Photobooth Art

Above is one of a series of silverpoint drawings based on photobooth images. The artist is Roy Eastland. He is based in the UK where he exhibits widely.

His work is centred on drawing. He is especially interested in art about human presence, memory and trace.

Roy talks about this series –

These silverpoint portraits are based on photobooth images of my Mum. They were most likely done for bus passes. The photos I’ve drawn from are the mistimed and unflattering ones which were never used. I like them because they capture familiar facial expressions and the hints of  personality which better-posed photographs would never have caught.

The photographs are the starting points but the drawings are never straightforward copies of them. They slowly emerge out of a painstaking drawing-process of repeated loss and revision. The drawings are repeatedly scratched-away and redrawn so that the resultant drawings are traces of time as much as they are drawings of people.

The drawings contain blocks of handwriting too. Handwriting is also a kind of drawing. The texts are made up of lines of remembered speech and familiar stories repeatedly re-written and altered in each re-telling. Some phrases and words become more prominent over time but complete sentences are hard to see and the presence of it all is always fragile, like a memory.

Silverpoint drawings are made by drawing a point of silver wire across a prepared surface onto which tiny traces of metal are deposited. These traces are extremely subtle; pressing the point harder will not make the line any darker or its presence any stronger. The delicacy of silverpoint lines makes it an appropriate medium for an art about presence, trace and memory.

My drawings are based on photobooth images but they are really drawings about the presence of life in insignificant and otherwise unrecorded moments. Drawings condense moments in time into traces of touch. They take time to do and the sense of time is subtly replayed whenever someone spends time looking at a drawing. My drawings are a kind of meditation on an imagined single moment of a life in which someone was still for a while and at which no one else was present.

I find his work extremely interesting and moving. There is a strong sense of being pulled into the image, as though we are leaping through a time barrier in order to be able to connect with the person, face to face. Roy’s drawings achieve something which I aim to convey in words when I describe a photobooth photo on this blog. I love the subtle relationship of materials between the silverpoint used to make the drawings and the silver gelatin process that was used in photobooth photos for decades.

Two more of Roy’s works are below. You can see a lot more of his beaautiful images at his blog, here.


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.


The model in this print is Rebecca Vincent.

Last year, through setting up an Instagram account, I discovered the work of Italian photobooth artist Marco Ferrari. In addition to my fondness for photobooths, I have a fondness for tattoo art*, so finding Marco’s work was very exciting. After madly “hearting” the many examples of his work I found there, I was thrilled to discover that he had items for sale.

Above is a scan of one of his 8 X 10 prints from his, as yet unfinished, art project Inked. This series of portraits of people with elaborate and beautiful tattoos, is designed to explore the relationship they have with the art they wear on their skin everyday. This image is printed on textured, heavy weight Hahnemühle German etching paper. It is visually and texturally beautiful.

I have two of Marco’s works in my collection which I hope to frame soon. If you would like to see more of his photobooth work, which includes self portraits, portraits of photographers in photobooths and other projects, some more examples and the links to his sites are below.

* My only foray into any indelible inking of my own skin resulted in a tiny heart-shaped flower on my left ankle, nausea, and a fainting spell, which was nicely followed up by a three day migraine. I was unaware at the time, that I had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome but my reaction to the procedure is not at all out of character for the illness. Needless to say, I still have only the one tiny tattoo.


Unplanned – London (2013)

Marco’s website is and his online shop can be found at

Marco Ferrari – Self Portrait

Photobooth artist Marco Ferrari has work featured in the book  Photomaton by Raynal Pellicer. Only a limited amount of his photography is shown there, so it was a great discovery when I found an abundance of his pictures on Instagram. Marco works with many different analogue cameras, (Go Analogue, Digital Is Dead is his motto), but his greatest passion is making work in photobooths. He has his own colour booth in Italy, but as he is now based in the UK, he needs to look outside his studio to make his booth images. In an ongoing project, Inked, Marco uses public, black and white photobooths to create stunning portraits of people and their body art. Marco loves photobooths so much, he even commissioned a tattoo of one. (See the bottom of this post.)


You can read more about Marco’s work on the My Cheap Camera blog by clicking here. If you click here, you will see a large collection of his photobooth, photographic explorations. Finally, if you would like to purchase any of his work, he sells beautiful prints of his favourite images at Big Cartel, here.




My previous post about Jeff Nachtigall came about through his image and mine appearing on the same page of Meags Fitzgerald’s photobooth book. Another photobooth aficionado, Violeta Tayeh also appeared on the same page.

