Everyone that is a child of the sixties remembers the photo booth. You walked into the small enclosure, pop in a quarter, and viola’ out came four small black and white photos. Digital cameras and mobile phones with cameras came around in the early 2000s, and the photo booth disappeared.
Who Invented The Original Photo Booth?
A Russian, Anatol Josepho invented the original coin-operated photo booth. Anatol arrived in the United States in 1923. His photo booth, typically with a cloth curtain, first appeared on Broadway in New York City. A customer walked into the box, sat down, and inserted a quarter in the machine. For 25 cents, the customer got eight photos. The process took about ten minutes. In the first six months of the photo booth operation, 280.000 people used the photo booth machine. A company called the Photomaton Company began to place the photo booths across the United States. These photo booths were set all over the United States by Anatol Josepho company, Photomaton. The popularity and the expansion of these photobooths continued all across the United States. Five years later in 1928, Anatol sold the rights to his photo booth to Henry Morgenthau, Sr. for $1 million. Taken in an account for inflation, that $1 million would be equivalent to $15 million in 2018.
Today’s Photo Booth
The photo booth is back! Now the hit for parties, wedding receptions, public and private events. These booths usually are rented for a short amount of time, typically a few hours for a fee. Often, an attendant is included in the rental price. The attendant is there to service the booth and to assist guests to make a guest book of photo strips. Unlimited printing of photo strips provided, along with online image hosting, and compact discs of the photo strips images.
The Modern Photo Booth
The new modern photo booths like the original photo booths print fabulous photos. However, the new photo booths include animated GIF, flip book printing, virtual props, slow-motion video, green-screen background removal, full costume virtual dressing, Kinect body gesture games, and facial gesture recognition.
The revival of Photo Booth Rental
By the early 2000s digital cameras, LCD computer monitors, and camera software took away the photo booths business. For a while, printed photography almost disappeared. Entrepreneurs began renting machines that incorporated these functions of digital photography and these machines started being used at weddings and parties. The popularity of these photo booths skyrocketed between the years from 2005 to 2012. Thus the photo booth rental business began. Photo booth rentals became so popular that by 2016, more people were searching for photo booth rentals services were used more at weddings and parties than the typical used disc jockey services.
The new photo booth rental craze is not just here in the United States! Worldwide, photo booth rental searches average to 226,000 monthly searches, a 50% increase in only three years.
What is Old is New Again
Almost 95 years ago, the photo booth was invented by a Russian Immigrant, Anatol Josepho. Anatol career started as a youngster and his fascination taking pictures with a Brownie Kodak camera. From his attraction, he moved to the states and invented the photo booth. After moving to New York City, he developed the photo booth and his own company to start placing these popular machines all across the country.
The photo booth and the pay phone booth went away in the early 2000s as digital cameras, cell phones with cameras, and cameras built into computers took over the photography industry. Like record players, vinyl records, and now the new photo booths what is old is suddenly hip again, and selling like hotcakes. You can see amazing examples in Portland Photo Booth!
They say with age comes wisdom. We tend to think of ourselves when we think of age and getting older. Sometimes I think a better word for wisdom would be reinvention. The photo booth revival is a great example of reinvention. As they say, “Whats Old is New Again,” and better!