Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Xmas Party

The Christmas Party went with a bang! The booth worked perfectly, the chemistry was looking great, and lots and lots of new people came. Boothers were fuelled by mulled wine and delicious cakes provided by the Utrophia crowd, while the jivers amoungst us kept warm dancing to DJ Dandy's tunes. Even Santa popped in to say Ho...

Many more pics to come... and if you have any to add to our Flickr site our Facebook that would be grand!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Rhythm Riot

A decadent weekend spent in the '50's... dressing up, dancing, and generally having a lot of fun. The first official use of our booth photos, too... on our passes:

Oh! how we'd love to take it there next year...

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Christmas Bash

Here it is: the highlight of your Christmas calendar. Due to popular demand, we will be hosting the Photomovette Christmas Party on Sunday 13 December. Another chance to use one of the only analogue photobooths in London! If you're very good, you may get a chance to have your picture taken with Santa... and who do you want to be with in the booth when the mistletoe appears?

Guest DJs Miss Aloha and DJ Dandy will be spinning your favourite rock 'n' roll tunes, and the wonderful people at Utrophia will provide a fully stocked bar to keep those creative juices flowing. We have a great prop box, but feel free to bring your own to add to the mix. For inspiration, click here to see what we got up to at our fundraiser.

£5 entry fee, which includes unlimited use of the photobooth.
At: Utrophia Project Space, The Ice Cream Factory, 136 Tanners Hill, Deptford SE8 4QD
Close to New Cross Overground (trains from London Bridge), Deptford Bridge DLR, and numerous buses.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A beautiful mistake

Yesterday we mixed a whole new batch of chems. It felt so good getting rid of all the old stuff.

We amended our toner slightly, and sure enough, the strips are less sepia. Also mixed the chems with hot water, meaning the environment was much warmer than usual. And consequently, less smudginess! So we are finally getting there.

In the process of our tests, we found this... the strip got stuck behind one which was already in there, and so wasn't bleached, nor redeveloped. Totally love the result... had to scan it in quick before it disappears...

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Creative Comments

Just a few examples of the comments book we had at our party:

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Fun fun fun!

Here are just a few examples of what people got up to in the booth at our party last week... such fun!

More can be seen on our Flickr site... and remember, if you were there and have some cool strips, we'd love to see them! Become a member of our Flickr group and pop them on there, or join us on Facebook.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Party pics!

The big day finally arrived. Rainy and very wet - not a good start.

The misfortunes continued during the morning. We were running late, a miscommunication had occured at the space, and the next exhibitors were all set to mount their work just as the DJ equipment arrived. Meanwhile, one of the tanks exploded (I'm making it sound more dramatic than it actually was, but suffice to say we are now running the machine one chemical tank short), I managed to drop the paper cannister with an almight crash, and, just to top it all off, the machine refused to flash. Perhaps the baby got pre-party nerves. It was not the only one; it was an hour before the start and we were about to call the whole thing off. Just before sending that fateful email, we decided to try one more time - a miracle occured and all worked as it should.

So we felt we deserved our glass (or bottles) of champagne! We were lucky to have three of the best rock n' roll DJ's around; Miss Aloha, Frankie V and DJ Dandy, who ensured the tunes kept spinning. Julia of Recycled Beauty came with some of her beautiful hair flowers, and Utrophia did a fine job manning the bar. Thanks also to our door people: Sarah Jane and brother Craig, Kaoru and Gavin, and Joe and Mayumi.

And a thanks to Sophie Mitchell for taking some fabulous photos:

And more to come; watch this space!

Friday, 30 October 2009


We have badges! Thanks to the wonderful people at Button Badges for a speedy turnaround and an absolutley fabulous product.

These will be available to buy at our events... contact us if you want to be on the mailing list.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Sepia tones...

A few pre-party strips, with the aid of our newly acquired prop box!

Our strips still sport a sort of sepia tone, which bothers me slightly but it's fine for now (and actually other people think it's great!) Also we have managed to get rid of the white borders, but consequently we have overlapping frames. Again, nothing major to worry about; I have to keep remembering that we are our worst critics! Our guests on Sunday won't notice anything.

