History of Photobooths –
Celebrating 95 Years

Celebrating 95 Years Of The Photobooth
To celebrate it’s 95th Birthday, we thought we’d compile a history of photobooths, comparing the photo booth, from back in the 1900s when it was first patented, to now, where technology has elapsed so much that rather than taking a black and white portrait, you can now not only have a colour photo, but add digital props, and use green screen to change your background. And let’s not forget the important feature of uploading to social media!

History of Photo Booths

1928 – The Photomaton is created

On January 17 1928 A gentleman and passionate photographer named Anatol M Josepho received the first US patent for a fully automatic photographic film-developing machine. This was named the Photomaton, and was found in the streets of New York at subway stations. For just 25 cents, patrons could have their photograph taken instantly. The Photomaton would process and print eight photographs in ten minutes.

1970 – The power of colour

It took nearly 40 years before the photo booth was able to print colour photos.

1990s – Photo-Me becomes official

Passport Photo Booths come onto market

Photo-Me launch the photo booth to take official passport quality checked photographs used for identity purposes.

2000 – UK’s First Camera Phone

The first camera phone is launched in the UK and people start to take more photos (and more self portraits!) on the move without having to own a camera. This also includes the evolution of MMS, picture messaging where photos can now be shared digitally.

2003 – MySpace, My Photos!

MySpace launches online, where uploading photos online and sharing photos becomes the in trend thing to do!

2011 – Filters back in time

Despite the advance in technology, our human nature makes us nostalgic, and the evolution of Instagram emerged where we can not only share our photographs with social media, we can make our photographs look “old fashioned / vintage” with various filters

2012 – Photobooths for fun

Photobooth.co.uk kicks off the photo booth hire trend in the UK, where photo booths are hired for weddings, photo booths, birthdays, for novelty purposes, not for identification purposes! To cater towards the novelty sector, Photobooth.co.uk implements new software including green screen, digital props, borders, etc.

2013- Photobooths become increasingly popular!

Photobooth hire starts becoming popular and demanding, so Photobooths.co.uk is launched. Vendors can purchase Photobooths to use for their hire companies. Software is continuously improving.

2016 – Move over for the Magic Mirror Booths!

Magic Mirror | Large Magic Mirror | Mirror Booth

2016 marked the launch of the Magic Photo Mirrors, which using the same concept of a photo booth, captures photos and prints them instantly. The new novelty of the Magic Photo Mirror is that it can now take full length photos as supposed to the traditional head and shoulder images. It is also fully reflective, and with increased technology, also touch screen.

2018 – Birth Of The Event Photography Robot!

Event Photography Robot

2018 saw the development of the latest event photography innovation in the birth of the Photo Robot. Developed by Service Robots in the UK, these photography robots are being seen more and more at wedding receptions, exhibitions and corporate events.

2021 – Photobooths Go 360!

Whilst video had already crept into the photobooth market from around 2012 it wasn’t until 9 years later that it really started to take off with the launch of 360 Photobooths.

In simple terms the 360 booth consists of a video recording device mounted on an adjustable arm that rotates around a platform upon which event guests are standing and captures a complete 360-degree video of them having fun.

Whilst, not a traditional photobooth as originally created, it truly combines the raison d’etre of the original with the technology of today.

2023 – Here we are

We’ve come a long way, but its all thanks to Anatol Josepho the concept of the photo booth became what it is today. As for what comes next… watch this space.

Photo Booth Picture Example


Still have some questions? Not sure this is the opportunity for you?

Pop into our showroom and we can talk you through all of our products and the opportunities they provide. All visits are free of charge with no obligation to buy.