History of the Photobooth: The Original Selfie?

While photobooths are a fun and traditional activity included at significant events (weddings, birthday parties, proms, etc.), but they also have some interesting history attached to their existence as well. People may not realize it, but the photo booth has actually been around the United States since the mid 1920’s. Of course, the booth has evolved and undergone many changes. For instance, one no longer needs a coin to operate the device—most are digital and automatic. The majority of people perhaps even take for granted just how clever, ingenious, and memorable this machine really is.boardwalk1

The first selfie?

A favorite American pastime that has survived this many decades interestingly enough could be considered the first ever “selfie.” Think about it: you enter the booth alone or with a guest (or several guests i.e. Ellen DeGeneres’ famous Oscar selfie) and the booth produces one to four (or more) photographs of whoever was in front of the hidden lens. One could even argue that the photo booth is a better version of the “selfie” in that you get to include multiple people with a complete and total hands-free experience… not to mention the idea that most booths produce several photos back to back. It would indeed appear that the photo booth deserves much more appreciation than it may currently wield.

What qualifies a photo as a “selfie”?

What exactly qualifies a photograph to be a “selfie”? There are several widely accepted and obvious ideas that define this contemporary social media phenomenon. Well, to start a selfie must contain an image of one’s own “self,” hence the word self in the term selfie. A selfie can either be a solo shot or one with several individuals, so long as the person physically taking the photo is within the frame. Most selfies, unlike the photo booth, are created by taking the picture while holding the camera at arm’s length, or even standing in front of a mirror and utilizing one’s reflection rather than a self-timer. Nevertheless, selfie’s are typically incorporated through various social media platforms, and taken to flatter one’s self while appearing casual or even candid.

It is probably safe to assume that whether or not you are posting a selfie on Instagram snapped in the bathroom mirror of a club or reposting a fun photo booth collage taken at your cousin’s wedding, we all enjoy these photographs and the memories they comprise. One could even combine the two mediums and physically take their own photograph using the “photo booth app” on the iPhone. Regardless, selfie lovers have taken over the digitized universe, and despite the somewhat trivial purpose behind these images, there’s no question that the selfie is here to stay.

Book your photo booth rental in Philadelphia for your next big event by contacting Boardwalk Photo Booth Rentals today at (609) 742-4110.

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