Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gift It: Photo Booth.

My magnet board, showcasing some of my photo booth strips. I love them.

So, I'm a little obsessed with photo booths. I think they are 90% of the reason I ever go anywhere near the Jersey Shore, because they are there waiting for me and my friends on the boardwalk. I'm such a fan of piling into a tiny booth and the ensuing shock and awe scramble of the flash bulb, and then the pregnant pause of waiting for them to appear in the side tray. I even love the grabby-hands, giggle-filled passing of the strip after they come out. Photos from the booth are usually records of pure joy, fun, love, and faces you shouldn't make in polite society. It's all too good. If you also have a photo booth fan in your family or group of friends, I have the perfect (inexpensive!) gift for them:

It's a book entitled...wait for it...Photobooth by Babbette Hines (Princeton Architectural Press for $19.95.), and it's a visual collection of the most wonderful booth snaps from now and then. The book includes over 700 photos from the last 75 years and gives you just a few points of history about the booth. I'll summarize: It was invented by a Siberian immigrant named Anotol Josepho in 1925 as a way for people to take quick, anonymous photos. The booths boomed in America and Europe due largely to family and loved ones exchanging instant photos with soldiers stationed abroad during World War II. Now they are more of a Brooklyn bar novelty but, recently I've been to a few weddings where they are the new purveyor of takeaway memories. Whatever happens with booths in the future, this book really let's you see the magic of their past. Here are some of the book's best shots as seen on Google Books Preview:

As historical records of dress, photo booth pictures are the pre-streetstyle blog, aren't they? It's random shots of people just the way they were, wearing things just the way they wore them. Or, showing off their uniforms and their Sunday best. I'm certain any photography or fashion aficionado would love this book, but if you think the mini-tome won't be enough to satisfy your favorite photo booth fan, you can always get them one of their own:

Seriously, click the pic for a link. It'll only cost you around $8,000. No biggie...

PS: 'Tis the season where Cheap Thrill posts turn into Gift It posts to help you with your Holiday shopping. Got any tips for great gifts under $20? Hit me up!


me melodia said...

I luurve this book.
Wonderful post!


Blaire Walsh said...

awww! i love our cape may photobooth photos. can you make me a copy or scan them or something?

Camilla said...

Oh I remember that! Can we make copies of those at Kinko's or something? I can't find any of them. Do you have them all?
-Cam cam

nicole s. said...

i love photobooths AND this book. in college, i wrote an article on them - we should do a whirlwind tour of the famous nyc ones!