Photobooth.net West without receiving an update or two (or ten) from our loyal and generous readers. We have a European-centric batch of contributions to present today, with a few American surprises.

First, we have a raft of updates from the folks at Photoautomat.de in Berlin. A number of booths have moved from previous locations, and fresh machines have debuted in new locations, as well.

Check out the new photochemical booths at the following locations:

The fact that these booths are constantly moving and re-appearing in Berlin is a testament to their ongoing popularity, and Berlin remains one of the world’s great photobooth capitals.

We also have a few bits of photobooth media from Europe: a French print ad for an optician using a photobooth, a graphic novel by Jean Teulé called Filles de nuit, and the film Le scaphandre et la papillon, known in English as The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

And finally, an Italian giallo, 4 mosche di velluto grigio.

Both the front and the back of the album “Les eglantines sont peut-etre formidables” by the duo Brigitte Fontaine and Areski Belkacem, uses photobooth photos, as well. Thanks to Les Matons for these updates.

Stateside, we have new photos of the redecorated booth and resulting photos from Jack White’s Third Man Records and Novelties in Nashville.

Also, good news for Colorado: the state has another pin in the map at Fargo’s Pizza in Colorado Springs. Thanks to Brittany for both of these updates.

We’re also very happy to be able to add Nebraska to our list of states that can claim they’re home to a photobooth.

If you’re headed to Slowdown in Omaha for a concert, a party, or a pub quiz, check out their black and white photobooth and give it a spin. Thanks to Robb for the update on this booth.

We have a few updates from American movies and TV, as well.

First, a brief credit sequence appearance in the 1973 pickpocket drama Harry in Your Pocket, as the camera pans over the contents of pockets picked by the “cannon,” Harry (James Coburn).

Another more recent film, Safety Not Guaranteed, also features a brief photostrip moment.

Last month, thanks to Photoautomat.de, we made what to us seemed like a remarkable discovery: a mainstream American film starring perhaps the most critically acclaimed actor and actress of the last thirty years, with a scene set in a real photobooth, with real photobooth photos. How did Falling in Love, a 1984 film starring Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep, escape our notice until now? We’re not sure, but it just goes to show there’s always more out there, and it encourages us to continue our quest to uncover more photobooths in cinema.

And finally, we’ve got a 2013 commercial for Diet Coke starring its new creative director, designer Marc Jacobs (who has also had a photobooth or two in some of his stores)

February 07, 2013

Thanks to Joe for pointing our attention to an event happening in Los Angeles this weekend, Fette’s Photo Booth Party, organized by the Berlin and L.A.-based artist Fette Sans. Using the lovely photobooth at the Cha Cha Lounge, Fette will be photographing participants and their photos in various combinations. In her words,

I have been using photo-booth as a way to blur out intentions and ownership. I print my photographs large enough so they cover the whole range of the photo-booth lens and let them be re-photographed. The result offer this odd quality, something similar to those of found photographs.

With this event, I want to play with the real/fictional by combining people and photographs within the frame, blurring out people and people in photographs… By asking people to bring their own photographs, I also want to remix personal stories by switching photos and people, creating little scenography.

I plan on being there, and I hope other Los Angeles-area photobooth fans will stop by and participate in the project.

December 31, 2012

It’s been a busy year for the photobooth. As 2012 comes to a close, we’re taking a look at what the last twelve months have brought in the the world of the venerable photochemical machine, now in its tenth decade of life.

Most notably, this was the year that audiences around Europe got to see the most comprehensive and significant exhibition on the history and art of the photobooth ever produced. Curated by Clément Chéroux, Sam Stourdzé, and Anne Lacoste at the Museé de l’Elysee in Lausanne, the exhibition was titled “Derrière le rideau: L’esthétique du photomaton,” or “Behind the Curtain: The Aesthetics of the Photobooth.” I was honored to be able to contribute to both the printed catalog and the exhibition itself, and I traveled to Lausanne for the opening in February. After Lausanne, the show traveled to Le Botanique in Brussels and then to Vienna, where it remains open for another two weeks at the Kunst Haus Wien.

