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The Art of Waiting’s summer contest hearkens back to a simpler time. A time when waiting for your betty crocker leftovers to reheat in the sears roebuck oven didn’t seem like an eternity. A time when waiting for the television commercial to end was more of a fascination than an annoyance. A time when waiting 3 minutes for a strip of 4 pictures to drop into the slot was the only option. You know what I’m talkin’ ’bout Willis. Old style, wet chemistry, dip ‘n’ dunk photobooths have a special niche in the analogue photo world, and as a staple of summer carnivals, festivals, and fairs for many decades, they seemed to be an appropriate subject for the summer contest. So, instead of keeping you waiting around and enduring my self-indulgent storytelling, I’ll get to the details.

I’ve collaborated with Meags Fitzgerald, (not pronounced Meegs, but Megs) an interdisciplinary artist who has been infatuated with photobooths for the better part of the last decade. Meags has created the Art of Waiting photobooth contest title image on this page, and will be one of the contest judges, and our guest blogger periodically while the contest is running.

Entry to this contest is a little more involved than the spring contest; you’ll need to do a little more waiting and get a little more creative. The first thing you’ll need to do is locate the nearest old fashioned photobooth. If you don’t know where the nearest booth is, the guys at might be able to give you a hand. Once you’ve located a photobooth and you have the appropriate spare change, do your thing.

Need inspiration? You might want to check out a couple of posts from Meags: here or here or look at some of the books listed on [Fotofix is the most mindblowing] or just sit back and smile! You can even practice your poses here, but no cheating; all submissions must be purely analogue!

Next, since you have no other choice, you’ll wait 3 minutes for the one-of-a-kind photo strip to develop. Meags tells me it’s more like 2-1/2 minutes, but when I was at the mall with the kids, it felt like forever. This three minute wait is the core of this contest; you’ll need to creatively document your wait and submit that as well. Contemplate, philosophize, create, observe, write, make, capture… something. In case you’re wondering, here’s what’s going on inside the machine while you’re waiting:

Now, after you’ve admired your photos, send everything to the Art of Waiting, 11306 70 Street, Edmonton, AB, T5B 1T2, so that I receive them before September 1st, 2010

The entries will be posted periodically throughout the summer on the blog, and will be judged on three qualities: best narrative, most “out of the box” idea, and best “wait”. At the end of the contest, all entries will be added to Meags’ ever growing photostrip archive to be eventually and quite possibly fashioned into something wonderful of unknown purpose and dimension.

Category #1: Best Narrative – Tell us a story!

Judges: Brian Meacham / Tim Garrett, co-creators and co-maintainers of
Prize: a limited edition photobooth book “Emotions” (made through the collaborative efforts of attendees of the 2005 International Photobooth Convention, courtesy of & a t-shirt (in your size and colour! courtesy of

Category #2: Most “Out of the Box” Idea – Put on your thinking cap and knock our socks off!

Judge: Meags Fitzgerald, interdisciplinary Canadian artist and Canada’s leading (self proclaimed) photobooth expert
Prize: a paperback copy of Nakki Goranin’s American Photobooth & a quad cam and film (courtesy of our friend Nic Nichols at

Category #3: Best “Wait” – Give us a glimpse of your own 3 minutes!

Judge: Matt Charnock, a misplaced Englishman in the Danish countryside and intensely creative (if only sometimes slightly inappropriate) photographer/lomographer
Prize: a split cam and film (courtesy of and a COVETED INVITATION to JOIN the Art of Waiting as a contributor for the remainder of 2010)

To summarize:

  1. Find an old school, wet-chemistry photobooth
  2. Do your thing
  3. Creatively document your 3 minute Wait.
  4. Mail everything (snail mail!) to:
    the Art of Waiting
    11306 70 St.
    Edmonton, AB
    Canada, T5B 1T2
    so that I get it before September 1st, 2010
    (be sure to include the location of the photobooth!)
  5. Wait.

[edit: June 29, 2010]

Here are some posters you can print off and post on or near a photobooth to encourage others to give it a try!
Links to their creators can be found here.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. June 22, 2010 2:41 pm

    OH yeah! Got my creative thinking cap on!

  2. June 23, 2010 5:20 am

    Oh what a wonderful contest! But do we have to send in the ACTUAL phtotbooth pictures or can we send copies of them… I find it so hard to part these just like my polaroids and instax minis

    • dirklancer permalink*
      June 23, 2010 11:39 am

      You’ll have to let go for this one Violeta πŸ™‚
      We want your originals!
      I can’t wait to see your submission(s).

      • June 23, 2010 12:09 pm

        That’s cool πŸ™‚ I’ll just scan them in before I send it… maybe I’ll take so many shots that parting with a few won’t seem to bad, right?!

