Documenting The Documenting

I am a fan of photobooths.

Anytime I see one I grab whoever is with me and we jump inside. We drop coins in the slot or gently coax in dollar bills (making sure they are crisp and right-side-up) or swipe a card. We make a few poses, laugh a lot, and in just three-or-so-minutes this glorious little strip of images is released into the world. There's one at our local movie theater and there was a fantastic one at the Ace Hotel in Portland where we stayed with my sister a few weekends back. The images above were captured at the hotel.

I found a site that can help you locate photobooths in your area. Check out this link to


When I was going back through my photos from our weekend one of the things I noticed was that we had a couple photos that
documented the documenting. These photos, captured by my Mom, show us in action. They show us together, doing our thing, living a little bit of our story inside a photobooth.

Do you have any photos that show you or your family participating in the process of gathering images?

Maybe it's a photo of you taking pictures of your kids, or your favorite flowers, or your pet, or your coffee cup - whatever it is that you love to take photos of in your life.

If not, it may just take you asking a parent, friend, partner or even a child to snap a couple shots. Maybe it's with a camera phone or a point and shoot - anything that can capture an image you can then use on a layout in conjunction with the photos that you took (or were taken by something like a photobooth).

Having both captured tells an even richer story.

Here's the layout that combines the inside and outside photos (click the image below to view larger):

The Ace Hotel : Portland, Oregon. One of the reasons I was excited to stay at the Ace was because I knew about the famous photobooth that sits in the lobby. I love photobooths. It's impossible for me to pass one by without inserting some money and getting photos taken with whoever happens to be with me at the moment. Over the course of the our stay we the booth three times. Once with me, Anna & Simon. Once with me & Simon (and one where Chris popped his head in the booth). And once with Chris, Simon and me. I love these shots. They are dark. They are imperfect. They are silly. I also love that we have a shot of us from the outside (taken by my Mom). It's a bit of documenting the documenting. It's always cool to see ourselves from the outside. A peek at us in action, together, hanging out. Family getaways like this are also really important to me. Getting out of our daily routine is refreshing and fun and always an adventure...just like popping in a photobooth.

Studio Calico Dash

SQUIGGLE-ARROW PATTERN PAPER : Cosmo Cricket Detour Joy Ride
YELLOW STRIP : Studio Calico FabRips
BLACK DASH PATTERN PAPER : K&Company Poppy Seed Gray Dots
YELLOW LETTER STICKERS : Basic Grey Origins Micro Mono Stickers
CAMERA CIRCLE STICKER : Studio Calico Die Cut Stickers 20% Extra Flashy
FONTS : Adler, Garamond

52 thoughts shared

  1. Cynthia H

    2010-03-10 11:57:53 +0000

    I love how you interspersed the journaling with some yellow/orange text. More proof that you are so good at using these colors!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  2. Kate

    2010-03-10 12:04:29 +0000

    I have to admit to not being inside a Photobooth since I was a kid. Maybe I need to go find one somewhere!
    Aloha, Kate

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  3. Donna Tullis

    2010-03-10 12:21:33 +0000 just make me happy. I always leave your blog with such a good feeling in my heart...thanks for that!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  4. patty

    2010-03-10 12:52:06 +0000

    i love, love photo booths! i remember as a teen cramming in a photo booth with friends and laughing and making crazy faces!!! good memories...i am definately going to check out the website. thanks for sharing...

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  5. Sandy (Your Life, Organized)

    2010-03-10 13:48:00 +0000

    I love photo booths!! What a great layout! I think we will have to use your link and find a photo booth close by!
    And I will have to dig mine out and get them in my scrapbook!!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  6. Carrie

    2010-03-10 14:11:34 +0000

    What a great post! This reminds me of a photo I took of my daughter and husband, both with cameras out, taking pictures of the ocean while we were in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I need to print it out and scrapbook it!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  7. Kathy

    2010-03-10 15:35:08 +0000

    Love the idea of documenting the documenting! Just last week I took a photo of my grandson playing in a short tunnel on a playground with my daughter taking the same photo from the other side. So we each got a pic of each other taking a photo of Sebastian with each other in it. You can bet those 2 photos are going side by side in a layout!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  8. Julie

    2010-03-10 15:35:40 +0000

    I also LOVE photo booths!! We hop in one everytime we find one. Thanks for the link and the inspiration!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  9. sue

    2010-03-10 15:53:56 +0000

    A photo booth? How fun and I love the layout you did with those photos and the ones your Mom took. I will definately check out the photo booth link and see if there are any left in the midwest.

