Monthly Archives: April 2017

This is an old press photo from 1986, showing one of the many photobooths that used to exist in department stores across the USA. This one was in the J.J. Newberry Co’s store in Portland, Oregon.

I have an ambition to find a strip of these three girls, not necessarily to own, but to add to this blog and the story in this photo. Their names are Julie Hensel of Gresham, now 44 years old, and Tiffany Mohr, now 43 and Rachele Johnson, now 44. Both Tiffany and Rachele were from Portland.

Sadly the J.J. Newberry Company is now defunct. Assuming this was their only store in Portland, the one that housed this booth appears to have been the last of their chain to remain open. It closed in 2001.

I hope by adding the names of these girls in the text and the tags, that they, or someone they know will stumble upon this post. Maybe they still have the photobooth strips they took on this day and will be willing to share them here?

Thank you to everyone for all their comments and Easter wishes. I hope I can get some replies done very soon. In the meantime I am enjoying browsing your posts.

Please let me know if you have subscribed to this blog and I haven’t yet visited you. I would love to see what you are up to.

I think I might have gone a bit over the top, (some might say a bit mad), when making my Easter bunny mask and eyebrows. Stangely, even though the eyebrows are made with the same colour pink paper as the cheeks, (see below), they do not register the same way in the photo. Even after all these years, I am still struggling with working out the best colours and tones to wear to get the best results in black and white booths. A bright orange dress I was wearing the other day, read as black in the photos. That was a total surprise to me. I guess that means Orange really Is The New Black.

The photobooth where I took these strips, is in a suburb of Melbourne that is close to the hospital where my cardiologist has her consultancy. Though going to endless specialist appointments is tedious in many ways, if I can squeeze in a trip to an old fashioned booth at the same time, I am happier.

I hope you got a laugh from my photos. I sure did! Happy Easter to you all.

What’s Up Doc?


Germany, 1930s

This little lady in her hand knitted cardigan and skirt seems to be listening intently to instructions from outside the booth. At the time this photo was taken in the 1930s, booths were operated by a controller who would guide the sitter through a series of predetermined poses. So the person to whom she was listening, while most likely a parent, could also have been the operator.

I wonder if her rabbit was a festive gift? When I was little a stuffed rabbit for an Easter present would’ve been very welcome, as long as it also came with lots and lots of chocolate eggs, of course.

Easter is almost here. Yay! This is the second of three rabbit themed posts I’m doing to celebrate.

On Sunday evening I had a very rare night out with my best buddy Petrina. Petrina is a frequent companion in my photobooth adventures. She has appeared more often than any of my other friends or relatives, in strips dating back almost twenty years. She drove us into Melbourne to see David O’Doherty’s Melbourne Comedy Festival show Big Time. As she is a very faithful, patient and indulgent friend, she also came with me to take some photobooth strips at my favourite booth at Flinders Street Station. Yay, Trini!

You may remember, or you may have been trying to block all memory of, a previous post of photos of me dressed up as Docter Noel Zone, a character from David O’Doherty and Chris Judges’s book series Danger Is EverywhereI used the following image as my costume guide.

I announced to my Dubliner brother-in-law, Timo, for whom I had made the three strips, that I was going to see the man himself. He encouraged me to take them to the performance and ask David to sign them. This I dutifully did, as you can see, below.

Not only did he sign them, but we had a wee chat and I got a hug and a kiss as well. I was delighted of course!

David’s show was very, very funny and just as mad as I had been told it would be. David also does shows for children. Seeing the recommended age group, I think I should scurry along to one of those, too.

Below, if you can stomach it again, are the booth photos David signed.

Docter Noel Zone as illustrated by Chris Judge.


USA Florida 1940s?

When I originally wrote about this photo, I made a lot of assumptions about the men pictured, based on the tropical beach background and the way one of the men reminded me of the fictional character Gomer Pyle, a Marine.

Johnny Alexander of the blog A Prayer Like Gravity left a comment that is a more factual description of the role these men might have played in the US forces. He was able to pick up details in the photo that I had not been able to decipher, and so ignored. Johnny wrote –

I believe that these gents were members of the US Army Air Corps, judging by the uniforms (not to spoil your imagined back-story of course). My dad was in the Army Air Corps in WWII.

