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The history of the photobooth

By Snappy Photobooths

The history of the photo booth is longer than many of you may think. From the photobooths very humble beginnings back in 1889, the technology was left somewhat unchanged for a large number of years. However, jump to the 21st century and there have been enormous advancements in both digital photography and printing which has enabled the photo booth to evolve into what we have come to know and love today. With the wide variety of state of the art photo booth options available on the market today, it can be easy to forget days past, where the technology was nowhere near as advanced. We delved into the history of the photo booth to discover where this well-loved technology originated from and how it evolved over the years. 

The first patent for an automated photography machine was filed way back in 1888 by William and Edward Pope, however, a working machine was not built until the year after by T.E. Enjalbert. Enjalbert was a french inventor and after producing the machine in March 1889, it was shown at the Paris World Fair later on that year. Although this photography machine was ‘automated’ by no means was it anything close to the photobooth machines we know of today. The machines were tricky to use and far too unreliable to be left unmanned.

Fast forward a few years to 1890 and the “Bosco” was created. This photography machine was automated, and more reliable than it’s predecessors. Yet still produced ferrotypes, a direct positive image on a thin sheet of metal, rather than proper negative photographs. 

The first photobooths that began to resemble the type we use today was invented by Siberian immigrant Anatol Josepho in 1925. Anatol’s invention was unveiled in New York, featured a curtain and cost 25 cents per photo. 2 years later the inventor was given a huge $1 million as well as a guaranteed cut of future royalties for his invention. 

The popularity of photo booths grew exponentially during WW II as soldiers and loved ones took numerous photographs to share with one another. The beginning of instant photography by Polaroid in the 1960’s and 1970’s greatly detracted from the popularity of photo booths and they sadly began to fade from public consciousness.

For many of us today our first memories of entering a photobooth would have been the type used for passport photos. Passport photobooths have been around for years and are used to print photos to specific government requirements. These no-frills booths are often similar in design and feature a seat, plain backdrop and curtain. Passport photobooths are a prime example of just how far photobooth technology has progressed throughout the years. Once used for purely practical applications such as passport photos, photo booths are now used for whole host of events such as weddings, birthday parties and corporate functions. 

What’s more, photo booth technology is continuing to evolve. Digital photo booths now come in a range of styles and sizes to suit any event. Styles such as our Mirror Booth or our Galaxy GIF Booth are a far cry away from more traditional styles of photobooths. Photobooths of today are also easily transportable and as the technology becomes more readily available it has also made hiring a photobooth more affordable for everyone. 

Modern-day photo booths are now highly interactive, providing guest engagement, amusement and making the technology exciting and fun to use. Many are also capable of social media integration, allowing users to share their photo booth experience in real-time with their friends, family and followers!

Snappy Photobooth offers a wide variety of state of the art photobooths with something to suit every occasion. Contact us today to find out how we could help you make your next event truly unforgettable.