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Monthly Archives: May 2014

This is the type of picture that everyone who collects photobooth photos wants to own and will be willing to pay a high price to get.

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The above photo of two young chaps posing with an Imperial box camera, was highly sought after on Ebay. As most often happens, I was unable to compete with more highly cashed up collectors when it went up for auction early last year.

Judging by the black paper background, I think this photo was one from Broken Heart Gallery, the shop of Albert Tanquero who did a guest post for me last month.

It is a standard photobooth print size of 40 x 55 mm.

IPC 4x6- SCREEN

The International Photobooth Convention presented by premier photobooth website  Photobooth.net, will be held at A&A Studios in Chicago soon. It runs from , June 6-8, 2014.

Organisers for this year’s convention include Tim Garrett, Brian Meacham, Anthony Vizzari and Meags Fitzgerald, whose new book I recently reviewed.

Details of the programme are below. There’s a good balance of events for photobooth artists, technicians, vintage photo collectors and for the general public. All are welcome to attend. It kills me that I won’t be there!!!

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This photobooth is, in essence, a giant outdoor advertisement for McDonalds “Come As You Are” promotional campaign. Photomaton is the original company name for many of the world’s photobooths and is the generic term for the booths in France and other European countries.

The interactive booth is situated at La Defense in Paris. The  “Come As You Are” campaign focuses on the values ​​of diversity, acceptance and the spirit of hospitality. The booth has a touch interface which offers the public an opportunity to take pictures that are integrated directly into the campaign visuals on a giant screen. As you can see from the video, the participant receives a large printout of their photo from the booth and can also receive the picture via email.

The video was only posted 24 hours ago on the production company’s Vimeo page, so it is possible it is still up and running. Any readers in Paris able to pop over and check it out? Let me know what you find.

Cover Image-Photobooth A Biography- WEB

I have been accused by many of being overly obsessed with taking photos in photobooths, having amassed hundreds of strips, taken over a period of 40 years. Some have said my dogged desire to track down and buy books about photobooths, photobooth artists and the history of photobooths is a strange compulsion. However my passion looks more like a passing fancy when one reads of the intense and personal relationship Meags Fitzgerald has with the subject in her newly released, first book Photobooth – A Biography.

In this non-fiction graphic work, Fitzgerald weaves the story of her developing and ultimately all-consuming love for all things related to photobooths, with the history of the invention of the modern chemical machine, its rise in popular use, popular culture, art, and business. The demise, and possible extinction of the once endemic machines is also documented in a staggeringly personal and emotional roller coaster of a story told through illustrations laid out in blend of bande dessinée, manga and modern graphic novel styles.

meags - Nakki Page copy

Her personal journey is expertly woven into and becomes part of the story of Siberian immigrant to the USA, Anatol Josepho’s efforts to invent an automated photography machine, his success, the spread and development of his idea and the fate of the machines. While it is a formal examination of the subject, personal observations and anecdotes written in the style of a travel journal, (for she travelled extensively to do the research for the book) make the work far more interesting than a standard history of any subject could be.

Meags (pronounced “Megs”) has produced richly detailed drawings that highlight her skill as a designer and artist. There is a theatricality in the illustrations, layout and design of the book that shows an influence from her love of improvisation theatre. Her  background in performance theatre is also seen in her photobooth stop-motion films in which she performs.

Sample Pages- Nostaglia2- WEB

She includes interviews with artists, small business owners, technicians, enthusiasts, authors and promoters of all things photobooth, who also have a dedication to using and preserving the machines that use the “dip and dunk” chemical technology. She also documents the many different types of photobooth machines that have existed and their different types of output and looks at the technical side of owning and maintaining a chemical booth.

She communicates a gentle and self-effacing humour about her obsession with photobooths yet, at times, there is a level of despair at the inevitable fate of the machines. The book concludes with a grudging acceptance that she is unable to stem the tide of change, but also with hope that the passion we in the photobooth community have for our subject, will see a different life develop for the machines in the future.

Photobooth – A Biography was published by Conundrum Press, Canada and is available in bookshops worldwide and from online booksellers.

Here are some links to more posts about Meags Fitzgerald on Photobooth Journal.

Authors Portrait- WEB

Last week I published two strips of photos from Ted Strutz in the USA. It was accompanied by a witty history of their creation. The success of that post lead to an idea – would he be willing to write a short story about one of the strips from my collection?

Below Ted has used his creative writing talents to illuminate the booth images, below, using two of his favourite characters Ethel and Cheryl.  They do so look like an Ethel and a Cheryl don’t they? Please enjoy his story…

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TWO OLD BIRDS IN A PHOTO BOOTH… A Drabble

“Cheryl!!!” (said in a whisper)

“What???” (a whisper back)

“What am I supposed to do?” (still whispering)

“What the hell are you talking about, Ethel?  Why are we whispering?” (a little louder)

“I’ve never done anything like this before.  (still whispering)

“Stop whispering, dammit. It’s a photo booth for God’s sake!!! What did you think we were doing?” (increasing louder)

“I know it’s a photo booth, Cheryl! I’ve just never done it before. Where do I look?” (normal tone)

“Here, where it says ‘Put Eyes At This Line’!!!” (very loud)

“Now what do I do?”  (normal voice)

“SMILE!”

a light flashes…

 Please click HERE to see the original post on Ted’s blog where you will find many other stories and more of the adventures of Cheryl and Ethel.

If anyone else would like to write a small piece using some of my photobooth photos (chosen by me, emailed to you) as a prompt, please get in touch!

Tattered and Lost Vernacular Photography blog is run anonymously by an imaginative, dedicated blogger, who also publishes books on vernacular photography. There is an element of fun in most of the posts, a lot of social history and some melancholia. Through keen observations and sometimes, lateral thinking, the commentaries on each photo reveals something more about American life, past and present, than might have been clear at first glance.

Evidence of the author’s vital imagination oozes from this blog, no more so than in the Time Travelling Celebrity category, which recently featured a photobooth photo of a gentlemen who very closely resembles the British actor Alan Cummings. (Click here to see original post). The author supposes that Alan has slipped into a time machine and whizzed back to 1940s USA, recording the adventure in the photo, above.

I love the concept of this series. In my mind there is a connection between a photobooth and Doctor Who’s TARDIS. They are of similar size and form and one can enter into each and then close out the rest of time and space. They are both “bigger on the inside” – one’s intentions and imagination creating the illusion of this, in the case of the photobooth. Finally they are both vehicles of time travel. The TARDIS can travel infinite distances through space and time. Photobooths work more slowly, sealing a fragment of time on paper,  a moment that moves with the rest of us at a minute at a time, hour by hour, day by day.  (See my photos in the category Photobooth Time Machines).

colorful Lil_tattererdandlost

There are more photobooth photos to be found on the blog, like the one above, and there are many more to be found in the archive link, here.

Below are two more notable examples. I hope you will visit Tattered and Lost Vernacular Photography and enjoy exploring  what you find there.

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A happy, private moment of shared friendship…

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…interruptions will not be tolerated.

What a face! What happened to cause this look of utter disdain? Obviously some stupid grown-up was trying to interfere!

These two standard sized photobooth photos came from the USA and are undated. They look to me to be from the 1930s. Photographically they are not the best quality that a booth of this era was able to produce, but the sweetness and comedy of this pair of snaps make them a highly prized addition to my collection.

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