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The evolution of the photobooth

The evolution of the photobooth

If you thought photobooths were originally designed to produce passport photos you will definitely be surprised to hear the true evolution of the photobooth.

It all started in the 1920s when a gentleman called Anatol Josephewitz started experimenting with photography in his studio in Budapest and came up with designs for a self-operated machine that could be initiated by a coin. He developed a prototype of the machine and created photographic paper which meant film was not needed. In 1926 he sold the rights to his photo machines and the photobooth was born into the world making it really easy and accessible to print personal photography.

They were really popular in Hollywood and were eventually fitted in stores such as Woolworths for customers to use. Much like many photobooths we see today, they had curtains adding an element of privacy. In the early 50s complaints started rolling in from stores about women stripping off and couples getting more adventurous behind the curtain. As a result, curtains were removed to discourage the naughty behaviour!

It’s interested to know Andy Warhol was the first artist to promote the photobooth. He could see the colour and sense of movement he could achieve by combining a variety of photos showing different poses. In 1963 Warhol made it into Harper’s Bazaar with portraits of models captured by a photobooth, presenting a different way of getting a commercial portrait.

Warhol eventually owned his own photobooth called Auto-Photo. It wasn’t only marketed for commercial use, it was also designed for police and prison mug shots. He even added wheels to one of his photobooths so it could be taken to riots to document history!

Much later on in the 1990s, Photo-Me promoted digital colour photobooths using a computer and printout paper. Today, the photobooth still has the same charm and fun it has always had with the addition of new and exciting advances in technology. The addition of props has also transformed it into a must have party piece and the social media functionality enables you to share fun photos with everyone! At INSTABOX we wanted to create a uniquely designed open-air photobooth that encourages people to join in and not be limited to 2 or 3 people. Moments aren’t captured in secrecy behind a curtain, they are shared.

If you are planning an event and looking for a unique photobooth experience click here to CONTACT us. 

Ell x