Memories Of The Old Fashioned Photo Booth

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Remember the good old-fashioned photo booth? In the 1960’s - 1970’s, the photo booth was a thing of beauty where you could get so much entertainment for just 2 shillings - that’s 10 pence in today’s money!

Nowadays, a photo booth is an ugly monstrosity tucked away in a corner of a Post Office or Supermarket. We all hate using them and do so reluctantly for that dreaded passport or driving license photograph. We aren’t allowed to play around with seat heights, laugh, joke, or eek out as much as even a small smile (there can be only one outcome for a passport photograph and that’s the inevitable “criminal” look).

Good Times

Back in the 1960’s - 1970’s, not everyone owned a camera. If you were lucky enough to own one, it was far too precious and expensive to carry around in your jeans pocket. But then cameras were a bit on the large size then too, so they wouldn’t even fit in a pocket anyway.

So, when friends got together with a few shillings to spare, going to the photo booth was compelling, even compulsory. The whole photo booth experience was hilarious! Taking photographs of yourself in the photo booth was quite a serious business. But, the more people that got involved, the more fun the experience became.

The first challenge was the “height adjustment stool”. There must have been 2 designs of photo booth, with stools designed for two groups of people: giants and gnomes. No matter how many times you attempted to adjust the stool, you were guaranteed to be in a position that omitted parts of your facial features in the photographs.

Squeezing more than two people into the confined space and then fighting for supremacy and the stool was probably the best bit. If you had already inserted your coins before this part, you were sure to lose out!

Having positioned yourselves appropriately, the coins were inserted, and the smile had already been practiced and perfected.

All you had to do now was wait for the ‘”flash” and wait and wait, just when you gave up and started to yawn the ‘”flash” happened, what a result - the perfect photograph capturing the perfect moment!

Original Photo Strip
Original Photo Strip | Source
Restored Photo Strip
Restored Photo Strip | Source

Now, the tense moment - waiting for the photographs to appear…

This seemed to take forever, but eventually the photo strip dropped into the slot.  It had to be handled very carefully because it was still wet and smelt of chemicals!

The memory lives on in the photo booth “photo strip”. It’s the magic of photography:  a treasured memory a wonderful moment in time preserved forever.

Find Your Old Photo Strips

Looking back, years later, most of us have a few old photo strips in our photograph collection.

They hold special memories and have been well loved and handled, not surprising they are looking a little tired and faded now.

An old-fashioned photo booth photo strip can easily be transferred to a 21st century digital image and printed as a normal sized photograph.

You can choose a company to transfer photos to digital format, or you can easily scan and restore the old photos yourself at home following my easy basic steps.

Scanning and Restoring Photo Booth Strips of Old Photos

  • Brush your photo strip with a Blower Brush to remove surface dust.
  • Set your scanner at a resolution of 600 dpi to scan the whole strip.
  • Alternatively, your scanner will allow you to select the area you want to scan of the photo strip and you can choose one of the photographs to scan at a time.
  • The selection of your photograph does not have to be exact, you can crop it in your photo editing software afterwards, scan this image at 800 dpi.
  • If your photo strip is black and white choose the “greyscale” option
  • Save your image as a TIFF file for the best quality un-compressed file. If this is too big a file for you to manage, save it as a BMP, this is a smaller file, but quite adequate for your requirements.
  • Open your image in your photo editing software to improve and restore your image.

Read my hub “Photo Restoration: Scanning and Restoring Old Photos at Home” for complete instructions on how to enhance the old photo image.

Enjoy Your Restored Digital Images

There are lots of opportunities open to you, now that you have a digital image.

The obvious one is to print your image normal size, but how about creating a nostalgic mouse-mat or photo mug? There are lots of ideas for digital images on the internet.

You may want to add this image to your old photo collection and have a personalized film on DVD produced to really bring your old photos into the modern age.

Enjoy bringing a treasured memory back to life!

More by this Author


Comments 28 comments

ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 5 years ago from Texas

Great hub it certainly brought back memories and thanks for the info about restoring old photos...Cheers.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Ladyjane

Glad you enjoyed the hub and those memories! thanks for your comments.


maggs224 profile image

maggs224 5 years ago from Sunny Spain

Great Hub it brought back many memories :)


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Maggs224 thanks for your comments, glad you enjoyed it!


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

Absolutely beautiful hub. I was laughing thinking about the photo booths. They still have them here and you can always find one in the local mall. The kids are in them forever making all kinds of funny faces. I like how you taught us how to restore and transfer photos too. Very cool. Thanks


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Mrs J.B. Photo booths seem to hold such nostelgic and funny memories! that's great the hub brought back memories for you.


neakin profile image

neakin 5 years ago

Awesome Hub! I look forward to reading more!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi neakin, thanks for your comments, glad you enjoyed the hub! thanks for dropping by.