So we are pretty much ready for the party - there has been so much to organise. Tim from www.photobooth.net is going to be in town this weekend so hopefully we are going to get to meet before the party so that he can iron out any problems we may have. Bring it on!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Party! Party! Party!

After pouring all our cash into getting the photobooth up and running, we have somewhat neglected the outside... and it's not looking too pretty. So we need your help. Come to our fundraiser on 1st November - £5 suggested donation, which includes as many booth strips as you like, and dancing to your favourite rock n' roll tunes. There will of course be a cheap bar to keep those creative juices flowing...

You will then be proud in the knowledge that you have had a part in tarting up one of the ONLY analogue photobooths in London!

We are very excited to announce that Frankie V and another guest DJ will be spinning your favourite rock 'n' roll tunes from 6pm. So why not make a day of it? Get down there early, take some pics, then dance the night away...

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

The Quest for the Perfect Strip

This month we have followed the quest for the perfect strip.
Aim: clean, black and white strips, centred image, black border, cut off at the correct place.
Due to some haphazard tinkering with the camera, the flash became intermittant, and wouldn't fire for certain frames. Scary!

Then, some wierd border action... sometimes white, sometimes black, sometimes white in the middle and black on the outside...

Now, we are left with a cleanish image, but the subject is too far to the right... but we're getting there!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

1st strips! (finally)

It has taken a very long time, but we have finally got our first booth strips. After having tried once in the darkroom, and getting something that looked like what you see to the left here, we thought we would go the whole hog and try it in the booth. After seeking advice from our booth expert friends in the US, of course!

And, compared to our darkroom venture, we were fairly successful. It was so exciting waiting for that first strip to fall into the slot. But, as you can see, there are still problems to iron out. We suspect the dark smudges are due to the chemicals not being right, although funnily enough the shape of them is the same as that of the spider arm which holds the strip.

With these discoveries comes a whole new set of things to add to our To Do list. It kind of seems like it will never end...

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Fotomost: Photobooth Space Bridge Moscow-Chicago

This is rather belated, I'm afraid... but better late than never!

I think I mentioned this project in one of our earlier posts, on our return from Chicago. Not wanting to be left out of the Convention because they couldn't come, Martin and Ira from Schnellfoto in Russia devised a project which was to bridge the gap between Moscow and Chicago. They had their friends and other photobooth users ask questions in photobooth strips. These varied from the surreal to the practical to the philosophical; one I can remember (cos I answered it!) was something like: What's at the end of your legs? Others were: Does telepathy exist? Is Andy Warhol really dead?

More images can be seen on Martin and Ira's blog

The idea was that the participants of the Convention were to choose a strip to answer using the photobooth. These were then sent back to Moscow, where Martin and Ira have exhibited the question and answer couples in a gallery space. A more eloquent description of the project can be seen here.

There was some talk of these strips being scanned and a booklet made... I will see if I can find out what happened about that. It was a great project; a real talking point of the Convention which made us all feel as though Martin and Ira were in fact there. Thanks guys!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Bad day turned good...

The other day, I had my bike stolen, and I was told that work was cutting some of my hours...all in all not a great day. But I was meeing Siobhan and some friends in the evening, and we popped in to visit the booth at Cargo. Strange Firetrap "graffitti" has come off, I was pleased to see, and also the quality of the image seems to have improved. The flare has diminished, and the chemistry is nice and contrasty... Hats off to them! (and to note; screaming in a booth really is cathartic...)

Mr. Mixup was in town recently, and when we met him he had just visited the booth at Cargo. He showed us loads of strips he'd done in their booth, both using their props (which they bring out on a Sunday occasionally) and his own. They looked great - he also showed us some of the stuff he had done during the '80's and early '90's. It really is worth checking out his website for some inspiration.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

A new look

The more astute of you will notice our new banner... courtesy of Mayumi Mori, graphic designer and illustrator extraordinaire. More of her work will crop up on our website which is currently in the making... yes, Photomovette is getting serious!
As usual, updates here first!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

A kick up the Backside

On the way home last night, I got a bit of a shock. Well, not a shock exactly, but a kick up the backside. We have been away a lot lately, and have put our booth on the back burner...Siobhan has been to Glastonbury, where she hung out with Mr Mixup of photobooth fame; I have been busy with weddings and family holidays and other Summery activities.

