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I bought a Photobooth

If you follow me on instagram or even twitter then you may have seen that last month I bought a vintage photobooth. It is kind of a crazy story but here is part of it. About 10 years ago I started looking into buying a photobooth. I know the digital kind are more practical but I’m obsessed with the kind with film. They are becoming harder and harder to find. I scoured Ebay and Craigslist and found almost no options. I remembered that there was a photobooth in Kmart in college and I remembered I had to get my money back once and talked to the nice guy that ran the booths. So I called Kmart and asked for his phone number and gave him a call. He told me he had several booths for sale and told me about the booths were $1500-$2500 and all the issues we would be dealing with. At the time we were newlyweds and lived in a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco and buying one was too unrealistic. There wasn’t enough money or space to purchase one. I saved his number and called him every few years to check in on pricing and availability. We almost bought one before we moved to France but Paul talked me out of it because of obvious reasons (we were moving to France!) When we got back to the States last year I warned Paul that this was the year I wanted to buy a photobooth. He agreed that we had space for it and could make it work financially. I finally called up the number a few months ago only to find out that the number was disconnected. I was heartbroken. After all these years of waiting on buying a booth and now they were gone. I asked my friend Charlotte a huge favor and had her do some reconnaissance since she lived near the guy. Charlotte ended up talking to the man’s wife who told her the man had passed away last year. She also said she had two storage units of photobooths and that a guy was coming out next week to make an offer on all of them. She said if I wanted to buy one I had to do it that week. I am grateful that we thought we had lost the photobooths for a few days because it made me realize how bad I wanted one. I booked a ticket the next day and flew out to Salt Lake City to arrange to have it shipped back to San Francisco. It is now in our studio in San Francisco! The photobooth needs some serious TLC to get it looking pretty and to get it functional. I’m working on getting this booth revamped and running by next month. You can read all about it and see pictures over here on the Go Mighty blog. I am going to be going through all the nitty gritty of getting this thing back to its former glory. I am a very goal oriented person (I love lists!) so I love the concept of Go Mighty. It’s a place to keep all your life list goals in one spot.

I took this photo a few years ago at a County Fair.

  1. Kathleen

    June 13, 2013

    That’s too awesome! And fantastic timing on your part! I just bought a Waffle House jukebox, which is something I’ve also always dreamed of owning. They’ve replaced the ones that play records and CDs with digital ones, and they just had their first auction last weekend. I can hardly believe I own it!

  2. Carina

    June 13, 2013

    Some of my very favorite pictures ever of my kids and I were taken in that same Kmart photobooth. I went back a couple years ago with my baby to take more pictures, but it was gone. I was heartbroken! How cool that one of those same booths is now living with you!

  3. Nadia

    June 13, 2013

    I’m so glad you got it! I can only imagine how happy it makes you to see it in your studio. :)

  4. Jennifer

    June 13, 2013

    I ADORE photobooths. My mom has some awesome photos my sister and I took in a photobooth with my dad when we were kids. Whenever I come across one ANYWHERE I practically shove my husband in to take photos. While I still LOVE photobooths, the digital ones don’t have the same magic as the old film versions.

  5. Mary Fernández

    June 13, 2013

    Oh my godness, I love the story, I can’t imagine how do you are exciting with your new and big toy. I love it! If I have space, probably I would like to buy one too!.

    Thanks fotr telling us your amazing story,

    Mary F.
    http://www.maryfernandezparra.com

  6. alicia bock

    June 13, 2013

    This is the best thing I have read all day! I am of course, incredibly jealous. My most treasured photographs are from film photobooths. I can’t wait to see what great memories come from yours!

  7. Christie

    June 13, 2013

    Definitely envious of this! I can’t wait to see the progress you make in the restore!

  8. Jessie

    June 13, 2013

    That is cool! Can’t wait to see the progress :)

  9. Cristina

    June 13, 2013

    It’s SO cool that you bought this. And what an interesting story!

  10. DREA

    June 13, 2013

    I just love to read your post. Thank you for all your inspiration and motivation.

  11. Carey

    June 13, 2013

    Of course they were in Salt Lake!

  12. Karina

    June 13, 2013

    Awesome! Good luck in getting it up and running :)

  13. Rebecca Lately

    June 13, 2013

    That’s awesome!

  14. Jana @ 333 Days of Hand Lettering

    June 13, 2013

    Can’t wait to see it all fixed up!
    Jana

  15. Tara

    June 13, 2013

    What a lovely idea. I absolutely love after so long you ended up getting one! Talk about persistence! Have fun fixing it up! Can’t wait to share the journey with you.

  16. Michelle @ Full Belly, Worn Soles

    June 13, 2013

    What an exciting undertaking! I look forward to seeing the results. I wish I had the space and money for one of these babies. It would be amazing for someone who entertains frequently.

    http://www.fullbellywornsoles.com

  17. Erica

    June 13, 2013

    So rad! I love it!

    simplyonelove.com

  18. Rebecca at thisfineday

    June 13, 2013

    Oh my gosh, that is so completely awesome- go YOU!