This is him, as a cadet:

Johnny’s very handsome dad.

Interesting thing here is that the image of these two fly-boys is reversed as you can see in the “U.S.” emblem on the collar.

The other collar insignia is the winged propeller of the Air Corps. They were either still cadets or enlisted men, as officers would have their rank insignia on the collar instead of the “U.S.”. They show that winged prop insignia on their hats which is the real clincher I think for them being cadets.

This could possibly put them in Florida, as there were a number of training bases there during the war, including Boca Raton, where my dad was for a time. 

Either way, this is probably pre-1947, as that is when the Air Force was formed from the US Army Air Corps.

I could be wrong on a few of the details here, but I’ll let you know if I come across anything else.

Many thanks to Johnny for taking the time to write this informative comment and especially for sharing his father’s photo. Please visit Johnny’s blog here.


Germany 1930s

“Wave for daddy!”

This little boy is obviously feeling a bit overwhelmed by his encounter with a photobooth but is still relaxed enough to wave at the camera and  hold his toy gently. I guess it is possible that the wave was a precursor to a vocal plea to be let out of the strange box he had been deposited into, but I prefer to think that this was, overall, a positive experience for him.

I believe the bunny this lad is holding is made by Steiff, as it is just possible to see the trademark button in its left ear. It appears to be holding something in its paw but I cannot work out what it might be. I am also unable to find anything similar online, yet again! All ideas of what it is, are, as always, gratefully accepted.

Easter is coming, so this is the first of three rabbit themed posts I will be doing to celebrate.

One of the original photobooth strips and the prop

Kate Aston is studying photography through Express Your Vision with the Open College of the Arts in Wiltshire, UK. She photographs the familiar and the forgotten from a feminist perspective. The assignments from the course are worked through in steps which Kate documents on her blog. Her posts include feedback from her tutors and reflections on her assignments.

One assignment topic was Collecting. The suggested areas of focus were heads, crowds or views. Kate chose heads. Due to the almost exclusive focus on heads in photobooth photos, she thought it the best photographic tool to use to investigate that topic. She chose a Sainsburys PhotoMe colour booth, to make her exploration.

An exploration of the use of die cutting.

Kate’s research page includes links to past photobooth events, photobooth artists such as Liz Rideal (Liz’s site includes a brief history of the photobooth), Elizabeth Fearon, Tomoko Sawada (I LOVE her work!), Sabine Delafon, Marco Ferrari (who I have featured on this blog, here and here) and Juan Pablo Echeverri, an extract from ‘American Photobooth’ by artist, photobooth historian and collector Näkki Goranin, and a link to this blog, amongst others. To go to her research page, please click here. If you love photobooths and photobooth art, there is so much to explore there.

I have found it fascinating to see Kate’s progress through this assignment and her other areas of work. To go directly to the complete photobooth based assignment, please click here.

A page from the finished artwork, which is a complete photo album.

You can see a video of the album here: You will need the password smileplease .

Taking the photos.

David O’Doherty is an Irish comedian and author. He encourages silly people and children to dress up as one of his book characters, Docter Noel Zone, who is a Dangerologist. Docter Zone appears in the books Danger Is Everywhere, Danger Is Still Everywhere and Danger Really is Everywhere: School of Danger. Docter Zone has a pet stone named Dennis. I am not sure if the person above is a silly person or a child, or just plain childish.

The above person is going to see Mr O’Doherty at the Melbourne Comedy Festival later this week and is very excited about it.


Docter Noel Zone as illustrated by Chris Judge

From a French Seller

With that grimace and those watery eyes, this boy seems to still be suffering the agonies he experienced in the tattooist’s chair. What a face! I imagine this was his attempt at trying to look like a tough guy. I think he needs more time to perfect his mannerisms for that role, don’t you?

His tattoo is a panther, I think. Or some other type of big cat. Given the heights of tattoo art these days, this is a rather underwhelming effort. I wonder if he added to it or even had work done over it?

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