Friday, January 7, 2011

Paper memory

From a photobooth in San Francisco's Musée Mécanique 

I've always been interested in photography and have amassed a little collection of toy cameras (my favorite being the mini-Diana right now). I am thankful for my Canon Elph as it's small and I carry it everywhere I go. However, there is something to be said for prints developed from actual film. The act of leafing through a stack of photographs is one that I have always enjoyed. When I moved I found stacks and stacks of loose photographs that had accumulated over the years. There were pictures from my childhood, from my first year in college, past weddings, parties, and shows. It was pretty great to take a few minutes from the madness of packing to sit and look through these photos.

Along those same lines (kind of...) I came across a website a few years ago that lists all the old photobooths in the country by state and city. People contribute information to this site and also send regular updates so you know whether or not these machines are still in working order or if they've been taken away. Old photobooths seem to be a rarity.  Digital photobooths are everywhere and frankly, I don't care for them.  The resulting pictures feel cheap and flimsy and it makes me feel like I've wasted my money.  Anyhow, J and I have decided that every time he visits we will go to one of the photobooths listed under New York.  J's thinking is that by doing this we'll be forced to explore a different part of the city that we've never been to.  The main goal right now is to visit a photobooth in every borough.  So far we have Manhattan down.  Just four more to go (the one on Staten Island was really hard to find!). has photobooths listed from all over the country.  You can search by city and state.  Happy hunting!

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