Here is some of Violeta’s story in her own words –

I only came across photobooths in 2010 through a relationship I had developed with Dirklancer (Jeff Nachtigall) through the Lomography Society website. There he posted a link to his personal blog, The Art of Waiting where he held a photobooth competition.

The lomography community always has online photo competitions with different themes in mind and between 2007 and 2010, I always entered. I’d tell my husband we needed to go to the beach because I wanted to take some shots to enter a comp. That was not unusual. So entering Jeff’s was not a stretch at all. It was just a different type of camera.


Violeta’s competition entry

Jeff sent me a link to and I used their locator to find some photobooths in my area. Turned out that all the booths in Maryland and Washington DC were either out of service, or removed. I looked up Philadelphia, located 3 booths to visit and made a day trip out of it. 

I painted my own backgrounds (see above).  I fell in love with this form of photography that day. The problem is that a few months after these strips were taken, we went back to visit Philly and the store which had the booth was closed down. The photobooth was auctioned off. Since there weren’t many booths near me, I tried to visit booths when we’d go on vacation somewhere, like this one: 


The last day we went snowboarding for the season

So up until the Photobooth Convention in 2014, I had taken less than 25 strips, so not too much art making was going on. But at the convention, my husband and I took over 50 strips together in two days! Definitely wished I could have stayed for the last day. I probably would have been able to make larger pieces with multiple strips. It’s difficult trying to make artwork with more than two strips when someone else is waiting in line to use the booth so I didn’t try to do that but I did pick up a few techniques from talking to others there.



In June last year I asked Canadian photopbooth aficionado, Jeff Nachtigall aka Dirk Lancer, if I could share some of his images from his Lomography pages. He said yes. Now, finally, here they are.

Just as here in Australia, chemical booths are disappearing in Canada. Jeff says all the black and white booths have gone and he has heard that the colour ones will be gone within the next year or so.

To see more of Jeff’s work please click here.


Complete series

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Below is another series by Jeff with his explanation about how the series was made.

I took this series in a photobooth in West Edmonton Mall, right beside the waterpark, across from the Antique photo parlour. I used an old bed sheet on my lap and over the floor to catch all the hair, while a friend waited outside, handing me loonies (1 dollar coins). The whole series cost $28 and took just under 1/2 an hour to complete. I learned that you can continue to put in coins and get photos done without waiting for the previous strips to develop, but I’m not sure how far you could push this. Next time, I’m taking a straight razor and a bucket of hot water 😉






This is a page from Meags Fitzgerald’s book Photobooth A Biography, which I recently reviewed in this post. As you can see, I made it into the book as did some other enthusiasts and artists involved with photobooth photo making, collecting and preservation.

Below is the original photo from which Meags did her drawing of me. It was taken in Chapel Street in Prahran, Melbourne on 11 August 2011.

In the coming weeks I will showcase some of the work of the other people pictured here. I am looking forward to sharing their works with you.



The Kills are an indie rock band formed by American singer Alison Mosshart and British guitarist Jamie Hince. They used photobooth photos to promote their albums and concerts for many years. The collection they present on their website, here, is extensive and fun for a lover of booth photos to explore.


The sleeve of their début EP (2002), Black Rooster, (below) featured manipulated photos of Mosshart and Hince taken in a photobooth.


Their second single,  Fried My Little Brains (below), from their first album also featured a photobooth photo for the cover art.


With not a clue in the world what the band sounded like, I took a punt and purchased their début album (below) Keep on Your Mean Side (2003) from which the above single was taken. I thought that if I didn’t like the music, the cover would be a nice addition to my photobooth ephemera collection. I loved it on the first listening. I was very happy that their music rocked as much as their obsession with photobooths!

POST SCRIPT – Since writing this post a fortnight ago, I have bought a second album, Midnight Boom (2008). I love this band!

photoboothTheKillsAlbumCover Keep on your mean side


And who would have thought that emminent British artist Tracey Emin would take after me?

… it’s striking that there are so many photos of Tracey alone in photo booths, when most people are always crowded out with friends.

‘I was trying to see what I looked like. It was almost like the mirror didn’t work and I had to have this other proof of who I was.

‘I don’t like looking in a mirror. I look because I have to make sure my hair is tidy and my spot isn’t too big and I haven’t got any junk in the corner of my eye, and to make sure everything’s tucked in and it looks all right, that’s it. I’m not interested in looking in the mirror to see my reflection, I don’t think I ever have been.’

Image and quote taken from this Mail Online article. This is a link to Tracey’s website.

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