December 13, 2005


Moments after spotting a new McDonald’s advertisement on last week’s episode of “Arrested Development,” I received a forwarded email from Dina via Tim, both of whom had either seen or been told of the commercial as well. Our network is strong and growing…

Screen captures and analysis of the commercial can be found on its page in the TV Commercials section; let us know what you think. Is it implying that your Arch Card can be used in photobooths? Do they realize their photobooth has two different prices on it? wants to know.

December 09, 2005

For if he did, he’d have heard about what happened in Lufkin, Texas, Denver, Colorado, and Mason, Ohio, and he would have thought twice before making out with a stripper in a photobooth.

I guess we weren’t really around to help, because, as reported today in any number of tabloid-ish websites though not yet on their own, The National Enquirer claims today that such an incident happened in 1997, and is just now coming to light, with the photos to prove it. We don’t have any photobooths listed for Atlanta yet — perhaps we’ll get a lead out of it?

December 09, 2005

We’ve been checking in occasionally on Stuff Magazine’s so-called photo booth challenge, which asks women to “slip behind the curtain of a photo booth near you and show us your stuff… Remember: No nudity. (Unless you’re Jonathan Taylor Thomas.)” 

Sadly, only one set of photos in recent weeks has been a real photostrip; all the rest of the submissions posted on the contest page are poor imitations, studio glamour shots taken in front of a curtain and arranged vertically onto a white background. Does this mean no one is taking part in the contest? Who are these girls, and are they all piling into Stuff HQ to get their fake photobooth shots taken? Perhaps all of the submissions from real photobooths are ending up in the print edition of the magazine; any readers out there care to confirm?

Stuff also provides a list of photobooths to visit on their rules and instructions page, a list that looks a whole lot like the one I assembled over many months on before was born. That and a smattering of locations and the results of a few Google searches; come on, Stuffies, can’t you do a little better than all this? 

Brian | 5:30 pm | In the News
December 07, 2005

A five day trip to Austin last week netted eight photobooths around the city, six of which live in various locations of Amy’s Ice Creams around town. I called a random location before I arrived and was told that three locations had photobooths, but as I went from one to the next, I learned from the helpful folks behind the counter about other locations with photobooths as well. Unfortunately, of the six locations I visited last week, only two had working photobooths. I can imagine it’s pretty tough to keep a fleet of old classics going all the time, and we applaud Amy and Steve for the great work they’ve done in keeping photobooths alive in Austin. 

My first afternoon in town, I took a walk down 6th to Waterloo Records, Book People, and the 6th Street Amy’s. Their photobooth, a black and white Auto-Photo Model 20, produces a photostrip that is a solid 3/4″ shorter than a regular strip, meaning each photo is a discernible fraction shorter than a traditional photo. I can’t remember seeing a strip like this before; I’m curious as to how and why it’s so much shorter. The photos I got had an appealing sepia tone, but also a lots of cloudiness around the edges.

chuys_elvis.jpgNext up, Caroline and I hit Chuy’s that night, and tested out their wonderful Model 11 complete with Elvis cut-out standing on top. Nice rounded bottom corners on the photos, which turned out a little fuzzy. 

From Chuy’s, we set off to the Dobie Mall, where we found the typical grey-striped color photobooth in the basement, with a digital booth by its side. The photos turned out fine, but the transmission treated the strip a bit roughly, and left the bottom and sides creased and wrinkled. 

For the last stop of the evening, we headed up to Amy’s Ice Creams on Guadalupe, and found another nice Model 20 that was unfortunately out of order. 

We discovered along the way that the photobooths I saw mentioned online at MugShots and another bar whose name I can’t remember (Jackalope — thanks, Caroline) turned out to both be digital.

amys_wall_2.jpgThe last day I was in town, Caroline helped me out on my quest once again as we hit four more Amy’s locations, though we only found one working booth. We started at the Super South location, home to a Model 14 black and white machine, and then proceeded to the Westgate location, where we found a working Model 20B with beach-towel curtain, plus lots of photobooth photos on the wall.

The search came to a close with two locations north of town, at the Arboretum, where the helpful staff warned us the booth wasn’t working, and even opened up the machine, a nice rounded model. The machine when through the motions, but it turned out there was no paper left. From the Arboretum, we headed up to The Wood, where we found out last booth, a nice un-numbered model with the great “miniature portaits” advertisement on the ends. 

Despite the lack of photostrips to show for it, the trip was a great success, and I left very impressed with Austin’s photobooth population. I’m sure I missed a few, and I look forward to a return trip to catch a few of the machines that were out of order this time around. Thanks to Caroline for playing along — it was a lot of fun.

December 05, 2005

In one of the stranger cross-promotions we’ve seen in recent memory, Procter & Gamble is using photobooths (and actress Nicollette Sheridan) to promote Crest Whitestrips for the holidays. Banking on the tenuous connection of “photo strips” and “Whitestrips,” the company is offering free photoboothing to visitors in San Francisco and New York from December 7th to the 11th. 

