In this photobooth photo from 1930s Germany, you could almost miss seeing the tiny dog swaddled in a blanket. By the size and angle of the hand, it appears to me that this slightly nervous looking girl is not the one holding the petite pup. I won’t stand by that observation, as it could simply be an illusion of perspective created by the hand’s relative proximity to the camera, but it seems to be a hand too large to belong to such a small child.

The composition of this image is striking though, no doubt, unintentional. It nicely emphasises the diminutive size of both child and canine. I also like the fact that one can see the bottom of the backdrop curtain, a feature mostly obscured in early booth photos.


Above is a slightly strange portrait of a young man in a photobooth. There is a lot we can guess about why the sitter chose such a lunatic expression for the photo, if we look at another from the same strip, that was once glued into a notebook.

The collage came to me the way you see it, here.


It did not take me long to find out that the man in the triangular hat is Aleister Crowley. Mr Crowley was, amongst many other things, the founder of the religion and philosophy of Thelema. He identified himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the Æon of Horus in the early 20th century.

On Crowley’s hat is emblazoned the Eye of Providence (or the all-seeing eye of God). Most frequently the symbol shows a realistic depiction of an eye often surrounded by rays of light and usually enclosed by a triangle. It represents the eye of God watching over mankind (or divine providence).

In the case of Crowley’s organisation the eye is depicted as the ancient Egyptian Eye of Horus in the mistaken belief that the symbol dates back to Pharaonic times.


One of hundreds of different versions of the Eye of Providence


Aleister Crowley

Aspects of the counter culture of the 1960s is said to have been inspired by some of Crowley’s writings and beliefs. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa were all known to have been interested in, if not influenced by him. Rightly or wrongly Crowley has been associated with Satanism and Black Magick.

And all this is leading me back to my photobooth man and his wild staring eyes. He may have been a devotee of Crowley and a Thelemite. He may have been a Satanist dabbling in the black arts. Or did he see himself as a possessor of rare vision, a man with an all-seeing eye?

He may have been looking to associate himself with the counter-culture image of rock idols of the late 1960s or early 1970s, or perhaps, he was just a very scary guy with a penchant for crayons and scissors. We will never know, but I do so love these pieces of vintage ephemera!

And just in case you’ve already forgotten that spaced out look, here is our possible acolyte once again. Sleep well tonight!



I bought this photo from a gentleman in Serbia. As for the other two photos I have posted from the same seller, I hope this is a Serbian woman, or in the case of this having been taken in the late 1970s or early 1980s, (the most likely possible dates of the image) a Yugoslavian woman.

I was very taken with the look on this young lady’s face. The position of her poised hand, gently resting on her chin, gives her a quizzical, thoughtful appearance. This is intensified by the lovely, faraway look in her eye. I wonder if she chose this position to make sure her ring was captured in the frame? Her fake fur coat looks warm and cozy but not like any real animal I can think of, save for a hyena.

As with all my photos, I wonder how this little gem escaped its home and made it onto an auction website? Maybe this was given as a token of affection to a boyfriend; the one who gave her the ring, perhaps? And as relationships come and go, the owner may no longer have cared enough to keep the image. Unfortunately, we will never know, but she is loved and respected here at least.



Hi Mr Smiley!

I love this kindly looking and open faced gentleman. He is stylish, cool and no doubt fashionable for the era in which this was taken. I am thinking 1950s due to the format and finish of the pic, but wonder if it could actually be earlier?

He is sporting what I would call a matinee idol moustache. It reminds me of Errol Flynn’s but is slightly less prominent. And what does the well dressed man about town need to keep his presentation up to scratch? A comb, of course. You can see his peeking out of his breast coat pocket.


Oh, Errol!

This is a larger than usual photobooth photo which measures 63mm x 86mm, as opposed to the standard size of 40mm x 50mm. It comes from the USA.


6 December 2002, Leicester, UK

This photo strip was taken at Leicester train station. It was a very convenient place to get some photos, as I passed or stopped there almost daily, during my two years in Leicestershire.

I was on my way to Birmingham to meet my cousin Krissie and her baby son Ryan. He was four months and five days old. (It is funny the things I write on the back of photos.)  We were going from there to Holyhead, to catch the ferry across to Ireland, in order to celebrate an early Xmas with my sister and her family. We were on our way home again by the 8th. I cannot remember why the trip was so short or so early, but it may have been to do with my then husband’s work commitments.

I quite like this sequence. I wish there was a colour booth still operating in Melbourne. The only one I knew of, which I last used as recently as 12 to 18 months ago, was at Melbourne Central Station. I looked for it recently and was most sad to find it gone.

Many of the photos in this long series are unremarkable. They make up a photographic album of my adult life, which gives me a lot of pleasure as I add each new photo to the collection. I also love the memories they bring back, when I write about them for this blog.

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. The project is now close to entering its 44th year. Or 45th? I have lost count!  I haven’t changed the title of the archive as it breaks all the links I have added to posts in the series thus far.




This is the sixth and final part of a series of photobooth strips of the same American boy. I think he would have been 14 or 15 years old when he sat for these photos.

In this group of snaps, our handsome subject is looking like he is close to getting his man face but is still not quite grown up. Sadly, he has lost his unrestrained joy at making faces for the camera. Maybe he was just concentrating so hard on holding up his friend, that he forgot to smile. Either way, it is the tiny pup that has now become the star of the show. He is a cute little canine, who appears to be a lot more cooperative in the portrait taking stakes than my own pooch, Snowy.

Well before coming to the end of this series, some of my loyal commenters wondered what he might look like now, or where he might be? Unfortunately without a name to add to these photo treasures, it is highly likely we will never know.

To see the other photos of this young man, please click here. And while you are clicking, you could try hitting here to see another long series of photos of a girl called Becky or here to see another girl growing up in a photobooth, Donna.


This is part five of a series of photobooth strips of the same American boy. For each year that there are photobooth pictures in this group, I have estimated his age. In these photos I think he would be 13 or 14 years old.

With an unusual hat and ill-fitting jacket, the young extrovert of earlier photos is still in evidence. He is still showing some joy at having his photo taken, but not nearly as much as in earlier photos. Rather than a lumberjack coat, this time he is wearing a lumberjack shirt.

Do you think his mother bought the jacket two sizes larger than needed, as mums do in the middle of these growth spurt years? Or could the jacket be his dad’s or a hand-me-down from an older brother? I imagine this boy to be an only child due to his appearing in so many photos without a sibling, so do not particularly like the hand-me-down hypothesis. And what type of hat is that? I have no clue!

To see the other photos of this young man, please click here. And while we are at it, you could click here to see another long series of photos of a girl called Becky or here to see another girl growing up in a photobooth, Donna.

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