Episode 26 – From Russia with Photobooths

On this week’s show we are laser-focused upon photobooths! Where did they come from and where have they gone? And what were they doing along the way? We’ll also be talking to Breanna Conley Saxon (@saybrebooth on IG) about … photobooths! She’s got a few and we get to talk to her about them! There’s the answering machine and zine reviews too. (We’ve even got some photobooth sound effects provided by Bre!)

After a bit of chitty chattery (Vania’s been surfing, Eric’s been not), we push the button on the answering machine. This episode’s question is:

Do you compose differently for color vs. black & white?

After listening to you folks, we gave our answers too.

Breanna Conley Saxon

Let’s Call Bre!

This episode, we gave a call to Breanna Conley Saxon (@saybrebooth on IG). Unlike most of us, she collects photobooths. Her journey has taken her from one coast to the other. From a Alabama thrift store to a Russian in Pennsylvania. And another Russian in California. It’s a weird tale, so hold tight.

We asked her everything we could think of about photobooths – from how she got her first one, how she learned to restore them and keep them running. Simple questions, but it’s quite a story.

Here are a few of her strips:

A Quickish History of Photobooths

If you Google, “who invented the photo booth,” Google will tell you that it was Anatol Josepho in 1925. And that’s not exactly wrong. But it’s not exactly right, either. Josepho’s story is the most interesting and the most successful, but he wasn’t the first.

But who can resist the tail of a poor young man fleeing Siberia and attaining the American Dream? We sure can’t, so we’re going to talk about this fellow soon enough. But first we’ll dig into the 1800s to figure out where this whole idea came from.

Anatol Josepho sitting in one of his Photomaton photobooths, late 1920s.

We cover the many attempts before Anatol Josepho’s breakthrough and subsequent sale of his Photomaton.

Created with GIMP

Photobooth Books and Resources

We recommended three books:

American Photobooth
by Nakki Goranin
Photobooth; A Biography
by Meags Fitzgerald
by Babbette Hines

All three are wonderful, and there are definitely more out there.

We also mentioned two websites:



Surrealist Gallery

Zine Reviews

We also reviewed two zines this episode.

Smash the Skatriachry – You can get it here or here.

Caveland – by Jesse Knifley (@hauntedfilmco on IG)

Old photobooth photo recently picked up by Eric.
Note the rare use of a prop.

Patreon Shout Outs

We’ve had so much support from our Patrons! Our thanks go out to:

Alan Mills
Mike Crawford
Matthew Stubbs
Ken Bertram
Janet Devereaux-Gaffney
Ryan Barker
LIz Potter
Michelle Singletary
Ralph Brandi
Martín Ventura
Colin Cameron
Jaya Bhat
Alex Purcell
Steve Tester
Alex Morrison
Adam Roberts
Tim Anderson
Dan Tree
Or sachs
Kate Miller-Wilson
Jonathan Feng
Juliet Schwab
Michael Dales
Robert Burton
Abel Silva
Kikie Wilkins
Alan Joseph Marx
Dave Walker
James Huffstutler
Jamie Maldonado
Nick Gaylord
Featured Patron

This episode’s first featured patron is Nick Gaylord – @gravity_train on Instagram.


Be sure to check out our Dev Party episodes.

Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers

Vania: IG, Flickr, Zines
Eric: IG, Flickr, Zines, ECN-2 Kits

All Through a Lens: IG, Website, Patreon

We’ve got a new logo!

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