As a photographer, one of the first things I fell in love with when I moved to Berlin was its Photoautomats. For those of you who have never heard about it, the Photoautomat is an old-looking photo booth where you can take high-contrast black-and-white self portraits for just 2 euros. The machine itself is so colourful and so retro… so special!
The story of this cute tiny booth goes back to 2003, when Asger Doenst and Ole Kretschmann had the idea of restoring old photo booths from the 70s to be used in a brand new way. Two years later the first one was placed in Rosenthaler Platz. Since then, about 13 more Photoautomats have pop up in the city. You can find them in the coolest neighbourhoods of Berlin: from Kreuzberg to Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain. The idea started here and it quickly spread to different European cities, such as Paris, Vienna and London. If you want to, you can also rent them.
Photoautomats are quite successful. In some of them, like the one in Kottbusser Tor, there’s always a cue of people preparing to smile to the camera. As you might be thinking, yes, there’s someone who takes care of the maintenance and cleaning. This is Berlin, so you can imagine those are important things to do regularly.
We love them. In fact, everytime someone is visiting us, we take him or her to the Photoautomat. That’s just like our own private ceremony.
Last Tuesday we went to the one in Moritzplatz. Check it out!
Text and pictures by Silvia Conde.