Get the Picture?
Old-school photo booths inspire the latest photography trend
Media / 2 Nov 2011
Even with the immense success of apps like Hipstamatic and Instragram, the anticipation of waiting for a traditional photo booth’s iconic strips to drop out of its printer can't be replaced digitally. Accessories for camera phones are making photography easier for the amateur shutterbug, but the resurgence of photo booth-style photography is a reminder of the gratifying experience of actually holding onto a fleeting moment.
Photobooth: Though digital photography has eliminated the need for costly 35 mm film, photographer Michael Shindler still longed for the tactile darkroom experience. So, he opened this San Francisco studio, shop and gallery where customers can pose for tintypes, an old-fashioned form of portraiture in which images are captured directly onto a specialized steel plate, then developed with chemicals. Similar to Polaroids, tintypes don't produce negatives, so a final image is an original imprint. The process can be incredibly time-consuming, but each of Photobooth's wet-plate images is a remarkably detailed document that highlights every last wrinkle and freckle in a way not even the iPhone 4S can replicate.
PopBooth: Before deep-fried butter and Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers, carnivals and fairs had another main attraction: a souvenir photo strip of sequential snapshots. Smartphones have inspired apps that recreate the vintage-like effect, but the PopBooth app goes one step further by printing actual pictures in photo booth format. After taking four pictures and applying filters, users have the option to post the photos directly to Facebook or to order real cardstock photo strips via snail mail. While it requires more patience than the instantaneous flash of a photo booth, the excitement can be as good for the heart as skipping the chocolate-covered bacon.
Instaprint: With over 12 million users, Instragram's nostalgic-looking photographs and easy sharing capabilities appeal to a huge audience. But advertising agency Breakfast recognized one key shortcoming to the popular iPhone app: the option to print. Enter Instaprint, which combines the real-time tangibility of Polaroid with the social element of Instagram. The rentable, wall-mounted device, created with party favors in mind, uses Wi-Fi to print photos taken with the Instagram app, complete with any desired comments, dates or tags. Plus, with the inkless printing technology of Zink, there is no need to strain your wrist by shaking the photo into development.
©The Intelligence Group