Do you remember photo booths? They were those little booths in amusement parks and some stores where you could go inside, close a curtain, put a quarter in a slot, then pose 4 different times. Sometimes you and a friend sat together for photos and made funny faces, changing positions between camera clicks. Sometimes you sat with your best smile because you wanted to give one of the photos to a boyfriend or girlfriend. When you were finished you had to wait 5 or 10 minutes before the strip of 4 photos slipped out of a slot on the side of the booth. And then you usually laughed or chuckled at the images because your expressions were funny or you were pleased that the photos came out so great.
When looking at my grandmother's photo album I was surprised to see a strip of 4 photos of her sister, Mary Ellen Bickerstaff (known to us as Aunt Mame), at a fairly young age, in 4 different poses. Aunt Mame was born in 1899. Guessing at her age in the photos, I'd say these were taken in about 1920.
I also found these photos of my grandmother, Emma Bickerstaff Meinzen. These are interesting because she changed the background in one of the shots. She had to move fast to make that change because there were perhaps only 30 seconds between shots.
You can nearly always tell the photo booth photos because they have a dark border on at least 2 sides, sometimes 3, and sometimes all sides, depending on how the strip was developed and the photos separated. When the strip came out, the photos had to be cut or torn apart.
Looking through the rest of the photos in both my mom's and my grandmother's albums, I found more photo booth photos. It was interesting to see that my mom had one of the photos and my grandmother another from several strips.
Here are a few more. The companions to these were probably given away to friends or other family members and are long gone. Individual photo booth photos were usually about 1 1/2" x 2".
Another interesting aspect of photo booth photos is that there was no photographer, no man or woman behind the lens of the camera. A person who may have been self-conscious in front of a photographer didn't need to think about someone watching while he or she was posing for the camera. In most of the photos it seems that the person looked directly into the lens of the camera. Hooray for us to get that direct eye contact with the individual these many years later!
The Photobooth Blog shows two different photobooths here and here. I wanted to include the photos on this post but couldn't link to just the photos and I didn't want to copy the photos and break copyright. (If you click on the highlighted text it will open a new window in your browser, you can look at the photo booths, then close the window.)
Do you remember photo booths? Do you remember when and where and with whom you had photos taken? Do you have any photo booth photos among your family photos?
Others will probably not be highlighting photo booth photos this week but you can link to lots of other old photos at Sepia Saturday. Happy viewing!