Back in the U.S., another international photobooth event was on the horizon. Three years after our very successful event in Chicago we hosted another International Photobooth Convention. This time, we gathered two photochemical photobooths and a major collection of world-class photobooth art in the sunny confines of Venice, California, and enjoyed two nights and a day of photobooth fun. Read all about it here.

The 2012 Photobooth Convention led to our first official publication, a 25th Anniversary Catalog celebrating the past and present work of the pioneering photobooth artists who first displayed their art in Rochester, New York in 1987. Limited copies of the catalog are still available for purchase; you can order them here, along with signed and numbered copies of the beautiful poster for the show.

International Photobooth Convention

We finished up the convention with a terrifically fun photobooth crawl in a hired van around Los Angeles.

As we do with every convention, we produced a collaborative project with those who attended. This time, it was a collection of Photobooth Shorts, movies told in just four photobooth frames. We still have a limited quantity of numbered copies left for sale; follow the link to get your copy.

On the site itself, we’ve had a busy year of updates. We continue to discover new photobooth locations ourselves, and learn about them from contributors all over the world. In 2012, we added 48 new photobooth locations, plus countless additions, corrections, and updates to other locations already in our directory.

2012 also proved that the photobooth craze in movies, TV, and print shows no sign of slowing. This year, we’ve added 24 new movies, 22 new albums, 21 new TV shows, 15 new magazine articles, 14 new commercials, 10 new music videos, and six new newspaper articles.

year_end_photoboothThe year also saw 30 entries in our blog, from Jack White’s appearance on ‘American Pickers’ to more recent omnibus recaps of additions to our various collections of photobooth appearances around the world. 2012 also brought our first ever guest blog entry, a travelogue from Meags Fitzgerald about her epic European photobooth adventures. Visit our Archives to poke around the entries from the past year.

If we can read anything into these stats and highlights, it’s that the photochemical photobooth is alive and well in 2012, thanks to the vibrant and committed community of enthusiasts around the world, many of whom we had the pleasure of meeting this year.

Best Wishes from Photobooth.net for a joyous, peaceful, productive, and photobooth-filled 2013! (And Happy New Year from two of the youngest members of the Photobooth.net community, both booth enthusiasts in the making)

December 18, 2012

We’ve got a little bit of everything in today’s update, thanks to people from all over the country and the world who have written us to let us know about photobooth appearances. Thanks to Greg, Andrew, Aimee, Siobhan, Katherine, Meags, and Les Matons for the tips that led to this most recent raft of additions.

First, in the world of film, Nights and Weekends:

Next, the recent adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road:

The Dutch film Left Luggage:

Christopher Nolan’s debut film, Following:

And finally, the French film Scenes de crimes:

Next, in television:

From the UK, a social history documentary show, “The Secret History of Our Streets”:

Dead Like Me”:

And another season brings another episode of “Modern Family” that features a photobooth:

A few commercials:

For Barclays personalized debit cards:

And for the Swiss company Sympany:

And finally, the ever-popular photobooth in a music video:

First, from The Great Park, the video for “I Know What I Make Isn’t Fine”:

From Mano Negra, “Pas assez de toi”:

And from Jim Kroft, “Canary in the Coalmine”:

Brian | 10:09 pm | Movies, Music, TV
November 29, 2012

It’s been pretty quiet on the photobooth news front lately, but the stream of tips about photobooths in movies, TV, advertisements, and beyond has been as steady as ever. Here are a few of the new additions we’ve made over the last few weeks:

New movies:

Tabloid by Errol Morris

The Queen of Versailles by Lauren Greenfield

Celeste & Jesse Forever by Lee Toland Krieger

21 Jump Street by Phil Lord and Chris Miller

TV shows:

A 2001 episode of Malcolm in the Middle

Last week’s episode of “Brickleberry”

Locations:

And finally, a new photobooth at a local favorite, Golden Road Brewing in Glendale.

After assiduously seeking out photobooth locations all across the world, planning itineraries around places where I knew I’d find photobooths for the last ten years, it was a pleasant and unfamiliar surprise to head to a brewpub for lunch and find an unexpected machine just sitting there, practically shouting at me “Shouldn’t you know I’m here?!” I enjoyed a beer and a sandwich and an unexpected set of photos to boot.

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.