Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

Photobooth Opening On Valencia

with 28 comments

Last night we headed to Photobooth, a brand new studio in the Mission District that features all things Polaroid. The first thing that drew my eyes as I entered the studio were these amazing, 4×5 blow ups of tintype portraits at the back of the studio:

The place was jam packed when we first arrived. With free food, drinks, and music going, this turned out to be a great Saturday evening hangout. The shop wasn’t set up for selling retail items just yet, but we had with us an old Polaroid camera that we found somewhere the house. Brought it to one of the owners, a really cool guy, who assured me that he has the film I need and can show me how to use the thing (you can see Bridget holding it above).

The retail store will be selling all sorts of Polaroid films from the Impossible Project, as well as Lomography gear and items created by local artists:

Speaking of local artists, we had a blast meeting other photographers there, including the Lomo expert below who stabbed me in the eye with a yard stick to make sure I was in focus. Now that’s what I call a rangefinder! Ok she didn’t really stab me….nice meeting you Amy. =)

Even ran into someone who had the Russia Day limited edition L-CA+. Then there was the guy who stuck his macro lens equipped DSLR into a tube connected to an older camera. Very interesting.

The center of attention back inside the studio was the Polaroid rig, a beautiful piece of equipment indeed:

I ordered up a tintype portrait of Bridget and watched the photographer do his thing:

It was all over in seconds, and the print went to the back to develop and dry off:

Looks pretty hot if you ask me! I’d love to get a 4×5 blow up of this image. Such a cool experience! I’ll definitely be back here to get some Polaroid film, and I’m pretty excited that we have a shop like this in San Francisco now.

All Images: Fuji X100 (Provia/Astia)

Photobooth SF
1193 Valencia Street @ 23rd.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Open: Wed- Th 1-8, Fri – Sun 1-9

Written by Jonathan

August 21, 2011 at 12:42 am

28 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Wow very nice 🙂


    August 21, 2011 at 12:57 am

  2. Awww! Wish I had been there!! What a wonderful party, wonderful place! Exciting:))


    August 21, 2011 at 3:36 am

  3. Looks good…..I see he is shooting with a Sinar. That is a special world.. I really like that for large format.

    Jim Dell

    August 21, 2011 at 4:15 am

  4. This looks like such a cool place. Really dig the huge tintype prints. Gotta to check it out!
    (before they start doing retail or else I have to make myself go without bringing my wallet)


    August 21, 2011 at 8:38 am

  5. Michael- one of the owners- is formerly of Rayko and there couldn’t be a nicer guy or anyone more passionate about tintypes. So happy for him and his partners.


    August 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

  6. how cool! i love that tintype portrait of Bridget!! i want one of myself (not to be vain or anything- it’s just so cool looking!)


    August 21, 2011 at 5:37 pm

  7. Your indoor shots are really amazing… really well balanced exposed.

    I wish i can shoot the way u did..

    Thanks for sharing..


    August 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm

  8. must. go. here.

    omg. i can’t even…

    and i’d order a tintype portrait too! this place looks like heaven.


    August 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm

  9. Great job covering your experience here. You must have felt like a kid in a candy store! Looks like an amazing place indeed. Are those two people on the left in the last photo having a dance battle? 😉


    August 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    • Hah, yes, the totally are. =)

      Thanks for the comments everyone! Will hopefully have some real polaroids to share after visiting the Photobooth retail store this week. =)


      August 21, 2011 at 11:59 pm

  10. Wow, photography heaven right here! And it’s in my town! 😀 Must check out soon!

    Jasmine Lee

    August 22, 2011 at 3:25 pm

  11. you missed food festival but the photobooth opening was fun, too! my hubby and I went there after, but it was so crowded, we lost our patience…
    funny thing…you and your wife passed us by when we were seating on a bench in front of Beretta, her polaroid camera caught our attention, and when I saw your photos I realized it was you two 🙂


    August 22, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    • Ah, that was you in front of Beretta? I’m pretty sure I remember seeing you now. It’s funny, we were kind of on the fence about going to the food festival because of the crowds, and yet we ended up being packed in with a bunch of people at the overcrowded Photobooth. =)


      August 23, 2011 at 7:25 am

  12. Damn! Naturally, I was out of town! Great coverage, however.


    August 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm

  13. Jonathan, many thanks for this exceptional photo essay. You really caught the spirit of the night!


    August 24, 2011 at 10:59 am

    • Thanks for stopping by Vince, and congratulations on your new studio! I’ll definitely be emailing you.


      August 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

  14. p.s. can you email me? We would love to use some of your photos for PR.


    August 24, 2011 at 11:04 am

  15. Jonathan,
    Thanks for the great photos of this wonderful event. Vince is my best friend – from junior HS! – and I couldn’t fly out from NYC to attend. Thanks for the opportunity to glimpse what went on.

    Jeff Ballinger

    August 25, 2011 at 3:15 am

  16. Hello Jon,

    Good day to u..

    May i know which X100 exposure metering mode (multi, average or spot) u used for above photobooth pics? thanks ..


    August 27, 2011 at 1:25 am

    • Billy,

      Multi-metering only on this post. I actually have yet to use spot or average.


      August 27, 2011 at 8:42 am

  17. how cool! 😛


    September 2, 2011 at 11:55 am

  18. […] During the studio’s recent opening, photographer Jonathan Fleming documented the tintype process from beginning to end, as demonstrated by Michael Shindler, the studio’s in-house tintype photographer. Polaroid […]

  19. Stupende immagini! anch’io sto tentando di imparare a fotografare!


    October 30, 2011 at 1:41 am

  20. re: tube connected to an older camera – it’s known as Through the Viewfinder (TtV) and you can see lots of great examples in this flickr group

    For a bit of shameless self-promotion, there’s my portfolio site:

    Photobooth looks like a great resource – a visit to SF is in order.

    Russ Morris

    November 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

  21. […] my blog lately, you probably know that I frequent this shop. I originally discovered it on opening night, and came back again later to purchase some  film and get schooled on Polaroid […]

  22. […] seem to have difficulty visiting Photobooth SF without coming home with some kind of new photographic goodie, whether it be an awesome tintype […]

  23. […] you live in or around San Francisco, you’ve got to pay this studio a visit and get yourself immortalized on a steel plate, or at least get some help firing up that old […]

  24. […] to this truly unique studio than to have your tintype taken? Bridget had hers done a couple times before, but this is the first time I’ve been immortalized on a metal plate. We walked out […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: