Archive

Vintage Photobooth

photoboothgermanygrumpychilddoll

Germany 1930s

Here we have a seriously unamused child with, what looks to be, a brand new dolly. Her furrowed brow reminds me of an expression a disapproving, elder relative might direct towards a naughty child. Yet there is a faint trace of a smile in her pursed lips. It is as though the experience of being photographed is eliciting an automatic gesture, that she is determined not to make. The doll is looking sanguinely towards her owner’s face, hoping she is not the object of the girl’s displeasure. The way the stripes of the girl’s top and the plaid of the doll’s dress tonally harmonise, visually emphasises an emotional joining of the two actor’s in this photographic vignette.

As with any other photobooth photos, there would have been multiple photos in this strip. The others might have shown a perky, carefree, smiling child. However, this photobooth photo is the one that survived out in a world of deceased estate auctions, flea markets and online collectibles websites. A rough and tumble world, where photos as small as this one often get jammed in the bottom of a box, bent and mangled by browsers or lumped into and forgotten in a large auction lot with more desirable photos. All this leads me to think that this child’s grumpy-face was not unique to this photo at all. She had her doll. She had her day out. She was tired and wanted to go home and she DIDN’T want her photo taken in a stupid photobooth.

Earlier this month I submitted a diptych of two complete photobooth strips to the curated, self portrait blog strata of the self. I was thrilled that they were accepted. They were published in a post this afternoon, which I have reblogged, below. Please visit and explore the many and varied self portraits in multiple mediums that you will find there.

A good place to start your perusal is the About page which explains the blog’s philosophy and introduces you to Ashley Lily Scarlett the artist-curator. Ashley also has a photography, writing and animation blog, Syncopated Eyeball, which is fascinating to dip into, as well as a photo-conversation site called Between Scarlett and Guest.

© Katherine Griffiths 2017 blog: Photobooth Journal

via Katherine Griffiths: Flinders Street 30 January 2017 — strata of the self

photoboothvalentine2017

These are the first Saint Valentine’s Day photobooth strips I have taken for this blog. ❤🌹Happy day to lovers, all! 🌹❤

These strips were taken on 30 January, 2017, at the Flinders Street photobooth. I had a hospital appointment and received good news from the surgeon. I had a photobooth appointment and received good news from a sign. I had a shopping appointment and received good news from the prices. Definitely a ❤❤❤ day.

PS The background decoration is made from pages from a 1970s romance comic called All Love, the remains of which I am reading in the centre strip.

photoboothtonguesoffun03

photoboothtonguesoffun02

Sometimes I am lucky enough to find a large, mixed lot of photobooth photos at a reasonable price. Along with dirty, scratched, bent, taped, torn or peeling photos, there will be those in pristine condition. However sometimes the condition just doesn’t matter.

All of these photos have suffered from poor handling and all being relatively new, are not sort after by the “serious” collector. I don’t give a rat’s fart about that! I love the joy and craziness exhibited in each and every one of them. I hope you do, too.

photoboothtonguesoffun01

photoboothtonguesoffun04

All the photos come from a country that is great, always has been great and doesn’t need to be “made great again”, the United States of America.

The photobooth poem in the previous post, I published without any details about the writer. I wanted to focus on the poem, rather than its origins. My reason for that decision, is that I don’t actually have any details about the author and it is rather a long story to tell you why.

It is all very mysterious. The poem was written as a comment on this post, which revealed that the Flinders Street photobooth had been saved from permanent removal. The comment was made by the blogger atrmws who, I discovered upon searching for more details, has a private blog site. I was unable to determine the most basic information, such as where they are from or whether they are male or female.

As a reply to the poem comment, I asked for permission to use it as a post. After 24 hours or so, with no response, I decided that the author may not regularly be on WordPress and therefore may not have seen my request. I reasoned that publishing it as a separate post would not be a problem, as it had already been published as a comment. Luckily, it was not a faux pas on my part, as atrmws, liked the poem post. Sadly they did not leave a comment.

For the poem, atrmws had done some research. In order to construct it, they referenced comments by Alan Adler, the owner of the booth, from a newspaper article from January 2011. I suspect they have also spent time using an old photobooth as the line “A whirring, thinking, clinking something” exactly captures the sounds one hears when the booth is working to develop photos.

So thank you to atrmws! I was totally thrilled to find that you had written a photobooth poem just for me.

I hope you enjoyed reading The Flinders Street Photobooth poem and hearing at least a fragment of the story behind it. Douglas from From 1 Blogger 2 Another liked it enough to reblog it, for which I thank him. I also thank him for all the other times he has reblogged my posts. Cheers Douglas!

Please check out Douglas’s blog blog to discover some wonderful gems from the blogosphere or check out his artist’s blog Moorezart for a dose of inspiration. You may also enjoy the Art of Quotation for some daily creative thinking through quotes.

Below is another strip of “four square, black-and-white mementos” from the old Flinders Street booth.

photobooth12051999-1

Flinders Street, 12 May 1999

The Flinders Street Photobooth

by atrmws

In the end, it was a question of coins

More accurately the advent of the dollar

That big, shiny circle of happiness

Monumental in the palm, the simplest exchange

For four square, black-and-white mementos

A whirring, thinking, clinking something

Alan Adler was the photo-man, his trolleyful

Of cans, the charmer and his chemicals

Had coloured magic on his hands

photobooth26031996strip

From the Flinders Street photobooth when it printed four shots to a strip. 29 March, 1996


This photo strip was previously published in the post Filling In Time, on the 11th of January 2012.

I will write more about the poem and where it came from in a later post.

%d bloggers like this: