Monthly Archives: September 2015


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.


As I mentioned in a previous post, images of clowns in photobooths are quite rare. Rarer still is to find a female clown in a photobooth. Of course this could just be a woman dressed up for a costume party. Either way it is a great photobooth photo.

It has just occurred to me that this may be a partner picture to my post of Farmer Jeb, as each image shares the same background and both show people in costume. I am unsure whether these came from the same eBay seller, but if they did, I bought them several months apart.

I would still say I find male clowns quite scary, but I dislike them less, the more I know about them. This lady, if she is a professional entertainer, is definitely not scary!


I have added this GIF to my original post Photomaton Diva. I like the way this feels like flipping through an album! Thanks again to my friends John and Zeus!

I have a wee detail to add about the above photos. My Photomaton Diva has a kiss curl. According to Wikipedia, “A kiss curl describes a lock of hair curling onto the face which is usually plastered down. Although the curl could be flattened with saliva (hence its alternative name spit curl), soap or hair lotion was more typically used.”

Josephine Baker was one of the most famous wearers of the style.




In the above photos, the sitter looks as glamorous as a silent movie star. As her headdress doesn’t fit with her outfit, I am guessing she is trying out a bridal accessory, possibly to see how it worked in a photograph? Below, without the intricate head-piece, she looks less of a star but very much an elegant woman of the twenties.

These photos were taken on 25 November 1929 at a Photomaton studio in Paris. They came in their original folder which shows the prices you would’ve paid if you had chosen to make enlargements. There is only one photo missing from the strip of six, which would have been cut at the studio, in order that one would stand upright to fit the paper frame.

I cannot work out what the numbers beside the listed countries represent, as they cannot be the price in local currency. Taking Les États-Unis (USA) as an example, the equivalent set of photos in the 1920s would have cost ten cents, not $2.25 or 225 cents. France is listed on the back with 72 beside it, while the price on the front is marked as 6 francs.

The name of the shop or department store that is stamped in purple at the bottom front of the folder, I am unable to make out. I can find no record of anything other than a, now defunct, café at 26, Boulevard des Italiens.




Outside of folder.


Inside of open folder.



Isn’t this a wonderful portrait of what I presume to be a long standing, married couple? There is a relaxed warmth and familiarity between the two. I love their hats and the man’s upturned face and eyes. Is he looking at something or someone, or just good at choosing a comic photographic angle? There seems to be a benign amusement in the woman’s eyes. Is her partner a perennial joker, no longer very funny to her but loved none the less?

Is there anyone out there, who has the time and inclination to work out the inscription on the back of the above photo? Obviously they are names, but the surname of Konrad, is the only word I can make out. I bought this from the USA.



Here is yet another sweet gift from my friend Ted Stutz of TedBook’s DAILY PICS. As with all of Ted’s gifts, it arrived in the post unexpectedly. I love surprises, but most of all surprise photobooth photos!

Perhaps it is just my fancy, but I do think this lovely lady is the divine actress Meryl Streep. She jumped into a time machine and travelled back to the 1930s. Always a stickler for authenticity, she went there to aid her research into role the of Kate Mundy in Dancing at Lughnasa. Whilst there she couldn’t resist the allure of a local photobooth to appraise her era-appropriate costume and hairstyle.

This photo was taken in the USA on 8 August, 1938. All this beautiful woman needs is a blond dye-job to be Meryl’s spitting image. Do you agree or disagree?

This post is inspired by a series on the blog Tattered and Lost – Vernacular Photography.  Search for Time Traveling Celebrity to see all of the posts in this fun category.



22 September 2000, Melbourne, Victoria

Another of my guide dog puppies, Vinson was adored by all children, but especially by two, Giosue and Francesco. Their adoration of this dog made giving him up more difficult than usual. Telling them that he would no longer be with me when they came to visit, was heart-breaking, such was their devastation at the news.

Vinson graduated and became a fully fledged guide dog. He was sent to Japan where he had to relearn all his commands in Japanese. Unfortunately he was unable to deal with the noise and frantic pace of life in Tokyo, so he was retired. He was adopted by a family from a smaller city, where, I hope, he lived very happily.

These come from my series Photobooth 41 Year Project. You can see all the posts that document the series by clicking here.


Pearl. NOT Great Great Aunty Kit Clements.

I sometimes show my photos to others to gauge their first reactions. I am frequently surprised at the comments, and get new insight into my collection. If I see something of a family member in a face or other point of interest to my rellos, I will show them first. The photo, above, is a case in point. I showed it to my mother and asked if it reminded her of anyone. “Aunty Kit”, she said without hesitation. This made me very happy as the only reason I bought this photo was for the resemblance to said Aunt.

On my maternal grandfather’s side of the family there was Great Great Aunty Kit Clements. On my maternal grandmother’s side of the family there was Great Great Aunty Kit MacAteer. Both were christened Katherine. Despite this I was named after neither of them, sadly. Mum and Dad say they just liked the name Katherine. (Luckily, so do I).

Whenever I think about Great Aunts, I think of P.G. Wodehouse and have a wee chuckle to myself.

Aunt Agatha is like an elephant—not so much to look at, for in appearance she resembles more a well-bred vulture, but because she never forgets.

When news had reached me through well-informed channels that my Aunt Agatha for many years a widow, or derelict, as I believed it is called, was about to take another pop at matrimony, my first emotion, as was natural in the circumstances, had been a gentle pity for the unfortunate goop slated to step up the aisle with her – she, as you are aware, being my tough aunt, the one who eats broken bottles and conducts human sacrifices by the light of the full moon.

Neither of my Great Aunts were so ferocious, but neither were they faint-hearted ladies. Kit MacAteer was a cook at Freer’s Hotel in Moray Street, South Melbourne ( for hotel, read respectable public house) and helped her sister (who owned the hotel), bring up my grandmother and her brother when the children’s father died.  Kit Clements was forced to give up an “unsuitable match” to care for her invalid mother. Neither woman married, which may have been a great sadness to them, but it meant they were very close to their nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and where longevity allowed, great great nieces and nephews!

This photo is from the USA and is dated 14 November, 1949. The sitters name is Pearl. She looks like a darling.

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