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The History of the Photo Booth

The photo booth journey began when a young photographer from Siberia by the name of Anatol Josephowitz followed his long-time dream. Because photographs were in high demand and very expensive they were the desired commodity that typically only the wealthy could enjoy. Josephowitz understood the significance of quality photos and truly believed that everyone should have the right to experience them. In hopes of finding an easier way of life Josephowitz ultimately decided to move to the United States. Once he initiated life in the U.S he began sharing his ideas and ambitions with the public. He hoped he’d somehow garner a bit of support in the process. To Josephowitz’s surprise, he received nearly $11,000 purely in donations. This lead to the creation of the first photo booth – The “Photomaton”.

The Photomaton premiered September 25, 1925. At that time patrons received only black and white photo strips and were charged .25 cents. On March 18, 1927, Josephowitz’s “Photomaton” made the front page of the New York Times. After that article, the Photomaton was in high demand. The Photomaton had become a million-dollar success! It was extremely popular in Hollywood, and In 1957 it was featured in the film “Bandwagon” starring Fred Astaire. After the feature, Andy Warhol recognized the artistic abilities that embodied the photo booth. He began including them throughout his work regularly. Eventually, Warhol purchased his own and remanufactured the design which eliminated the need for an actual person to hold the camera. At this time it became evident that the “Photomaton” was no longer, thus the “Photo Booth” was born.

Photo booths were even popular in prisons, being used for mugshots and still are to this day.

In the 1990’s the photo booth was upgraded to include color and printer paper. Although the black and white photo is still the most popular amongst many!

Nowadays, the average photo booth is much more advanced than it was back then. The photo booth is routinely a part of Weddings, Corporate Parties, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Quinceaneras, Birthday Parties, Fundraisers, and Graduations of all kinds!  Everybody just loves photos!

Over time we’ve noticed a decrease in the number of requested printed photos. Most people opt to receive the photo directly to their phones usually via text or email. This makes it easier to share to their social media pages. Also, because of the advances in technology the art of photography has greatly evolved. Now, photo booths come with way more than the old traditional stage props. You can play around with GIF’s, Boomerang’s (example: Our Social Booth), slow-motion videos, and even regular short videos. It took the old boxed photo booth to a different dimension, creating a unique experience for all guests at every party. 

Today’s photo booth options allow you to play with Digital Props or use Photo Filters (Kardashian, Beautify, others) in order to personalize your experience. They’ve also evolved in terms of shape, size with tons of new backdrop options that you can choose from. 

When you consider the potential the photo booth has and the growth it has achieved. The possibilities are endless! We believe that eventually, we will have the ability to take photos to a 360-degree dimension. Picture a photo booth harnessing the same capabilities found in other advanced technologies like today’s Virtual Reality video games (VR). We envision the ability to adjust, rotate and control the movement of the camera giving each user the power to view themselves from many viewpoints. You might be wondering what that means for printed photos altogether. They could either disappear or transform entirely, offering printed photos in 3D!

Now’s the time for us to simply enjoy the ride! With so many changes coming to the photo booth industry it is important to remain open-minded and prepared. Now’s the time for us to simply sit back and enjoy the ride.

Long live the photo booth and all of its glory! Book us for your next event and share memories that will last decades!