Call it the new karaoke. The old-fashioned photo booth is the latest hit among party posers
They've been amusing preteen girls for decades. Now, photo booths -- those $2 wonders often found in the corners of food courts -- are moving up and out of the mall.
The old-fashioned booth is fast becoming a regular on the party circuit, thanks to its fun factor and its ability to dispense one-of-a-kind favours. Like so many trends, this one has its roots in Hollywood (Jamie Lee Curtis rented one for a birthday party and Quentin Tarantino has one installed in his home), but expect to see it soon at a bat mitzvah near you.
On the small screen, red-carpet coverage for both Entertainment Tonight and eTalk Daily regularly includes "candid" celebrity photo-booth snaps from awards shows and parties. And at the recent Live8 concert a photo booth was there for the fans to record the event.
Aside from sheer entertainment value, photo booths allow guest and host alike to capture unique instant memories in simple strips of pictures, all for a mere couple of bucks. And while booths haven't yet usurped the traditional wedding photographer, http://www.cheekyphotobooth.com.au/ plans to equip weddings, bar / batmizvahs, corporate functions and any other event throughout Sydney.
While photo booths have provided pop culture with some memorable moments -- in 1978, Clark Kent (a.k.a. Christopher Reeves) changed into Superman in a booth supplied by Auto-Photo -- they have seemed largely forgotten in recent years. Now, they're popping up everywhere, in ads for birth-control pills and chewing gum, boutique hotels as well as films such as the recent Ashton Kutcher flick A Lot Like Love.
Along with a photo booth, the company supplies a "scrapbook co-ordinator" who arranges for wedding guests to add personal notes to the photos to create special keepsakes for the bride and groom.
Even the colourful Cirque de Soleil insisted on an old-school booth for its Christmas party last year.
The business world is catching up, too, renting photo booths to amp up the "party" atmosphere at corporate events.
The company ensures a branding opportunity by adding the company's logo to the photo paper in advance.
There's something undeniably tempting about looking at photo-booth pictures. It's a great human moment.