"It all started in the roaring twenties, when a Siberian immigrant by the name of Anatol Josepho created the first small, curtained booth. It was able to take photos without the aid of a photographer, and became instantly popular. Like many things that became integral parts of pop-culture, it all started in New York City. Before long, photo booths began popping up and developing candid shots at train stations, department stores, and other public areas such as fairs, five-and-dimes, and arcades. The first photo booths produced a single strip of four black and white photos, which were processed using a chemical developing process known as the “dip n’ dunk.” After a few minutes, the excited recipient would watch their photos spit out from the machine, waving them in the air to dry before splitting up the goods with their friends."
One of the most interesting things I learned? In the early days, some innovative photographers wanted to sell the services of a "photo booth" but didn't have the fully automated equipment, so they actually had attendants hiding in the "booth," developing the photos and then pushing them out of the slot - leaving the customer to believe he had just had a fully automated photo taken! Hilarious!
Photo booths are increasingly popular at weddings and corporate events, as one of my articles explains:
"Trendy brides and grooms all over the country have been including photo booths at their weddings, and the results are unanimous. It is, quite simply, a fabulous addition to any wedding and a surefire way to keep a smile on the faces of your loved ones. In fact, wedding trend watchers have sited it as one of the top wedding trends of 2010! It’s easy to see why. The trend started at tradeshows, where organizers are anxious to find new and innovative ways to keep attendees entertained and happy. The instant gratification, team-building effects, and nostalgia of a photo booth has proven to be a recipe for success – and when it comes to planning a wedding, the goals are very similar. Guests having a great time with each other? Check. Guests keeping a little something to remember the day? Check. Guests laughing, chatting, and making new friends? Check, check, check! The added bonus? Most machines actually create two strips of photos – one for the guests to keep, and one for the bride and groom!
There’s more to the magic of the photo booth. Guests recognize a photo booth right off the bat as something fun and familiar. Would-be models of all ages, from Grandma to toddlers, will have fun grinning and saying “Cheese” in front of the camera. And photo booths add a certain element of vintage glamour that will get guests talking to each other at the wedding – and talking about it for years after the last piece of cake is eaten!"
Hmmmm...maybe we should have a photo booth at our wedding! Uh-oh - I think I've sold this concept to myself!