January, 2009

January 30, 2009

It’s been a little quiet here on the blog as we’ve been hard at work behind the scenes preparing for some changes and events in 2009. Check back on Monday for an announcement about what we’ve been planning, and if you’re a photobooth enthusiast, block off some time in early April. It’s been awhile since our last International Photobooth Convention, hasn’t it?

Brian | 8:56 am | Community
January 10, 2009


Happy to find a photobooth-related event in Southern California, I ventured to the Santa Monica Airport this afternoon, armed with a stack of postcards, to attend the second annual Vernacular Photography Fair, which we noted here a few days ago. The event, held in a gallery space at the Santa Monica Art Studios, consisted of ten dealers from around the country who specialize in “found photography, anonymous imagery or snapshot photography,” as well as hundreds of photography enthusiasts browsing, buying, and talking photos.

I was happy to make the acquaintance of Babbette Hines, whose book Photobooth was one of the inspirations that helped launch this site more than four years ago. We had a nice conversation about the joys of photobooth photos, and commiserated about the recent upswing in prices that have made collecting them less affordable than it used to be.

I also enjoyed meeting a number of other folks, including dealers Myles Haselhorst of Ampersand Vintage in Portland, Leonard Lightfoot of Vernacular Visions, John Nichols of the Santa Paula Snapshot Museum, as well as the folks who put together the event. I’m hoping can be more involved next time; I could see a lot of interesting ways to collaborate. Two years after moving here, it’s great to finally get a little more involved in the vintage photography scene. Thanks to everyone at D3 Projects for putting this together.


January 07, 2009

We’ve posted images from the 1929 Harold Lloyd comedy Welcome Danger, which, along with Lonesome (noted here last month), is one of the earliest films we’ve found yet that features a photobooth. In Welcome Danger, the machine is more of an automatic photo machine without the booth, but the principle is the same, and once again, the photo taken by the machine plays an integral part in the plot of the film.

When a photo taken by Billie (Barbara Kent, who also played Mary in Lonesome) fails to come out of the machine, she walks away. A moment later, Harold (Harold Lloyd) approaches the machine, sits for his photo, and once it has arrived, places it on the drying stand for a moment. After replacing his hat, he looks at the photo and finds that it is a sort of movie fantasy double exposure, with his and Billie’s images neatly superimposed next to one another. He becomes smitten with the girl in his photo, and, as the stills from the film show, he eventually tracks her down.

We now have films featuring photobooths from every decade of the photobooth’s history, the 1920s to the present, missing only one: the 1930s. I’m hoping some eagle-eyed fans of ’30s musicals are keeping their eyes peeled for photobooth appearances. if you spot something please let us know.

Brian | 8:35 am | History, Movies
January 05, 2009

vernacular.jpgThis weekend in Santa Monica, California, D3Projects, in conjunction with a variety of dealers, artists, and other groups, is presenting their second annual Vernacular Photography Fair, an event which should be of interest to all photobooth fans in Southern California.

In the press release on their website, D3 describe the event as “Two days of vernacular photography, featuring top dealers nationwide — photos & books for sale.”

Vernacular photography — also known as found photography, anonymous imagery or snapshot photography — is a genre of photography making its way into the spotlight of fine art. Artists, collectors and dealers rediscover photographs estranged from their owners and lost in time at flea markets, estate and yard sales, attics and even in abandoned boxes on the street. The new owners of these photographs give them a new life and relevance in the world today.

Found photographs, anonymous images and snapshots from the 20s until the late 70s will be offered for show and for sale to the public by the following art dealers: Jane Handel, Leonard Lightfoot, Ray Hetrick, Babbette Hines, Diane Meyer, Carl Mautz, John Nichols, Desiree Dreeuws, Ron Slattery and Myles Haselhorst.

We’ll be attending and look forward to meeting other photobooth and found photo enthusiasts. We’ll have a report on the event next week.

Brian | 9:50 pm | Art, Community
January 01, 2009

Happy 2009 from We’ve got some big plans in store for the year ahead, which is somehow our fifth year of existence, unbelievably enough. For now, we’ve got a few bits of news from around the web and around our site to bring to you today.

  • The last days of MTV’s TRL Photobooth are documented on

  • A weekly photobooth contest is held at Orlando’s Bar B Q Bar (from which we still have no listing… Central Florida, I’m talking to you):

It is a known fact that BBQ has the best photo booth. Sure, others have tried, but nothing comes close to this oldie but goodie. Set in the perfect little nook of the bar, complete with a flamingo and a snowman within reach for that rare moment of impromptu posing, this photo booth is the one all the others in Orlando wish to be. Many of my hard earned dollars have been fed into this ‘lil beauty and I am always happy with the result.

  • kills.jpgWe added a page of photobooth photos from the Kills (right), the most photobooth-obsessed band we know.

  • Also new, some interesting photobooth art, minus the photos, as it were.

  • Mark Miller was kind enough to send us some samples of his elaborate yearly family photobooth project, which he’s done for more than a decade using Chicago-area photochemical photobooths.

  • Photobooth artist and collector Rolf Behme now has a profile on the site; check out his work at his website.

  • And finally, a very strange indeed photobooth sequence from the old “Mission Impossible” TV show from Mozinor in France. I’m not really sure what’s going on, but the photos we see are altered and augmented with different people throughout the clip. You’ll need to watch it to really get it.