This is a much brighter and more vibrant image, with greater depth to it in real life. Scanning has not captured the essence of the photo and having lost that, it has almost lost the reason I called this post Disco Cowboy.

When looking at the original picture in natural light, the back-lit curtain positively vibrates like a thumping disco beat. The sitter is wearing a shirt that is obviously silk but in the scan it looks more like dull workaday cotton.

With his stylish, clean, white cowboy hat and luxurious mo, he is the very image of The Village People‘s cow-dude, Randy Jones. Only the sideboards and chin stubble break with Randy’s well manicured image. So was he dressed for a night of boogying? I think so.

To me he is definitely an urban cowboy with one foot inching towards the dance floor, one eye on his image and the other on a potential mate.

The photo originated in the USA and came from a bulk lot of undated pics.


Randy Jones – Macho Man


The Belle of the Ballroom

Above is another beautiful woman who stopped by the in-house photobooth at the Savoy Ballroom to make a souvenir of her evening out. She is glowing with joy, probably having been dancing up a storm to the big band sounds of Andy Kirk’s orchestra.


Andy Kirk

Andrew Dewey Kirk was a jazz saxophonist and tuba player, best known as a bandleader of the Twelve Clouds of Joy. His music was popular during the swing era, and he and his band performed regularly at the Savoy. He died aged 94 in 1992, having given up his musical career in the 1950s to concentrate on other pursuits.


How the band might have looked on the night in 1940 when the top photobooth photo was taken.


Copyright Steve Bannos of Gargantua (With thanks to Steve)

Also from the Savoy Ballroom photobooth, are the above two images, also dated 1940. Again two lovely women who, no doubt, had a passion for music and dancing.




This is not one of my more spectacular photos, however there needs to be a place here for the images for which I have a special feeling. There is a lot of writing on the back of this pic but it has faded so much that all I can make out is To Frances and the possible name of Cecilia, as the sender. She could even be named Cecilie, or even Clara or maybe Cordelia.

I added this photo to my collection as I loved the warmth in this woman’s eyes. Also catching my attention was the none too professional hand-colouring, which makes her hat look more like a washer woman’s head scarf.

I only noticed her jewellery when I scanned the image for this post. Her lapel pin looks like it coud be a coat of arms or crest of some sort. Perhaps it is a membership badge? Her attention-getting neck brooch, with what appear to be dangling pendant-ornaments across the base, is very unusual. It leads me to believe she was a woman of more style than this single photo with its dull colouring might suggest.



25 November 2000, Luna Park, Melbourne

Me and an old school friend, Lisa in a favourite photobooth at Luna Park.

I still love the old black and white booth photos more than any other type. Unfortunately I am afraid that, like this booth and friendship, they will be gone soon.

Below and from the same year, I kept a travelcard celebrating the facade of Luna Park.


This strip of photos comes from my series Photobooth 41 Year Project. You can see all the posts that document the series by clicking here. I am still adding to this project using mostly digital booths to create the images. I am growing more and more fond of these newer booths, despite their lower quality output.


Some weeks ago, fellow blogger from The Netherlands, Ruud Vermeij of Picture Happy Times, a blog with vintage photos of happy people, started sending me scans and information about photobooth images. He is always on the look-out for interesting items for his collection and kindly thought of me when booth photos turned up.

Above is one of my favourites. I adore this young man’s serious, quizzical eyes and gently smiling lips. His tousled curls and grandad cardigan (however not so grandad-ish in the era of this photo) remind me of my curly-haired Grandpa who was, in my memory, rarely ever seen out of a cardy.

The picture was found in a flea market photo album. According to Ruud all the pictures in the album were made in the early 1940s and came from a Belgian family.

Below is another photo of the same lad with a friend. It came from the same album. It was posted in Picture Happy Times under the title The Concept of Friendship. Below the photo is a copy of the text from the post.


Friendship I think is being able of setting your own wishes, ambitions and interests aside for a minute. Friendship I think means being able to accept you will be disappointed and let down every once in a while.  

I’m not good at doing these friend-ish things. And that’s why beside Mrs. PHT I just have one friend and that – you guessed it – is me.


As you may have guessed by now, I love anything to do with photobooths, even the signage from them.

The fifty cents sign is aluminium. I guess that was cheaper to change as the prices went up. The other two are much heavier and possibly made of stainless steel.

They all come from the USA, via France. I bought them from the author of a famous book about photobooth photos, but more about that in another post.


This fabulous photobooth photo and the story behind it, was emailed to me by artist and fellow blogger Ted Giffin.

This is the story –

On the left is Shannon. She was my sweet 16 girlfriend. I followed her around like a puppy. She moved from Indiana to Virginia Beach, Virginia. She went to the governor’s art school where she met Kathy a.k.a Guido, also an artist. She is on the right.

These two girls changed the course of my life. I believed that if I could make art like these two, then I would be beautiful. During my Freshmen year at Art School, Shannon, who at the time loved tape, taped this in my sketchbook. I had been carrying it around in my wallet, with a guitar pick. That blotch on the image, is worn in by the outline of the pick. As you may notice, they were “goth” punks at the time.

This image was made in a Virginia Beach photobooth, circa 1988. It is still taped into that, almost 30 year old, sketchbook…

I absolutely love it. If it hadn’t been accidentally changed by its time in a wallet, you could almost call it a piece of altered art. I also love Ted’s visual art works, which you can see here.


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