But first trip on the tube since I got back and I got what I needed to spur on a Summer of productiveness. In one of the free papers, what should I find but a massive article on photobooths. And I mean massive, practically feature. Apparently the photobooth is now the ultimate party accessory, with the likes of Agyness Deyn, Nigella Lawson and others hiring them for their dos; the "ice-breaking, must-have party drug of the Noughties".

So if that's the case, we better get a move on. And we must remember that these are digital booths; watch this space for the first (well, almost) REAL vintage booth....

Monday, 8 June 2009

Take 2 @ Cargo

Second trip to the black and white booth in Cargo, Shoreditch... and this time a result. The first two frames just show how shocked we are that it actually worked!

The booth itself is still looking a little shabby. It seems they have tried to make an effort; the word Firetrap has been pasted all over it. At first we thought they may have got sponsorship from the fashion chain of the same name, but looking at their blog, it seems it is some sort of graffiti art...

As for the strip, it is a little muddy, with a strange flare in the top left hand corner. So we are not feeling too threatened. They are on photobooth.net now though. Bummer we are not the first UK booth on there.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

How to move a booth; it's official!

Since we witnessed the wonders of Anthony's technique of moving the booths in Chicago, we have been on the look out for similiar trucks. And we found this, which we thought was rather hilarious. I guess this way is officially the right way to move a booth, as illustrated by this lovely old man:

We are still on the look out for chemicals, but, finally, we have made contact with someone at Photo Me UK who seems really interested in our project and keen to help out. So fingers crossed some news soon.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

No longer the one and only...

We have found out we are not the only black and white booth in London. Photoautomat, the Berlin based collective, have got here first. We knew that they were planning to bring one to London, but didn't think it would be so soon.

So we went to check out our competition. It is based in Cargo, a very trendy bar in Shoreditch, which is housed in 2 railway arches. It is a decent venue; it has gigs and club nights and is also open during the day for lunches. And, because it is a rather large place, I was imagining the booth to be inside. But no - turns out it is in the beer garden! Which seems to me a rather strange place to put it; the only punters in the evening are likely to be the smokers who take refuge there due to the smoking ban...

Aesthetically, they have not pushed the boat out. From the outside it is just plain blue metal, scuffed and dented. Inside, instructions are written with black marker on a piece of paper which is sellotaped to the wall. So we were keen to see what the strips were like.

(photo courtesy of Photoautomat's flickr)

But the booth wouldn't take our money!

We asked the girls at the bar - they said the technicians had come that morning to check everything was OK. But it didn't work; the coins just fell through the slot. Judging by the strips on their website, however, they are not that great - a lot of flare going on in the top left corner.

So that was that. Disappointment but also an inside feeling of smugness! Siobhan went another time with a friend and the bar was closed so they couldn't try it out. Which was wierd, as it was a Thursday night.

When I heard there may be another booth in London (which, actually, was in Chicago - Brian had received an email from Photoautomat) I felt a little upset that we could no longer claim to be the first. But now, I realise that it is a good thing there is competition. It means the British are getting a taste for these old machines again, as are, it seems, other countries in Europe. This resurgance of old processes in a digital age interests me... so more soon.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Shedding its skin

Last night at our booth meeting we decided to rip off all the horrible, grey industrial metal from the outside of the booth. It was strangely cathartic - but very hard work. My muscles are screaming this morning!

The front part with the lovely lady was easy enough to take off - just a few screws to undo. Then the side panels, too, were simple once we got the knack. It was the panel with the mirror which got us thinking. It was a bit like the Krypton factor - we just couldn't work out where it screwed in. In the end it was a case of lifting it from the bottom and hoisting it off its support.