Brinafr3sh profile image

Brinafr3sh 5 years ago from West Coast, United States

Hi,

I recently had an encounter with a photo booth at a local shopping mall. The reason why was because my insructor from my tech. school needed the class to have a photo on his desk by the next day. So my daughter recommended me to this ancient but convenient photo booth in the mall. Thanks I enjoyed this hub.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Brinafr3sh, it's nice to see you, some of those old photo booths were pretty grotty, but it's a nice easy quick way of getting a photo done! glad you enjoyed it, take care and have a great day!


DuchessDuCaffeine profile image

DuchessDuCaffeine 5 years ago from United States of America

What a fantastic memory to recall! I haven't thought about photo booths in ages. When my sister and I were about 4 and 7, respectively, we'd go with our Nana to the Woolworth's in Kettering, Northamptonshire. The wooden floors and high ceilings gave a cavernous feeling to the store; as if we'd just stepped into a secret cave full of treasure.

In the left hand corner at the front of the shop was a photo booth. Clueless about British money being different from our American money, we begged for '.50 cents' to get our pictures taken. We were always told that it was too expensive and not to be silly because there were lots of pictures of us at home.

The last trip I can clearly remember, while Nana and our Mom shopped, my sister and I prowled the toy and candy aisles until at last, we ended up at the photo booth. We stepped inside, spun the seat until it was as high as it would go and pretended we were having our pictures taken. Imagine our surprise when we pushed the curtain back to leave: a strip of pictures in the picture slot!

I snatched the strip up and my sister danced about me, trying to get a look. At first glance, I couldn't believe my eyes. Then, realizing what must have happened, I handed it to her to see. She got the same look on her face and then we were both laughing like mad and power-walking (because one does not run in a store) as quickly as we could to find Mom and Nana so that they could enjoy our photographs.

"Stone the crows! Aren't you a pair of funny faces?" Nana said which made us helpless with laughter. What was so funny? The photo strip was of two smiling faces, and they were definitely female, certainly they were laughing but about 60 years older than we were! We kept those pictures for YEARS.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Duchess, thank you for visiting and your wonderful story of the photo booth, it was a delight to read.

That's so funny you kept those photos for such a long time!

Take care and have a lovely day.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Fun, nostalgic hub with great tips for restoring those old photo strips and storing in digital format.

I still have a few strips left and have treasured them as strips. Never thought of restoring them. Cool idea. Thanks for sharing. Voted up, useful,awesome, beautiful and interesting.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 5 years ago from America

Really enjoyed this hub. I have a few pictures from strips but not the whole strip. Wished I did.

I think photo booths are having a come back. Their using them for weddings and other events.

Voted up.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Happyboomernurse, I think most of us have kept some old photo booth strips, they hold such fun memories!

Thank you for dropping by and your comments and votes, it's much appreciated, take care and enjoy your day.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi moonlake, yes the new photo booths are quite posh! and are very popular at weddings and parties.

Very often when you had your photos taken at a booth with friends, you shared the strip and had a couple of photos each!

Thank you for visiting, commenting and your vote, best wishes and see you soon.


cre8ivOne profile image

cre8ivOne 5 years ago from Midwest, USA

Cute!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi cre8ivOne, Thank you for your visit and comment, it's nice to see you and much appreciated, take care.


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

photo strips from old fashioned photo booths is like a wonderful treasure to be kept.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi unknown spy, yes - the old photo booth strips hold so many fun memories!

Many thanks for your comments, best wishes Lesley


Derdriu 4 years ago

Lesley, You're the lighter-haired beauty on the right, right?

Respectfully, and with many thanks and all the votes, Derdriu


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Derdriu, that's my mum on the right and my auntie on the left - mum and I look very much alike!

Many thanks for your comments and votes, have a fabulous weekend and take care, Lesley


2patricias profile image

2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

I can remember laughing so much that I fell off the stool.

I do have some lovely photos of my husband when he was about 10 taken in a photo booth - he is just smiling, so maybe he was not doing it as a joke.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi 2patricias, as soon as I stepped into one of these booths I would start laughing - they were just fun places, especially if there were several of you, perhaps your husband was just on his own!

Many thanks for your comments, enjoy your weekend, best wishes Lesley


PhotoBoothIdeas profile image

PhotoBoothIdeas 4 years ago

Hey! What an amazing article! Our company actually rents out REAL vintage classic photo booths just like the one you mentioned in your article! If interested in renting for a wedding or any type of event check out www.classicphotobooth.net


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi PhotoBoothIdeas, the photo booths rented out for events are a fantastic idea and seem very popular too - good luck with your business and thank you for reading!


Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia Allain 23 months ago from Central Florida

This brings back some fun memories.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 23 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Virginia, Thanks for dropping by and your comments they are much appreciated, Happy New Year to you!

Best wishes Lesley

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