Red Scare: A photobooth history

photobooth hireDo you ever find yourself getting curious about life’s oddities? I do. I love unearthing forgotten inventions at Trash and Treasure markets and learning about the obscure professions that people have. Recently while browsing on ebay I discovered a retro photobooth up for sale. The thing was long out of order but a collectable nonetheless and it got me really curious about photobooths. Did people still use photobooths? I assumed that they were for people in need of a last-minute passport headshot or teenage girls drunk on seven eleven slurpees. Turns out, the humble photobooth has a long and fascinating history.

I was also surprised to discover that these days there’s also a market for photobooth hire. Melbourne has just about everything if you look hard enough, and a lot of people will hire a photo booth for a party or wedding. I wonder how many of them are aware of the origins of the photobooth, how it all started with a Russian émigré in the States. Anatol Josepho was a born photographer, who travelled to China to draw up plans and raised a fortune from his rich friends to build the first “Photomaton Studio” (love the archaic name). It was put on a street corner in New York where it earned a hefty profit for its investors and of course, modest Anatol Josepho. But here comes the juicy part.

Perhaps it was Josepho’s Russian heritage and socialistic predilections that inspired him to donate half of his enormous profits to the poor. You’d think that an act like this would garner respect and admiration for the man but instead it embroiled him in scandal. At the time that this was going on in the twenties, it was the beginning of the “red scare” and the press decried him as a communist.

I never expected to learn so much good history from a photo booth. Melbourne companies that loan photobooths are actually on to a good idea.


Nurturing myself after menopause

anti wrinkle injectionsGoing through menopause was one of the most stressful experience of my life. It was a transformation that I wasn’t ready for, an initiation into true maturity. Aside from the strain it took on my body, menopause also took a toll on my emotional well being. By the time it was over, I was utterly exhausted. During the period after my menopause I took my beautiful daughter’s advice and decided to take extra special care of myself.

I splurged on everything from massages to spas, day trips to the country and even painting as a new form of self expression. However, the real self-healing came when I took a renewed interest in my appearance. I’d been neglecting my looks for the past twenty years or so – you know the story, I was just too busy raising kids, paying off the mortgage, working full time, the list goes on. There simply wasn’t time to primp and pamper. I also had the silly notion that older women have no emotional need to look and feel beautiful. I quickly discovered how very wrong I was.

Again, it was my daughter who suggested I get anti wrinkle injections. Melbourne clinics can give you treatments based on the latest innovations in skin care. After getting it done, couldn’t believe the impact it had on my self-esteem. Not only did I look fresher and revitalised, I felt the part too! It just goes to show that you’re never too old, never too young, never too anything to take pride in your appearance, and the emotional benefits are what it’s all about. I’m even thinking of driving out to the new clinic for lip injections. Ballarat recently got the same services as Melbourne – yay!

My husband didn’t notice that I’d had injection any more than he’d noticed my new haircut (men, typical!) but he did notice there was something different about me. ‘You’re in a good mood today!’ he said, ‘Whatever it is you’re doing, keep doing it. You’re acting about ten years younger!’