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  10. Deb

    2010-03-10 17:19:00 +0000

    There is an Ap for the iphone that is a photobooth. I do not have an iphone so I am not sure how it works.

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  11. Ali W

    2010-03-10 18:33:12 +0000

    Thanks for sharing that site, Ali. Here in NZ I have yet to see a photobooth, apart from those goofy ones that print the tiniest pictures with crazy Japanese manga backgrounds. I want a good old 4 photo strip booth like I used to frequent as a teenager in the UK! I know my 8 year old would love them, and so now I have a project idea - in May we are going to Boston and NYC to visit friends, just a girls trip, so cool, and I will use the locator to find booths near where we are going to be, and we will take pics in ALL of them! I will make an album all about this, and I will be able to talk about the photobooths of my youth and how it's such a shame that kids don't get to do that any more. Why doesn't someone bring them out again? They are so retro and fun, and kids seem to get such a kick out of PhotoBooth on the iMac.... maybe that's a business for me. Anyway, thanks for sharing the link. Ali in NZ

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  12. Leora

    2010-03-10 19:16:05 +0000

    Oh Ali! I love this layout. I have a weakness for photobooths too. My other half thinks they are a waste of money--like the claw machine, but I think they are charming and fun! Thanks for sharing.

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  13. cher

    2010-03-10 21:47:11 +0000

    toooooooooo fun!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  14. Lynn Mercurio

    2010-03-11 05:14:52 +0000

    I too am a big fan of photobooths. They have such a fun appeal with a wonderful nostalgic feel. I'm in one every time I see one! Thanks for sharing these great photos and fun layout!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  15. Meghann

    2010-03-11 07:28:16 +0000

    Great layout, Ali! I love photobooths too!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  16. Susanne

    2010-03-11 07:57:55 +0000

    Love the story, love the layout!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  17. Melanie

    2010-03-11 08:44:23 +0000

    Loved this!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  18. Amybug

    2010-03-11 10:59:09 +0000

    so cool. love the bear!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  19. kelly purkey

    2010-03-11 12:29:09 +0000

    adore the photobooth pics and the layout, ali!!!
    i am excited to see you scrap more of portland :)

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  20. christen

    2010-03-11 13:32:40 +0000

    my sister-in-law and i always take pictures of each other taking pictures on the 4th of july...i love having them. i also love any random shots i get from kids of myself or them taking pictures. i love photobooths too. my daughter had one at her wedding reception and all the guests had their pictures taken and put in the guestbook.

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  21. Linda Joplin

    2010-03-11 19:27:43 +0000

    I LOVE photobooths too. I am now 53 years old, but when I was in 8th grade, my best friend and I put 25 cents in a photobooth. Then, the unexpected happened. The machine malfunctioned, and we got TONS of pictures taken for 25 cents! I bet we had 100 pics taken, and it's one of my favorite memories from my youth!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  22. Stephanie

    2010-03-13 05:46:09 +0000

    I've been trying to get my son into a photobooth for ever. He has some "space" issues and typically panics when we would get in and close the curtain.
    Last week for the first time I FINALLY got him in without much fuss. I took one of the strips and framed it -- and it is displayed on a low shelf in his room.
    He will randomly run in, pick it up and say "mommy, sazaa (his word for his name right now), box?"

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  23. Artful Yogi

    2010-03-14 20:19:59 +0000

    Great layout. Thanks for sharing.

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  24. Betsy

    2010-03-21 09:41:44 +0000

    It's the little things in life that make the best pages! Thanks for reminding me of that! ~B~

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
  25. mrsgeek

    2010-04-04 11:31:21 +0100

    Thank you for the Photo Booth resource. I'll have to check out the booths in the area. If you have an iPhone you should check out Photo Booth Plus. It turns your iPhone camera into a personal photo-booth!

    * edited 08/11/14 01:54PM
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