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Vintage Photobooth

While I have been bemoaning the probable loss of a photobooth, my friend Ted has found one for me. In the strip he appears with his granddaughter Ula Grace.

Thanks for the pics Ted, and for all the friendship and the support you give me. X X

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img_8902 Guest Photographer: Ula Grace

Always on the lookout for a Photo Booth and found one at Pacific Place in Seattle.  Had to get a strip for my friend Katherine Griffiths, Downunder in Oz, who is obsessed with Photobooths and writes a delightful blog about her finds.  Do pay a visit to…  Photobooth Journal

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Merry Christmas, Katie!

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Above is the photobooth where the majority of my recent booth pics have been taken. I take multiple strips each time I visit, as due to my health, I am never sure when I will be able to make it there again. It is a place for me to be creative, a place where I love to play.

In 2011 Lindy Percival of The Age newspaper wrote a piece about this booth and the owner Alan Adler. In the article, Alan could not see a bright future for his business. The photographic paper was getting harder to source and he was scaling things back due to his advancing years.

For some years after the article was published, every time I’d go to the centre of Melbourne, I would hold my breath as I turned into Flinders Street. Will the booth still be there, I’d wonder? At one point, I had a gut wrenching moment when the booth was not in its usual position. That was quickly over, as a photobooth-enthusiast ticket inspector directed me to the new location. Gradually I forgot about the probably looming disappearance of this and Alan’s other booth in Chapel Street, South Yarra.

Most of my excursions to town are as a result of appointments to see specialist doctors. Having an appointment on Monday, Saturday saw me thinking about what props I might take with me for the trip to the booth and how I might use those props. Later that day, I received a comment on this blog that the booth was going to be removed on Sunday. Noooooooo!!!!!!

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I googled the information to see if I could find any news reports about the booth’s imminent demise. Nothing. I tried Facebook and other social media. Nothing. How could I find out if the story was true? I messaged people who would be in the know. Nothing. Then I received confirmation that a friend’s daughter had also heard about the removal. There was nothing for it. I needed to get into the city pronto. There was no way I was well enough to make the trip there and back twice in two days, so I leaped onto Trivago in the hope that I could find a cheap hotel in which to spend Sunday night. Nothing I could afford came up, so thwarted in that plan, I decided to just hope for the best that it might still be in situ on Monday morning.

And lo and behold, when I turned into Flinders Street, there it still was, in all its dishevelled glory! My heart leapt, as subsequently did my collection of booth strips.

And yet the plot thickens. While waiting for my final strip to emerge, I was taken by a very elegant and superbly rendered tattoo of David Bowie on the calf of a young woman. As it turned out, she was waiting for a friend near the booth. I mentioned my last post on this blog about Marco Ferrari and his tattoo photos, as I thought it might interest her. As we chatted I mentioned the removal rumour. She knew all about it! Yes, the booth had been scheduled for removal on Sunday. Apparently it is not the shortage of paper or the looming retirement of the owner that were at issue. It is the station management that want the booth removed. I say “damn your eyes”* to those anonymous corporate destroyers of a much loved Melbourne icon!

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My new companion knew even more. Apparently the booth has had a temporary reprieve until the end of this month. There is also a campaign to lobby for a permanent stay of execution. Unfortunately, it was a hot afternoon, I felt woeful and I was fretting about leaving the city before peak hour, so I forgot to ask who was organising the campaign and if there was anything I could do to help. Duh, double duh! I am a failure as a knight in shining armour for my beloved booth!!

Now, I am hoping that this post might be seen by the elegantly tattooed bearer of the news. I gave her my card, (Yes, I have a card for this blog. I’m obsessed, remember?) and she said she would check it out. Any comments from anyone who knows more about the Save Our Flinders Street Photobooth Campaign would be very, very welcome.

*A favourite quote from Young Frankenstein. God bless Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle and Gene Wilder.

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Things to do for Xmas –

  • Decorate the booth – Check
  • Get out the tree – Check
  • Find the tinsel – Check
  • Where is the star topper? Oh right . . . – Check
  • Fluff up the tree – Check
  • Find the ribbon and Christmas paper – Check
  • Wrap the presents – Check

Now all the preparations are finished, I’d like to thank you all for your continued support despite the weeks when I haven’t posted and through the weeks I haven’t even been well enough to visit your blogs. Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is hard to manage but it is that much easier knowing I have so many friends in the blogging community.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a fruitful and fun 2017.

