December 18, 2006

Photo-Me, the world’s largest manufacturer and vendor of photobooths, has announced its most recent profit report, which saw a drop of 30% over profits of a year ago, according to a BBC News report. After turning down the idea of a takeover earlier this year, the company is now apparently looking into selling off one of three divisions.

The vending side is more obviously of interest to more people, so that is more likely to have a bigger attraction initially,” Vernon Sankey, Photo-Me’s chairman told news agency Reuters.

We have no doubt we will find people interested, but the question is at what price.”

The three parts of the firm — vending, minilab manufacturing and wholesale manufacturing — are all being assessed to see what the company will decide to do with them.

Read more news about Photo-Me in our archives.

December 04, 2006

bar_107_slot.jpgA few months after moving here to L.A., I’m still tracking down photobooths I’ve heard about in bars and restaurants around the city. Friday night, we ventured downtown to Bar 107, described in a Gridskipper review as “a very respectable hole in the wall on 4th, [bursting] with ironic hipster chic one might think lacking on the left coast- red walls, ginormous NSFW Bible art, stuffed deer heads, random signs, etc.”

The black and white photobooth in the back room is nestled behind a few curved booths with just enough space in between to allow for entrance to the booth. The height of the booth (the one to sit on) comes up to the height of the drying slot and makes it almost difficult to get the photostrip out once it’s finished. The booth makes some nice photos, and the bar has got a good feel to it.

Try to get a glass of tap water maybe, though, rather than being stuck with their $4 a bottle “Liquid Salvation Ultra-Hydrating Water” like we were.

December 01, 2006

We learn today from Andrea at hula seventy, home of “Photobooth Friday,” that the beloved photobooth at Niagara in New York City has been replaced with a digital booth, and one that at least temporarily wouldn’t take their dollars, to boot. 

We’d had problems with the booth before, but it was also the center of a few photobooth projects, including a Photobooth art show earlier this year. It’s too bad this booth didn’t survive, and we mourn its removal.

November 22, 2006

It’s time once again for Gridskipper’s monthly mention of the photobooth (see September’s and October’s); this time, it’s a mini-list of the best bars in New York to document your night out with a photostrip.

Picture yourself in a booth in a bar, man, drunk on Red Stripe and tangerine Skyy. Photobooths are the best strip of nostalgia $3–4 can buy you. The delights are manifold. The cloistered privacy behind the curtain. The blinding flash. The minute long wait while the pictures print. And finally, four B&W photos stacked vertically, a portrait of your life over 3 seconds.

It’s nice of Gridskipper to credit us on the photo, but all we ever did was link to it; the original photo of Ashley and Nick is on, which we came across through Flickr.

UPDATE, 11/29/06: Not to just keep recycling Gridskipper posts that mention photobooths, but they’ve gone and done another, using a few photostrips from the booth at the Short Stop in L.A. Calling the Short Stop Hipster Biodome, the piece mentions the photobooth among the “pool tables, a dance floor… arcade games, [and] Bloc Party on the stereo.” 

November 16, 2006

Less than two years ago, was founded with the goal of collecting and spreading knowledge about old-style photochemical photobooths around the world. Since then, we’ve been featured on the CBC , the BBC, and in numerous newspaper and online articles around the country. An article in this week’s Gazette in Frederick, Maryland, is a first for us, though, in that it references as an authority on photobooths, without the story being about the site in any way. We know our listings on Maryland are woefully inadequate, but we’re certainly pleased to be cited as an authoritative source on photobooth locations in the article about the black and white photobooth found CineGraphic Studios in Frederick. Now that the booth is in the public eye, maybe a reader can take a photo and a sample strip and send it on in. 

Read “1, 2, 3 Smile!” on or archived in our In Print section.

November 01, 2006


In commemoration of its 30th anniversary, the Photographic Resource Center has organized the exhibition PRC | POV — Photography Now and the Next 30 Years.” Much to our delight, was chosen as one of their featured organizations! The PRC is located in Boston and is a really fantastic organization. Their mission:

The Photographic Resource Center (PRC) at Boston University is an independent non-profit organization that serves as a vital forum for the exploration and interpretation of new work, ideas, and methods in photography and related media. The PRC presents exhibitions, fosters education, develops resources, and facilitates community interaction for local, regional, and national audiences. 

If you are in Boston in the next few months, stop by and check out the show. It is up through January 28, 2007.

