Tag Archives: Love

Happy Saint Valentine’s Day!

I made this strip earlier in the year when I needed to go to the city for the start of a root canal. Ouch! I have never minded the dentist but the long trip from my home to the dental hospital plays havoc with the symptoms of my illness. It is the ramifications of the journey that I dread. Having said that, I make sure to drive in early and park close to the Flinders Street photobooth. That means I haven’t far to walk with my box of props, to take a few strips before heading off to the appointment.

I didn’t much like the results of my Valentine themed pics this year, so chose just one of the nine photos I took, to feature in this post. I thought I might as well show you the full strip it came from, as it was already scanned. What do you think?


Our young man on the right, in 1934. Love those almost identical suits and those hairstyles!

Photoweigh photobooth photos are rare. Between the 1930s and 1970s when the last of these booths disappeared, there appears to have been only a handful scattered across the UK, Germany and France. Although a business called the American Automatic Photoweigh Company Inc. was registered in America, there does not appear to have been any booths operating there.

These English photos from 1934 and 1939, above and below, are even rarer than typical, holiday-souvenir Photoweigh images, as they show the same young man in two close poses with his male friends. There are many photos for sale online which purport to show gay or lesbian lovers. In most instances it is decidedly unclear as to whether the subjects are just pals or in closer relationships. However in this instance, I think it is safe to say the men pictured here are more than just friends.


Again in 1934 but now on the left, in a joyful embrace.

At a time when homosexuality was still criminalised, taking affectionate same sex snapshots to a commercial printer, posed risks to what would have needed to be clandestine relationships. Without access to your own darkroom, photobooths were the only way to commemorate a gay relationship in private and with confidence. Photobooths created images without a tell tale negative or in the case of some Photoweigh machines where a paper negative was supplied with the finished positive, leaving no record in the machine.

Despite the happy and loving nature of these photos, there is a heartbreaking poignancy to them, given the prejudice and suffering endured by the same sex community at the time. The young man who is pictured in all three photos, looks a jolly type. I hope that translated into a fulfilling and happy life despite the obstacles he would have had to face.

You can read more about the history of this type of photobooth here, and see more Photoweigh images here.


Five years later, a solo portrait.

HENSHAW Grace1_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 late

This is a very special post of photobooth photos from one of my blog readers, Sherri. I have tried to present this story mainly in Sherri’s own words.

“My love for photobooth images comes from those that I have of my mother.  She was killed in an auto accident when I was just 7 months old, so all I have of her are photos, no memories.  My favorite photos of her have always been the photobooth strips.  It may sound silly or strange, but I feel like they are the next best thing to having a memory of her.  In those strips, I feel like I can feel how she was feeling in the booth, trying out poses, smiling, laughing.

They are all attached to a page in my baby book. (See the full page, below). There are also booth photos of my maternal grandmother (who, by the way, is the person who raised me after my mother’s death).

I found a note in the baby book telling that the photos taken in July, 1967  in a Fort Wayne, Indiana KMart store.  The other booth images would also have been taken in Fort Wayne, Indiana, but I can’t be sure of the store.
My mother was Grace Charline (nee Henshaw) Sloan, born December 26, 1949 and died October 7, 1967.  My name is Sherri Lynn and I was born March 5, 1967.  My grandmother’s name was Mary Louis (nee Shenfeld) Didion, born February 6, 1925.”
HENSHAW Grace1_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug
Sherri has a wonderful vintage photo blog The Rescued Photo, which I encourage you to visit. She meticulously researches the lives of the sitter/s from any scant detail she can glean from a scribbled name or note. Sherri’s philosophy about blogging is closely related to her feelings about her photobooth photos of her mother – that the story behind the images allow the person, or people in them, to live on.
Most unusually and unselfishly, Sherri will give the photos back to family members. However it is not always an easy process.

“I  hope that someday relatives will find my posts.  So far, I’ve only located one relative of a photograph but not one I’ve blogged about. They said they would love to have the photo and would send me their address, but they never did.  I followed up once and still didn’t hear back.  I noticed they’re using the photo in their ancestry family tree, so maybe the digital copy was enough for them.

I did find a home for the most recent photo I blogged – Orlo C Mathews and his brothers.  Orlo is the survivor of the Sultana maritime disaster. While researching him, I discovered a book he owned (about the Sultana) is housed in the Bedford Ohio Historical Society Museum.  I contacted them and they are excited to add the photo to the book.  Imagine how much more interesting it will be for people to be able to see a photo of the man who owned the book and survived the disaster!  I’m so thrilled with how that turned out!  I hope to have more of those moments!

Just like my blogging about photos I find, makes me feel like I’m helping the people in the images to live on, I feel like that’s what you will be doing for me by blogging the photos of my mother.

HENSHAW Grace2_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 AugHENSHAW Grace1 1967 Aug
HENSHAW Grace5_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug 11HENSHAW Grace4_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug 11
HENSHAW Grace3_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug 11HENSHAW Grace2_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug 11
HENSHAW Grace1_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Aug 11
SHENFELD Mary4_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Jul 14

Sherri with her maternal grandmother, who raised her.

SHENFELD Mary3_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Jul 14SHENFELD Mary_baby SLOAN Sherri 1967 Jul 14


The complete page from Sherri’s baby book.


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.


Triptych taken in July 2013 for an exhibition that sadly never happened.

Merry X-mas and O-mas, Merry Kisses and Hugs to everyone who has supported my blog, and supported me during this time of ill health.

Thanks for the comments you left on my last post (as yet un answered, but greatly appreciated). I hope to be able to do some regular writing next year. I have lots of wonderful items to share with you.

Seasons Greetings to all, both long-time followers, new followers and casual readers. Have fun!


Father Christmas and friends. A booth pic found online, with thanks to the original owner.

With best wishes, from Katherine.

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