  19. Katy @ All Sorts of Pretty

    June 13, 2013

    A photobooth and a house in the same week! What an exciting time! Are you going to put it in the new house or will it stay in the studio? I can’t wait to see it restored – a vintage photo booth is so you.

  20. Shannon

    June 13, 2013

    Great story! Inspirational, yet again. Can’t wait to see the photobooth up and running!

  21. Brooke Reynolds

    June 13, 2013

    I have asked for a photobooth for my birthday EVERY YEAR for the past 12 years. I LOVE the idea of having it in your house, and documenting your kids as they grow up. We have to wait for the local county fair to come each summer so I can go use the photo booth with the kids.

    I am super JEALOUS right now.

  22. Rachel Hagen

    June 13, 2013

    love this! You’re such a great example of someone going after what they wanted. Love this about you.

  23. Jade Sheldon

    June 13, 2013

    I am so thrilled for you! I am also a photo booth enthusiast. This is completely magical…

  24. silviabes

    June 14, 2013

    ahahah i love this story. congrats on reaching your goal.
    the photobooth looks amazing, in italy there are only the digital ones now. sad :(

  25. PARIS BEE kids blog

    June 14, 2013

    WOW!!! Lucky you, what a fun purchase!!! In the same line, my post today is about the macaroon candy vending machine at Pierre Hermé’s head office in Paris. Would love to find that at home too!! :-)

    xoxo PARIS BEE kids blog

  26. Becky Loose From The Zoo

    June 14, 2013

    This is SO cool. I would have never even though of actually buying such a thing, but what an awesomely unique purchase! Love it!

    <3becky
    http://www.loosefromthezoo.com

  27. Gary Gulley

    June 14, 2013

    Congratulations! Just FYI… If you have trouble finding film and/or chemicals Contact George Grostern with Auto Photo Canada in Montreal.
    Good Luck with your Dip & Dunk!

  28. Kathleen

    June 14, 2013

    Go Jordan! This is going to be so awesome when it’s done!

  29. Tanya

    June 14, 2013

    I’m so jealous! I’m also slightly obsessed with the idea of owning an original photo booth, though I’d pretty much have to give up my bed to squeeze one into my NYC apartment. Glad your persistence paid off and can’t wait to see the finished product!

    Tanya @ the-wonderist.com

  30. Anne

    June 14, 2013

    Wow! I’m excited to see the output of all your revamping and all!

    http://annescribblesanddoodles.blogspot.com/

  31. Sarah Au

    June 14, 2013

    Wow! This is so amazing! I’ve never thought of owning one, but it was always fun to take photos with them, especially during parties and events! I’m sure this photobooth will help you create tons of wonderful memories! ((:

  32. Olga

    June 14, 2013

    omg. that’s just awesome! unbelievable! congratulations (:

  33. Jenn

    June 14, 2013

    Sooooooo jealous!

  34. Erin

    June 15, 2013

    I saw a sign with some photo booths for sale this morning out in Sonoma a few doors down from the Fremont diner. Random.

  35. Chelsea

    June 16, 2013

    I’ve been dying for one of those for two decades (eek, I feel old!) Would you be willing to spread the love and check if she still has any?… and if so, share a phone number? Pretty please :)

  36. Barbara

    June 16, 2013

    I *love* that you pursued this booth! The film ones are fab. I still think of the one that used to be on the pier at Tybee.

  37. Jacqueline

    June 16, 2013

    This is so amazing! Can’t wait to see how it looks after restoration! :)

  38. Kate Harrison

    June 17, 2013

    This is one of my all-time favorite stories. Thanks so much for sharing!

  39. Charlotte

    June 17, 2013

    Jordan!!! Dream Chaser! xoxo

  40. Fishing Sunglasses

    June 18, 2013

    This is awesome. I like it and Congratulations.

  41. Emergency Preparedness Kit

    June 18, 2013

    Wow. Congrats. I like it.

  42. Angela

    June 18, 2013

    Oh, wow! Your very own photobooth?! I’m so jealous! So perfect for parties and family events! You are going to have so much fun with it! :-)

  43. Celeste

    June 21, 2013

    Somehow, I missed this until Gabrielle linked to it.

    I have to say, I smiled when you said you used to go to Kmart to take photos in the booths, because my friends and I did the same thing in Salt Lake City (in my romantic brain, you’ve scored the one from the 9th East and Van Winkle Kmart that was removed 3 or 4 years ago).

    What a sweet story of the man, though.

    Best of luck!

  44. kristin

    June 24, 2013

    i NEED to know the new guy’s contact info…

    i too suffer from photobooth lust: )

    awesome, awesome story!

  45. Alice Q. Foodie

    June 25, 2013

    How cool!! Can’t wait to see it when it’s all done!! :)

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