October 31, 2006

Another update of photobooth news from around the world of the arts, from music to museums to found photos, plus a few cases of run-ins with the law:

  • Beck’s new album The Information features a lyric about photobooths, as reported in a recent review:

Take a little picture in a photobooth/
Keep it in a locket and I think of you/
Both of our pictures, face to face/
Take off your necklace and throw it away

In 2003, Wearing exhibited five eerie photos of members of her family. We seemed to be looking at snapshots of the artist’s mother and father; a professional headshot of her smiling uncle; a snapshot of her shirtless brother in his bedroom brushing elbow-length hair; and a photo-booth picture of the artist herself at 17.


  • Across the Channel in France, photobooth (or should we say photomaton) photos are featured at the Centre Pompidou. Thanks to Pat for the tip on these anonymous 1929 photos. Check out this solo photo and this strip as well. (If these links don’t work, search for ‘photomaton’ on the site).

  • Something we haven’t noted before, a wonderful collection of found photos, more than 200 in all, at, “a gallery of vintage snapshots & vernacular photography.” 

  • On a different note, we have news of more lewdness in the photobooth on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

  • And finally, the story of a rejected passport application based on the photobooth photo the girl’s family provided. 

A five-year-old girl’s passport application was rejected because her photograph showed her bare shoulders. Hannah Edwards’s mother, Jane, was told that the exposed skin might be considered offensive in a Muslim country. The photograph was taken at a photo-booth at a local post office for a family trip to the south of France.

Photo: Photomaton, Anonymous 1929. Centre Pompidou

October 28, 2006

In an article about a digital photobooth that projected photos of attendees on the wall at a Whitney Museum benefit last week, Moby voiced his support of real, honest-to-goodness old-style photobooths. When asked if he took part, he replied,

No, I didn’t do that,” he said. “There was a long line for it. And I used to go to the photo booth machine…there’s an arcade on Mott Street, way down in Chinatown, that has this great photo booth machine and, it seems, this is nice but sort of a pale imitation to the real thing. I’m sort of a purist, I think.”

Glad to hear we’ve got another ally in the fight to keep dip-and-dunk photobooths alive.

October 28, 2006

1_punk.jpgA recent project based in the UK documents the unheralded members of the punk generation, thirty years on, through photobooth pictures. The project, called 100 Punks, draws parallels between photobooths and punk:

Never more so was this the case, than with the punk generation. Like punk, the machines were cheap, instant and easy to operate, once inside, there were no rules, perhaps the only time the subject could be in total control of the image they portrayed to the rest of the world. Each hair colour caught, new relationship captured. Self-concious, self portraits of the not so blank generation.

Check out the project online and in various galleries and museums in the coming year.

Brian | 5:01 pm | Art, Music, Projects
October 19, 2006

First, a piece in the ‘Currents’ section of the Wilmington, North Carolina Star-News asks Where’s the downtown photo booth? The article seems to be a series of small commentaries, but the layout is such that the headline for each section looks like the rest of the body text, so it’s a little hard to read, but among headlines like “What’s worse? Being drunk in public? Or snapping photos of it?” and “Audience Nonparticipation,” about the fact that people haven’t been participating in this particular newspaper column, the author wonders about the lack of photobooths in town:

When I first moved to Wilmington and tried out different downtown bars, I wondered: Where’s the downtown bar photo booth? When I lived in Orlando several years ago, there were quite a few of those classic photo booths in downtown bars, and a constant slew of hipsters wearing scarves in July bucked up to them. I had several friends who had multiple stacks of photo strips at home. I’m talking in the hundreds. They’re like documents, proof, evidence of good time and bad. Plus, it’s fun to make faces and think you’re cool. So, where’s the local booth? I can’t think of a single bar where a photo booth wouldn’t do gangbusters business. It’s something the $1 PBR and $10 martini crowds could really get behind. Somebody needs to get on this.

Next, a poll by Creative Bulletin lists the Hamlet cigar ad featuring “Baldy Man” in a photobooth as the fourth best (British) TV ad of all time. 

daddy_long_legs.jpgFinally, Gridskipper brings us a review of the Daddy Long Legs Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa, whose thirteen rooms are each individually decorated by an artist. One of the rooms, called the Photo Booth, features the work of artist Antony Smyth, who took photos of Cape Town residents with his camera and white backdrop, and used 3,240 images on raised blocks to cover the walls. So while the photos aren’t true photobooth images, this room is a definite must-visit photobooth location.

Brian | 7:48 am | In the News