As for the back, it was a sheet of thin metal which had not only been screwed on, but also STUCK on with double sided tape! And, to add insult to injury, underneath we uncovered a beautiful vintage veneer... now ruined cos of double sided tape and a crowbar, which was the only way of getting the bastard off.

But I think we have taken off a good 100kg from the overall weight, and I must say the booth does look a lot smaller, lighter and more manageable. But more importantly, it's a clean slate for the creative juices to flow!

Monday, 18 May 2009

An empty bottle, a rainbow and a skylark

After the clear up, it was just us and Danny Minnick left... so we decided to spend the afternoon and evening looking for photobooths in different bars around Chicago.

First stop was The Empty Bottle, which Siobhan instantly fell in love with... it was a cool hang out; a bar and concert venue which included a games room with snooker table, pin ball machine and photobooth:

... run by the very friendly and fellow booth enthusiast Will.

The booth was a little dark... but not a bad thing!

Next, a tramp through the snow took us to the Rainbo Club; also famous for its booth, and a calender it produces each year of photobooth strips. Here began the collaboration between Photomovette and the King of photobooth art:

Finally, onto the Skylark, at the other side of town. And the other side of town in Chicago is quite a trek; we ended up getting a lift from a random guy we met in at Irish Pub. But we were rewarded with a bustling, uber-cool student hang out. Much to Danny's disappointment, we missed the live band, but were still in time to borrow the mic, so our strip in this booth had each of us singing our little hearts out. Very cool, Danny kept it... must get a scan from him one day. For now, you'll have to be content with this... Love the curved corners.

Then off we went in the snow, with a list of booths to try the next day...

Thursday, 14 May 2009

ICP Chicago: Day 3

Day 3 was a clear up day. On the Sunday we went to help Tim, Brian and Anthony break down the exhibition and move the booths. We got there a little late due to the very late night the night before, but were still in time to help Anthony pack up one of his chemical booths and move it to the truck.

And what an insight into what is to come! There is so much more involved than just the booth itself. Tarps, bottles, buckets... trolleys, straps and so on and so on. We helped Anthony dispose of the chemicals (not all; some are kept and put back in their boxes), and then helped him move a booth. Yes, I actually moved a booth!

The trick is to have the right kind of trucks. Trucks like this, one at either end, and strapped together:

Then, it is easy for two people to wheel it around:

Me and Anthony wheeling the booth to the truck. And very easy! (although admittedly I had the lighter side...)

And then I had an epiphany which I think is one reason why we found it so hard to find a space for our booth in London. Doors in the US are larger then over here. So you can get booths through any old door: (even through bleary, hung over eyes...)

Onto the taillift and into the truck (here Brian and Tim took over from me - this bit does require lifting.)

So that's it! Lessons learned. And it was time for a little celebratory photobooth crawl around Chicago... pics to come!

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

A very good start...

So we finally had our first stint with the booth. Can't believe it's a month since we were at the IPC in Chicago, and we've only just got round to doing our first "booth evening". Now they are going to be regular... so hopefully blog updates will be more regular too!

But it was a very good start. Almost too good...

Our intention was to unpack the insides properly, and check that the transmission was aligned. In fact, we got much more than that done! Working through the DVD (which I highly recommend, it is dated in terms of hairstyle and technology but VERY useful), we checked the alignment of the transmission (fine), checked the alignment of the carriers (all fine) and checked the alignment of the tanks (also fine). In doing this, we had to run it as if it was taking a picture; all strobes worked (!), the paper feeds through smoothly, everything happens as it should - including the hairdryer at the end to dry the strip.

So we are over the moon. And trying to get our hands on chemicals. We also realised that we do not have the keys to lock the door, so for the moment it isn't light tight and is a little useless! But minor details compared to what could have gone wrong.

Also realised that we can take off the ugly grey industrial metal casing it is in very easily... so thoughts are now to aestheticising it which is much more fun!

More IPC news and images to come soon... watch this space.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The songbird and the Secret

Just a quickie... as promised, the wonderful bit of artwork Siobhan made at the Convention:

and, the Songbird, an award winning cocktail by Bar de Ville:

Read a review about it here.