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homemade photobooth

I adore old black and white photobooths. I love the awkward, dirty, grainy loveliness of each little square. I love that no two strips are ever the same. I love feeding the quarters into the slot and wheeling the little stool around to just the right height. I think they are the best two dollars ever spent (or three, or four, or five). Every year for my birthday I ask my husband for a photobooth of my own. I am still waiting.

Years ago I fell in love with one photobooth. It was in the back of a restaurant, and even though it was a bit of a hike from our place in Brooklyn, I made sure we got there a few times each year. "Why don't we grab brunch at Bubby's?" I would say. My husband would give me a look.. he knew we were only going for the booth. 

Since our move to California, I am on the search for a new booth to love. This site helped me find a few at our local county fair, but it only comes to town for a few weeks each summer. So what's a girl to do? Make your own!

We spent the morning yesterday rigging up a photobooth in our living room. I hung a little curtain from a couple of chairs, added a stool to sit on, and set up the camera on the tripod. We grabbed a few props (winter hats, paper chains...) and clicked away.

The finishing touch: Convert the new pics to black and white, up the contrast, and use photoshop to drop the new pictures onto some old filmstrips I scanned in. It's not quite as good as the real thing, but it's making me pretty happy today. 

Note: I wish I could show you more, but I made a decision when I started this blog to keep my children anonymous, and though I sometimes wish I could show you the adorable faces my two year old is making these days.. I'm sticking with my promise.

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    I cherish antediluvian dismal furthermore milky photobooths. I enthusiasm the angular, grubby, grainy loveliness of every petite balance. I like that no twin flays are forever the like. I romance feeding the coins toward the track moreover wheeling the trifling stool approximately to suitable the faultless dimension.
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    We tired the daybreak past rigging up a photobooth in our vital capacity. I hung a minor wall from a marry of rockers, furthermore practice photoshop to dram the unprecedented canvass onto any elderly filmstrips I scanned in.
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    Do you have any idea what kind of a budget a first time photobooth constructor would be looking at with this particular project?
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Reader Comments (33)

I don't think this post could be more perfect. How fun! Thanks for sharing.

12.13.2008 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

I presume this is all part of an upcoming Christmas card? If so, I can hardly wait! xo, Liesl

12.13.2008 | Unregistered CommenterLiesl

I've actually never used a photobooth before. I am a fan of grainy black and white photos, though. Yours has a lot of character.

I totally understand your decision to keep your kids' faces off your blog. Maybe you could take some pictures of inanimate objects, or pets or something, so that I could enjoy more pretty home photobooth pictures? ;)

12.14.2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

So fun! I love this. It makes me want to shoot some old photobooth pictures!

And...I agree with your decision to keep the kiddos anonymous. I would do the same if I had little ones.

12.14.2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnita

Sweet image and fun idea!

12.14.2008 | Unregistered CommenterLecia

i love photobooths dearly (the older and grainier, the better) and I love this idea!

12.15.2008 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer

i love her little hairstyle! darling.

12.15.2008 | Unregistered Commenterlynne

I see Bee is letting you put her hair up these days, it's very cute! Send us the pictures on email! I'd love to see the rest.

12.15.2008 | Unregistered Commentercarrie

The back of her head is adorable!! And I agree with you - keeping your children anonymous is a good rule to keep.
Photo booths are one of my most favoritest things in the whole world!! You're picture looks great and I can only imagine how fun it was to put together.
You may want to take the strips and frame them in an odd shaped frame - maybe a black or red background....I bet it would fun to hang on a wall and remember. It may help with your photo booth fix from time to time.
Thanks for sharing,
Jill Smith

12.15.2008 | Unregistered CommenterJill Smith

we used to go to bubby's too just for the photobooth!

12.16.2008 | Unregistered Commenterjanet

I LOVE IT! a little persistence and some photoshop magic...FUN!

12.16.2008 | Unregistered Commentermichelle

I just found you at the Beehive - this is an awesome photo! What a great idea - I am super inspired to try this out.

12.16.2008 | Unregistered Commenterkate

there was an article in august's smithsonian magazine about photobooths. it was lovely and i thought of you the whole time while reading it. . . and then i spent a long time obsessing over wanting one of my own. .. bubby's will have to do for now. .

12.16.2008 | Unregistered Commenterkatie

This is such a cute idea!!

12.19.2008 | Unregistered CommenterChloe

Where do you live in California? In Los Angeles, the Los Feliz restaurant EDENDALE GRILL has a photo booth in its courtyard. The fun grows exponentially after a couple of cold beers!

12.20.2008 | Unregistered Commentermichellemybelle

i, too, am a photobooth fanatic! what a great idea. i'll have to try it.

12.26.2008 | Unregistered Commentercarmen

Next time you visit I'll have to direct you to our local photo booth!

12.26.2008 | Unregistered CommenterSooz

i love doing this. we've actually done it twice now--once, at our xmas party last year, spontaneously it happened against the backdrop of this fabulous circus like curtains we have and then again, on purpose for my birthday last year. so much fun!! i bet those photos are just as beautiful from the front, too!

12.27.2008 | Unregistered Commentermolly


12.29.2008 | Unregistered CommenterDUSKIN

What a great idea! I can't wait to try this!

01.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRona

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