How Classic Photo Booths Inspired The Selfie

The modern selfie and the entire social media ecosystem built from it inspired the modern corporate photo booth hire. But classic photo booths made it happen.

The corporate photo booth hire that is seen at many modern conventions, team meetings and industry events is a major part of networking activities and often has the humble selfie to thank.

Thanks to the rise of camera phones, people can take pictures wherever they are, and the photo booth helped to add consistent lighting and composition to the pictures.

It provides a tangible souvenir of a picture that would typically be confined to an online space, as well as provide an excuse to let loose and reveal a more personal side to your business persona.

However, the concept of the selfie can be traced back to the traditional photo booth, as between being used for identification, it was also used by generations of young people as a form of self-expression.

Whilst disposable cameras that were affordable were available as early as 1949, photo booths were a hugely popular alternative for decades because they offered a lot of advantages for people wanting to take pictures of their authentic selves.

The first one is the practical point that disposable cameras can only be developed once the whole film is used up and the process could take a while. 

Even by the early 2000s, it would still take an hour for an album of pictures to be developed from a roll of film, with no guarantees that any of the pictures were useful or usable.

By contrast, for a small fee, you had the benefit of perfect even lighting, clearly focused lenses and a setting where you could express yourself in rather than be mindful of the external noise surrounding you.

This classic era of photo booths lasted far longer than anyone expected, only being beaten by instant cameras that provided the same ability to take pictures and see them develop in minutes rather than hours, as well as digital cameras and camera phones that gave everyone a way to showcase themselves.

It is somewhat fitting that with the resurgence of photo booths that this has come full circle.