  3. June 23, 2010 9:31 am

    Love this!! Since I live at the beach there’s actually a few of these still around. Can’t wait to see the entries!

  4. June 23, 2010 12:11 pm

    That’s cool! I’ll just have to scan them in before I send it… maybe I’ll just hog the booth and take so many shots that when I have to part with a few, it won’t seem to bad, right?! πŸ™‚

  5. John lomo permalink
    June 23, 2010 12:30 pm

    That’s so cool! I’ve being waiting so long for this! I bet i’ll win!

  6. June 23, 2010 10:29 pm

    Awesome! πŸ˜€
    Now I know what I will be doing this weekend πŸ˜€

  7. June 24, 2010 3:21 pm

    love love love this!!

    • dirklancer permalink*
      June 24, 2010 9:45 pm

      I can’t wait to see your submission! (and you can hand deliver it) πŸ™‚

  8. June 26, 2010 3:36 am

    I saw this and immediately thought of the photobooths at Bonnie Doon Mall in Edmonton that haven’t been used in a coon’s age. I think I shall partake!

  9. vicuna permalink
    June 26, 2010 5:28 pm

    I really love this video! And I’ll find a Photobooth for sure during my holidays in New Zealand! :)))

  10. June 30, 2010 2:52 pm

    I’m confused!
    I really want to enter this contest, but I have a couple of questions…

    a) Do I need to write a story?! A backdrop to the photos perhaps? What exactly is the Best Narrative prize for?

    b) And can I only submit one strip of four or can it be a collection?


    ps. Vicuna – there aren’t any photobooths in New Zealand 😦

    • dirklancer permalink*
      June 30, 2010 3:01 pm

      Hi Kate, thanks for your questions.
      a) each entry needs to include something created as a reflection/contemplation/interpretation/observation of the 3 minute wait. That gives you a LOT of options (one of which would be to write a story). Best Narrative will likely go to the entry that tells the best story using the photostrip medium.
      b) You submit AS MANY strips as your entry requires – you get to be the judge of that πŸ™‚
      I hope this helps to clarify (I want to communicate clearly, but I don’t want to limit things creatively for anyone), if you still have questions, just add them here!

      • June 30, 2010 3:25 pm

        Cheers Jeff … I’m excited already. Living in England makes it tricky though as there’s only one dip n dunk in the whole bloody country! Thankfully, the country’s small….


  11. matt charnock permalink
    July 4, 2010 1:28 am

    i can’t find a wet chemical booth in dk, but is it ok if i make one? don’t know how yet but…

    • dirklancer permalink*
      July 4, 2010 1:08 pm

      I am intrigued Matt…looking forward to see what you come up with! πŸ™‚

  12. Jaffer Bhimji permalink
    July 5, 2010 5:00 am

    Hmm, I am surprised at Kate’s comment relating to Photo booths in Engalnd. As a shre holder in PHOTO ME most shpping malls, Post Offices, major trin stations etc have rows of ‘dip and dunk’ machines. Yesterday in my town (Watford, England) I counted 15.

    • August 29, 2010 12:18 pm

      Hey Jaffer. I haven’t looked on the website for a while so apologies for the late response but are there really dip n dunk machines in Watford? Ages ago I contacted PhotoMe and they told me all their booths were digital now but I’d love it if there were still some colour analogue booths left somewhere!


  13. July 20, 2010 11:05 am

    I’ll definitely be sending you a submission. In the meantime, here’s my latest update to my online photostrip collection, all found at local photobooths.

  14. Marco permalink
    August 4, 2010 11:32 pm

    did I miss the deadline?
    or the deadline is the end of summer?

    please let us know!

  15. August 6, 2010 1:11 pm

    I’d better find a booth, fast!

  16. August 20, 2010 11:47 pm

    I just sent mine today! I hope it gets in before the deadline. If it doesn’t, you can still keep the photos

    -Dave Morris

  17. August 29, 2010 12:05 pm

    Hi. I’ve come to London for the weekend to do my entry for the competition, convinced that the competition deadline was Sept 15th for some reason. I’ve just checked the website and of course I’m wrong, the deadline is Wednesday – if I scan in my entry and email it to you before the deadline, would it be ok if the snail mail with the original stuff arrived a little later? I’m sorry to even ask, but I’ve been waiting to come to the booth for so long and have put so much planning and preparation in I’ll be devastated if can’t enter. Please, please, please!

  18. CΓ©cile permalink
    August 31, 2010 5:09 am

    Same for me… Can I send my entry via email AND the pictures via normal mail at the same time today ? I just learn about the contest last week and was pretty sure the deadline was end of this week…. Please please please. Thanks in advance! I love the idea of this blog.

  19. September 25, 2010 7:58 am

    BTW–the posters for the competition are fantastic. I think I’m going to print them out and display them in my house. lovely.


  1. summer contest! « the Art of Waiting

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