A fascinating history of an American institution that includes an extraordinary collection of photobooth images.
“That a perceptive, dedicated, and sensitive artist like Näkki Goranin has rescued from oblivion so many amazing self-portraits created by amateurs confronting themselves in the fleeting privacy of humble photobooths is yet another miracle for which we can be grateful.”—from the foreword by David Haberstich
Generally relegated to the realm of kitsch, the history and cultural importance of the photobooth has long been overlooked. Here, Näkki Goranin documents the invention, technological evolution, and commercial history of the photobooth with extensive illustrations culled from twenty-five years of collecting. Complementing this history is a powerful collection of heartbreaking, funny, and absolutely beautiful photobooth images. These often solitary figures—seeking freedom, confession, a thrill—are evocative of a lost time and place. Haberstich writes, “For anyone who assumes that photobooth pictures are perfunctory, utilitarian records at best, the range of emotions and moods portrayed by the subjects of [this] collection is a revelation.”