Tag Archives: Photograph


Before cleaning.

After cleaning.

After cleaning.

This is a large format photobooth photo, before and after cleaning. The process was very unsophisticated (a cotton bud lightly moistened with cold water, used to gently wipe away any residue). It is usually a very safe option, though I knew it was risky on older photos. The image is improved in some ways, worse in others. I wasn’t expecting the emulsion to come away. Whenever I have tried this on other photos, the emulsion remained stable. I didn’t notice it had happened until it was dried and flaking off.

This photo of a charming, smiling elderly woman, has quite a poignant and shocking inscription on the back. ” T***, Sister to Grandma D***. Married an abusive husband, F****.” With such a tranquil, kindly face it is hard to read those words without a profound sense of shock and sadness. I hope she weathered her personal storm as well as her face suggests she might have.

All three names are inscribed in full (including a surname) but as the ladies have names that are very unusual, I thought it best not to publish any of them in case any members of her family are still with us. The photo is undated and came in a large mixed lot of photos from a seller in the USA.

Just to let you know the film “Katherine Griffiths 1973 – … ” a film of my photobooth collection made by UK artist Dick Jewell, will be having its first public airing at The British Library for one of its LATE events on 1 March 2013.

There will be a photobooth in situ to document the events of the evening, which include fashion shows with a twist, demonstrations by collectors, inspiring workshops, costume drawing, pop-up stalls and talks.

Here’s a link with the full details –

They are also blowing up some of Dick’s found photobooth photos which will be exhibited on the night.

If, like me, you cannot go to see the film live, then here is a link to it on Vimeo.


I recently did a post about Meg from De Quelle Planète Est-Tu? and her love of photobooths. Through her I found another photobooth enthusiast in Paris who has blogged a list and map of locations of booths in that famous city.

The strip, above, is from her post You’re on (not so) Candid Camera! which is where you will find all the details.

Thank you to Sylvia for permission to use her images.



21 November 1997, Luna Park, Melbourne

Rather than not include the many photos I have with people with whom I am no longer in touch and who I feel may be sensitive, I have decided to pixelate some faces. I wish to stay true to making this blog a document of the complete series by including all the photos, but without causing any offence.

For those of you who are new here, I took my first photobooth photo in 1973 at the age of 11 and have been continuing the series, on and off, since then. Read more about this project here, or click on the link above, Photobooth 41 Year Project.

When I published this animation the other day, the movie was static until clicked. That opened a link to another page where the gif played and the image was very large. Apparently the size of the original files was the issue.

Thanks to Lemuel from the blog History Geek for telling me why it wouldn’t play automatically and for telling me how to fix the problem. If you are reading this blog you will likely find a lot to interest you at History Geek, so check it out here.

When I published this strip of photos the other day, the response was very positive. More than one comment suggested the photos would look good as a mini-movie, aka a gif animation. I don’t have the software to do it myself, so I used a free gif-maker web page. I like the result but more experiments with other, longer series of photos might give me more of that mini-movie look I’ve seen elsewhere.

The lady on the left seems more familiar with the photobooth process than her friend, who appears to be struggling with where to look and how to pose. In the last frame the realisation of the absurdity of her cluelessness takes full effect in an outburst of mutual laughter, making a delightful record of shared experience and friendship.

The quality of this strip isn’t great. It has either been left exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period or was not washed properly in the machine during processing. This item came from the USA and appears to date from the 1950s

A vintage photobooth machine in action. This picture shows a booth installed in a shop, that appears to be a chemist or some type of general store. You can see examples of the types of options one had to get a booth photo enlarged and the white coated operator who directed the sitters to move and pose at different angles for each shot.

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