Like many other American inventions, the DIY photo-portrait machine was the brainchild of immigrants, each of whom approached slightly differently the challenge of putting a developing and printing lab, along with a good camera, in the same box with a sitting studio and making the whole shebang percolate at the drop of a quarter. Goranin briefly recaps the careers of those inventors, as well as notable exploiters of the technology once it was in production. They’re such an interesting lot that one wishes she had applied that last bit of polish to her prose (she is addicted to dangling modifiers). For many, the fact that the photo booth is still made, however modified, and gainfully employed will be the text’s big revelation. Meanwhile, the gallery of photo-booth portraits Goranin has amassed, and, as a photographer, contributed to, constitute the book’s big attraction. These faces of six decades are everything their autoportraitists could have hoped they would be—silly, joyous, friendly, loving, frank, naughty, honest—and charming besides. Spellbinding. --Ray Olson
"That a perceptive, dedicated, and sensitive artist like Nakki Goranin has rescued from oblivion so many amazing self-portraits created by amateurs confronting themselves in the fleeting privacy of humble photobooths is yet another miracle for which we can be grateful." David Haberstich"
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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