It is not a camera

Have you seen those bulky photo booths at clubs and parties that print out little instant photos?


The first time I saw them, I didn’t understand their purpose. If I wanted a photo, I could merely snap one on my phone. Sure, the machine also prints the photo out instantly, but that doesn’t explain they are found exclusively at bars and parties.

The answer lies in the kind of photos people take using these machines. Along with these machines are various props to make the photos funny. The photos taken here are also the ones with most people exploring their goofy sides – ideally after a drink or two has loosened them up.


Earlier, I had thought of these machines as cameras. I now realize that they are actually portals of goofiness with a camera attached. The printed photos serve merely to capture those goofy moments for posterity.

Something that is popular but absurd is an invitation to understand the world better.

PS: I still don’t understand why these machines are so bulky. That is, perhaps, fodder for another post.

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