Memories Of The Old Fashioned Photo Booth
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).
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!
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!