I love printed photos. It's so uncommon to have physical prints these days it's made them precious and special again. I particularly like stumbling across photobooths that produce the quirky photo strips. It's also hard to ignore the growing popularity in Polaroid cameras. So today I wanted to share a few of my favourite places to collect these pocket sized mementos, whether you hop into a photo-booth or order the prints online, it's such a good feeling to hold real images in your hands, keep them in a wallet or pin them to your walls.
If you live in or around Manchester City Centre you may have spotted the old fashioned photo booth in Fred Aldous (which is an art supply shop located in the Northern Quarter.) It's actually an original Photo-Me Model 17 B&W Photo Booth from 1968. Their vintage booth shoots photo strips and for £3 you get 4 poses and 4 photos. Last time I was in there I spotted a second photobooth which looked like a slightly newer model. I could spend a fortune if left for too long. The photo strip takes a while to print out (3 minutes) due to the traditional printing technique used but you can leave the shop with a set of beautiful matte images with rich black and white contrast. Top tip - you need to hold your pose statue-still for about 8 seconds otherwise you'll end up with blurry pictures.
There are modern photo booths popping up all over city centres where you can choose to sit in front of a crazy backdrop or see your head twice it's normal size. They are fun but I prefer the traditional style of a 60s booth. I do however like the mini sticker photo machines you occasionally find in cinemas (there's one in Afflecks Palace, Manchester.)
Jump in a promotional photo booth! Companies are using photo booths to promote their products, new launches, etc and printing the company logo on your photos. Usually the photos are free though! I was at Clothes Show Live in December and took advantage of the Diet Coke booth for some free snaps. We were also able to send the images to our selves via Facebook or email.
Polaroid cameras are making a comeback in a big way. You can still shop for vintage instant cameras on eBay and the film that goes in them, but do your research and make sure you can actually buy a good amount of film for your old camera. More recently Fujifilm have launched their Instax Mini 8 instant cameras in tons of lovely pastel colours and Polaroid have introduced the 300 instant camera. These cameras with a small pack of film to use cost upwards for £60. So it's not a cheap way of producing Polaroid style images but if you're out and about wanting to produce instant prints it's a very fun toy. I like the space left under the photo for a caption or date.
If you're looking for a cheaper alternative I'd recommend using photographs you already own and turning them into film strips or polaroids. Prinstagram not only print your Instagram photos directly from your feed but they also produce photo strips for $10 you can get 9 photo strips which equals 36 photos. The online generator photoboother will make up digital photo strips for you which you can then print out yourself. Prinstagram also sell mini prints which have the style of the traditional polaroid with a much more reasonable price tag.
I like to keep all my printed photos on a pin board next to my desk. I surround them with concert tickets and little drawings. It's nice to look over and see a collection of personal items. I must remember to print more photographs this year rather than keeping everything on my hard drive.