Kate

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Earlier this year at everybody’s favourite online garage-sale, I bid on the above Christmas themed photobooth photo. It wasn’t outrageously expensive, and my bid was a low one, so I assumed that I would not be successful. But, I was. Yay!

Over the years, I have bid on many Father Xmas booth photos without success, so I was ecstatic about my prize. When it arrived in the post, I put it away extremely carefully. Then, of course I couldn’t find it. Bah humbug!

I looked and looked and finally gave up. Then lo and behold, there it was sitting right in front of me! It was nestled in the corner of the frame of a larger photograph. I’m sure Santa was winking at me to get my attention. Having found him and his minuscule charge, it is indeed a Merry Christmas for me!

This photo is from the USA and probably dates to around the 1950s. To me he looks more like a European style Saint Nicholas, thinner and less hirsute than a big, round, bushy American Santa. The image was sold as a “Creepy Santa”**, but I do not find him so. I think he has kind eyes. His charge does have a bit of a “what the hell?” look on his face, but I think that is more to do with his mummy being out of sight, than fear of the big red fellow beside him.

* This is part two of three Xmas posts for this year.

** Like “Creepy Clowns” that is a thing, apparently.

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With tousled curls, topped with an almost completely obscured ribbon, this simple, yet elegant young woman has made a superb self-portrait. Whether deliberate or accidental, there is something of a Hollywood professional portrait to this photo.

Her gently pursed lips are sensual and painted in a soft cupid bow. Her head is tilted gently backwards and her eyes are directed toward the camera lense. She is aware of the viewer but disregards us. It is as though she is looking past the camera, past the technology that will process her photo, through the back of the booth and beyond. She is looking past us to a beautiful, far off horizon of youthful hopes and dreams. I hope those dreams were fulfilled. I hope she was loved and cherished, more than this wee souvenir that somehow escaped its rightful home.

From the USA, the photo is undated, however her hairstyle, the padded shoulders of her jacket and dark matt lipstick suggest this was probably taken in the era of the Second World War or shortly afterwards.

This photobooth image was a gift from my friend Ted. Many thanks to him! Ted is also a blogger who loves photos, photography and photobooths. Through those mutual interests we have become firm friends. He regularly surprises me with cards and photos, some of which I have already shared here. Other images from him, and of him, I will share with you next year.

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Smile child, smile!

With a noise maker in hand, lovely ruffled collar and sweet clown costume, one wonders why this child looks so miserable? Probably without even knowing it, he is wearing the costume and face of Pierrot, the sad clown. He is pining for the love of Columbine. Perhaps he knows she will break his heart and leave him for the more light-hearted Harlequin?

I am guessing that the long object protruding from the back of his hat is a long stemmed feather, but you may have some other theories?

This is another in a series photobooth photos of children with toys and animals, which come from between the two World Wars. As in the previous posts, this picture is from Germany.

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With badly peeling emulsion, this German photobooth photo went for a song. Deterioration such as this never bothers me, in fact I think it adds to the image’s charm. The missing emulsion is probably due to the fact that this pic was trimmed and glued into a photo album.

The modern design of the print fabric of this girl’s dress, belies the fact that this photograph was taken in the 1930s. I don’t think there is much about the photo that suggests it is over 70 years old.

It looks to me to be a celebratory photo. Her Mutti and Vatti have just bought this fluffy new teddy, spotted a photobooth and decided to mark the occasion. Our sitter is truly delighted with her new friend, isn’t she? I wonder if she chose this particular bear because he also had a big ribbon bow like the one she is sporting?

It is delightful the way our little girl is supporting her bear so tenderly. She is holding his left paw, as one might hold the hand of a child that is sat on one’s lap. Mr Bear seems a bit distracted, though. His attention is definitely focused on something outside the booth. He is probably already sick of all the human chatter and is looking for a more ursine entertainment, such as a snack. As Pooh-Bear says, “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?'”.

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