30.Aug.2009 Photo booth narratives

As a fan—and fledgling contributor—to the sequential storytelling medium of comics, the potential that lies within the four-picture photo booth is definitely intriguing.

A few weeks ago, I was in Wisconsin for the wedding of one of my best buddies. At this wedding, as I hear it’s quite hip to do, there was a photo booth for guests to enter and capture some silly pictures throughout the night. After snapping quite a few goofy sequences with my lovely girlfriend, my sister and my parents, it hit me—in my high spirits aided by spirits—that with a sharpie and some paper I could add a pretty unique set of photos to the night’s photo booth collection (all of which are given to the bride and groom after the festivities on a disc).

After searching vainly throughout the reception for sharpie and paper, I came up with a simple story I could tell with only myself and one of my favorite items: a cup of coffee.

Umm umm good!

Umm umm good!

Obviously four panels and no dialogue doesn’t allow for a ton of expression, but it is a pretty interesting venue for short stories. An average comic strip is only about four panels, and so, it seems a strip of photo booth pictures makes for a rigid but compelling story form. I’m sure I am not the first person to stumble upon this idea, but man, I think it’s a darn good one. It’d be a great way to introduce chapters of a story about young love and it’s progression through time as evidenced by the body language of the photographees, or to simply show the aging of any main character.

I like it. I think I’ll use it again some time.

Here are a few other examples of photos from that night’s booth that could potentially have some hilarious captions/stories told with them…

My kooky family and lovely girlfriend.

My kooky family and lovely girlfriend.

"Oh, she's very pretty. Maybe...too pretty." "Hmm...this is one weird fella."

"Oh, she's very pretty. Maybe...too pretty." "Hmm...this is one weird fella."

The groom and me. What is happening here? I know what we were doing, but man, it looks like a better story than just us being goofballs.

The groom and me. What is happening here? I know what we were doing, but man, it looks like a better story than just us being goofballs.


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There are 5 Comments to "Photo booth narratives"

  • Bill says:

    I know I’m not one to talk, but you are a goofy bastard jimbo– kudos on the girlfriend dude! She is definately cuter than anyone I brought back to the J.C. cabin LOL… and hopefully SANER… Looks like you had fun, perhaps you could make a flip-book next?

  • Jim Gibbons says:

    Photo booth flipbook, eh?! I LOVE that idea!

  • Kevin Timony says:

    Jim… Your coffee picture was my favorite of the night! Keep up the good work.

  • Jim Gibbons says:

    Half of the happy couple loved the coffee narrative?! Success!

  • Jessi says:

    Yeah, the only way that coffee narrative could have been better (*maybe*) would have required a suit sacrifice. Add a fifth frame that looks exactly like the first frame, but for the coffee dribble down the front of the white shirt….Oh, kooky Wendy would not have loved that.