Will your smile be ready for all your family holiday moments? From photo strips to Crest Whitestrips Premium, strips are all the rage this season! Beginning at 9AM on December 7th in New York City, Nicollette Sheridan will kick-off the holidays by officially opening Crest Whitestrips Premium’s bi-coastal, old fashioned photo booth extravaganza. Smile booths will open to the public at two fun-filled, festive locations — from December 7th through the 11th at Wollman Skating Rink in New York City’s Central Park and from December 8th through 11th at Pier 39 on San Francisco’s historic Fisherman’s Wharf for people to take free holiday photos and learn more about getting their smiles camera ready.

In the spirit of the holidays, everyone to stop by the booths can take complimentary family photo strips…

We encourage users to visit these booths and take a photostrip and a picture of the booth, because we’d really like to see how they look. You can’t beat free photostrips, so go on out and give it a shot this weekend!

November 28, 2005

Just in time for the holiday office party season, the Denver Post takes a look at some potential pitfalls for the yearly company party. In an article titled “Libation and litigation,” business columnist Al Lewis describes some of the possible problems that happen when co-workers let loose.

Lewis quotes Denver lawyer Todd Fredrickson, who deals with issues arising from holiday parties each year. 

Frederickson said one company he represents had its holiday party at an entertainment complex with arcade games. Two female employees crammed into a coin-operated photo booth and started flashing the camera.

It was a ‘Girls Gone Wild’ scene in the photo booth,” said Frederickson. But when a disapproving co-worker complained to human resources, it became a potential legal issue. Particularly because, also that night, two other associates (male and female) were caught groping in the same photo booth.

In Frederickson’s esteemed professional opinion, employees “should not be using the photo booth as their own personal make-out booth.”

In my own, unprofessional opinion, they should at least shut the curtain.

Add these anecdotes to the long list of bad ideas people have when they come across a photobooth.

November 13, 2005

A fascinating article in Pravda this week discusses some of the rare and expensive gifts Russian billionaires like to give one another. Among the extravagant presents are a hover scooter, a suitcase full of champagne and caviar, and, of course, a photobooth. 

Nothing compares to a personal photo booth. It can do anything you want it to do e.g. classic or digital monochrome and color pictures and slides. It can also create a fine romantic atmosphere in the house. Guests will be definitely impressed when they see a real prop from some love-story movie.

Does Neiman Marcus ship internationally?

Brian | 4:42 pm | In the News
October 29, 2005

austin_never_forget.jpgA recent article in the Palo Alto Weekly tells about a new exhibition at the Palo Alto Art Center called “Romancing the Shadows,” described as “an exhibit of alternative photography progresses including tintypes, daguerreotypes and Van Dyke prints.”

The exhibition also includes some adapted photobooth photos in the work of artist Kimberly Austin. Her set titled Adam & Edna features photobooth photos of her grandparents in the pieces “Yippie!” and “Never Forget,“ seen above. The photos, enlarged to 8 1/2” x 11″, are Van Dyke prints mounted on wood.

More information and images at and Braunstein/Quay Gallery.

Brian | 9:48 am | Art
October 28, 2005

Just in time for Halloween, a story of a photobooth that took pictures on its own. At the Trails store on Mill Avenue in Tempe, Arizona, 

The photo booth that used to be in the Trails store had to be removed due to the machine taking pictures when no one was in the booth. The developed pictures often showed nothing but a bright white ball of light, whether someone was in the booth or not. 

This, according to “someone who worked in the building for years,” so says the story available here at, but also here, here, and here.

October 19, 2005

warhol_bridge.jpgThis weekend’s trip to Pittsburgh yielded a photobooth, photobooth art, photobooth as publicity, and a photobooth photo as official street signage. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I visited the Warhol Museum, home to an excellent Auto-Photo Model 14C in the basement.

The booth, nestled under the stairs at the far end of the lower level, provides nice, crisp, high-contrast photos, with a very white background. Both sides are open, and the booth is set a foot or so away from the wall, allowing for a little room on the far side for a number of people to gather in the booth at one time; our record for identifiable people was six in one shot. Across the hall from the booth is a marker denoting the high-water mark during a recent flood; apparently, the booth was damaged but the Warhol either repaired it or got a new (old) one. I’d love to hear the full story.

On the first floor, I enjoyed three works by Warhol that began as photobooth photos: silkscreened portraits of Ethel Scull (1963), Judith Green (1963–64), and Bobby Short (1963):


After viewing the museum’s seven fascinating floors, I headed down to the basement to use the photobooth, and checked out the “Weekend Factory,” described on the Warhol’s website as a “lively studio program where museum visitors can create art while exploring Andy Warhol’s artistic practice.” pop_button.jpgI took the photostrip I’d just taken, photocopied it, took some highlighters to it, and made a Pop button out of it for a mere 50 cents. What a bargain!

While I was in the “Factory,” I also spotted the Warhol’s Education Programs pamphlet, which features eight photostrips on the front and back cover. Very nice.

As I headed out Sandusky Street and over the 7th Street Bridge to get a view of the skyline and ballparks, I noticed that the bridge had been officially re-named the Andy Warhol Bridge, complete with colorful signs taken from his photobooth self-portraits. I’d venture that this is the only example of a photobooth photo used in an official city sign. But I’d be happy to hear otherwise. With such a ripe climate, all I need is to find some more photobooths in the Pittsburgh area. This can’t be the only one.