Tag Archives: photomaton


Following up from Part One, here is Tattoo Man on the phone in a photobooth with his partner. Once again I only own four individually cut photos from this series, this being the second of them.

Below are some of the complete strips from the original sale on Ebay. You can see the above image in its original context and two other strips of the same man and another partner who only appears in this one, heavily altered, series. It is also the only strip to be dated out of the dozen or so scanned from the seller’s website. It is hard to work out a scenario that explains why such a wonderful collection should have ended up in the public domain so quickly after its creation. (It is dated the 19th of May 2003.)




Here we have a  magnificent, peacock like, display from a young American gent, taken around the turn of the millenium. I would be curious to know if anyone can tell me what his tattoo might represent.

This is one of four photos that I purchased from a large series of individually cut photos, that were on Ebay some months ago. They were originally sold in complete strips by another seller, two of which you can see below, in low resolution scans. I missed out on the first auction, more’s the pity, but was able to take the grabs of the complete strips as a record of the original state of the items.

Three more pics to follow soon.


photoboothclownGroup$399 Starting bid copy

Following a high level of interest in my last post about the above item, particularly with reference to the asking price, I thought I would share with you some thoughts from the seller himself, Mr Albert Tanquero of Broken Heart Gallery, Chicago. Not only is Albert the seller of many of the most highly desirable photobooth photos you can find online, but his customer service is second to none, with every photo arriving with a hand printed card and hand written personalised note.

Hi guys. I’m the seller of this photobooth photo. I bought it for a considerable price at a NYC photo show. If it sells for the starting price of US $399.99, I will be able to make a reasonable profit from that one photo. To give you perspective on how expensive it is to try to sell amazing images, I will share some of the travel costs incurred to find my photos and expenses related to fees on Ebay and Paypal.

Some time ago, I flew from Chicago to New York City and paid for two nights in a hotel to be able to attend one of the best vernacular photography shows in the USA. My flight cost me US $450.00, a  room for two nights was US $500 and the entrance to the show was US $30. Additionally there was the cost of the cabs to and from the airport, US $160. Of course there is also the cost of meals, buses and trains, etc. Add all that up and that’s a high outlay just to get to the show.

When photos on eBay are listed for what might appear to be outrageous sums, it is frequently because the cost of obtaining the  item was very, very high. If I had bought this photo at a flea market for a dollar it would have been listed for US$ 5.99. (See examples of other current listings, below, which have that starting price).

So what does it cost to sell the photo? Between eBay and paypal (which eBay owns) 15-18% of a sale is taken in commission. So say the clown photo sells for US $399.99. I have to spend to up to US $72.00 just to sell it. I will also accept checks as payment (cutting out the Paypal part of the fee) but that creates more work as I have to go to the bank and then wait for it to clear. I don’t want to make it seem like there aren’t times I sell $1.00 photos for $30.00. It happens, but good photos have gotten much harder to find. That’s the problem I guess. So for me the photo shows have become one of the few places I can still buy quality images but at a much higher cost.

Another consideration is that, when I sell on eBay I’m providing a curated experience. My time sorting through hundreds of inferior photos, my skill, and my eye are valuable parts of the equation. No one selling snapshots on eBay is getting rich. We do it because it’s a great way to connect lost photos with artists, collectors, enthusiasts.

And one last point…images like this one are used in blogs and other sites online for free, and generally without permission. Not everyone who blogs about my photos actually buys them, like Katherine (mostly) does. Everyone that comes into visual contact with images, that I worked very hard to find, get to enjoy them for free. Why wouldn’t I ask a lot of money for things that are expensive to obtain?

I really appreciate you thinking about the seller’s side of the story.

Albert Tanquero

European Beauty Was A Diva

European Beauty Was A Diva – Starting bid $5.99 Sold for $32.00

She Had Wit and Sass Like No Other

She Had Wit and Sass Like No Other  – Starting bid $5.99 Sold for $8.50

Teen boys, one with crazy glasses - a Nutty duo - Starting bid $5.99

Teen boys, one with crazy glasses – a Nutty duo – Starting bid $5.99 Sale price unknown

It never rains but it pours. Clowns are rare in the realm of photobooth photography. A few days ago I wrote a post about a clown photo, which I have in my collection. (Click here to see). I wasn’t expecting to be writing about clowns again, let alone so soon.

After a flurry of recent clown booth photo listings on Ebay, all from the same seller, today I noticed another trader has the photo, below, up for grabs. This rather extraordinary booth pic shows not only two clowns, which is extremely unusual, but two clowns posing with a scary inanimate friend. I’d like to say that this dummy is of the ventrioquist variety but cannot see any evidence that it is. Wonderful image nevertheless!

Starting bid is $399.99 US dollars. Anyone interested to buy? Not me, I’m afraid, but good luck to the trader. I like a bit of boldness!

photoboothclownGroup$399 Starting bid copy

photoboothFramedTravelCaseDetail03 photoboothFramedTravelCaseDetail02 photoboothFramedTravelCaseDetail01

A lover of photobooth photos, and there are a surprising number of us, is generally found to be a lover of booth related ephemera as well. These photos came to me in the charming little, folding, faux-reptile travel case illustrated below. The 3 photos of this stylish lady of the 1930s, were roughly cut down to fit the frames, with, as you can see,  a varying level of success.

The fourth photo was missing from the series, so the seller added a random picture of a child to make the item more saleable. On receipt of the frame I was surprised to find that what I had assumed to be a leather or vinyl casing, was in fact paper. I was not disappointed. I paid a bargain price to secure it and I have never seen another like it since.




Artist and photobooth lover Meags Fitzgerald recently released a new stop motion animation that she made in a photobooth in Canada last November. Her artistry with the booth as her creative tool is very inspiring and quite wonderful. You can view it on her blog by clicking here or by going directly to Vimeo.

If you visit Meags’s blog, you will be able to explore it for more posts about her involvement with all things photobooth. There are some fabulous things to be found there.

I will soon be posting more about Meags as she has a new photobooth inspired book soon to be released around the world. A must buy for photobooth fans!

photoboothMeags copy



From my collection.

Here is a wonder of my world. A clown that loves a photobooth! I actually don’t like clowns very much. They are a bit scary, too noisy and not terribly funny. However, for some reason that I cannot quite fathom, I like photos of clowns and people in clown party costumes. I have many party souvenir photos of clowns in formats other than photobooth strips. None of the sitters could be mistaken for real clowns.

Happily for me, I believe this is a real clown. He takes his job very seriously indeed. The photo above (the only one which I actually own) shows our man in a harlequin style outfit with a big ruffle. In the photos below, taken from the Ebay seller’s archive, he has two other costumes to show off. None of the images are of an extraordinary quality in terms of contrast, sharpness  and tone but they are rare in the world of photobooth photos and thus much adored by me.

All these images are undated and originated in the USA, where else?

Another from the series.

Another from the series. (I do not own this image)


And another. (I do not own this image)

This young man has celebrated his first day at school with a trip to a photobooth to show off his first day presents – two School Cones. He doesn’t look especially pleased in this picture but he should have been.

A “Schultüte” or School Cone is a paper or plastic cone of gifts. When children in Germany and Austria set off for their first day at school, their parents and/or grandparents present them with a decorated cone that is filled with toys, chocolate, sweets, school supplies, and various other treats.

The tradition of the Schultüte can be traced back to Saxony (around 1810) and continues to this day.

Below is another photo from my collection of a little girl with her cone. She is looking more appropriately happy than the little boy.


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