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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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References (4)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    NFL is genuinely a single of the greatest sports in America. It has a big following.
  • Response
    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.
  • Response
    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.
  • Response
    Do you have any idea what kind of a budget a first time photobooth constructor would be looking at with this particular project?

Reader Comments (31)

I have to try this IMMEDIATELY. Amazing! Any chance of you sharing your scan of the old film strips?

01.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessie

Thank you for sharing this nice post with us.

02.9.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAparna

I love these so....much! I do not think you should change your mind about sharing your beautiful children - us mothers out here know they are smiling on the other side of the pics! Is there anyway you would be willing to share the old filmstrip files you scanned in so I could try this at home????????

02.10.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

brilliant and delightful!

02.25.2009 | Unregistered Commentertraceyclark

If you live near or visit San Diego, the photography museum in Balboa Park has two photo booths. One black and white and the other in color. We go every year at Christmas time.

Your blog is super awesome.

02.26.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMeg

This is great! I hadn't seen this before....yum yum photo.

08.4.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRae

Hi again. So I was reviewing your fair post cause I liked it so much and I had to click on the photo booth link you put up which led me to this post and these comments. Anyway, there is another photo booth you should know about. I think you are in LA, so this might work for you.
It is in Silverlake, on Sunset Blvd. Sadly, I can't remember the name of the store, but it sells men's and women's clothing, is on the same block as the Silverlake Cheese shop, and right next to Reform School (I am sure you know about that store, but if you don't, you'd like it)
I will try to get the name for you.
She has an old booth in her shop. Stopped by a month or so ago and it was out of order, but when it is working it is the real deal.
We did our photo booth shots at the fair tonight. They are great.

08.6.2009 | Unregistered Commentergreta

I feel the same way about keeping our children anonymous.

Great idea to do your own photobooth session.

10.7.2009 | Unregistered Commenterabbie

Easy way to solve the dilemma of wanting to show us more strips but still being able to keep your kids anonymous. Blur out their faces. Picasa and Photoshop (along with multi online photo editing applications) have a "blur" tool that would give you the freedom to use your kids a bit more in your blog.

07.16.2010 | Unregistered CommenterSydneyTPM

@ Thank you very much for sharing this wonderful information with us.

I really appreciate your work on this site.

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