Mixed-Media Portraits from the Photo Booth

Last weekend we attended a family wedding. A bunch of us from one branch of the clan took advantage of the photo booth at the reception. We stuffed eight people, age 13 to 61, wearing silly glasses and fake beards in there to make fools of themselves in the name of family camaraderie and true love. We had a blast.
mixed media artist jane lafazio self portrait

The last time I was in a photo booth was probably during the Ford administration, so this was a treat. I loved getting the instant results and seeing everyone's expressions. The results told a lot about their personalities.

The experience reminded me of a project mixed-media fiber artist Jane LaFazio created for my book Mixed-Media Self-Portraits: Inspiration & Techniques.

Jane created a quilted version of a photo booth strip she had taken with her husband, cropped him out, and then used fabric and embellishments to re-create her expressions.

It got me thinking of other ways you could use photo booth strips-or the concept of photo booth strips-as inspiration for mixed-media art.

  • Use markers to color in details on black-and-white or sepia strips. (You can scan color images into the computer and turn them to grayscale or de-saturate them.)
  • Turn them into a foursome of Warhol-style images by enlarging the individual images, altering the color, and posterizing them with photo-editing software.
  • Enlarge the strip, mount on canvas or sturdy paper, and collage over the images, adding hats, backgrounds, silly props, and quotes.
  • Make it mini: add collage elements and so on, then scan strip, print it onto shrink-film, punch a hole into the top, and bake to create a mixed-media pendant. Or separate the images and create charms the same way.
  • Create indivdual portraits by enlarging the images and trace the outlines of faces onto fabric or paper adding stitching, acrylic paint, etc.

Next time you encounter a photo booth, take the time to create some face portraits you can use as inspiration for self-portraits and other mixed-media art. Make them funny, moody, or silly, then experiment back in your studio.

You'll also want to have our Make Faces with Mixed-Media Experts Kit, which includes a download of Mixed-Media Self-Portraits, plus three other very popular face-portrait titles All About Faces (video) with Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, The Whimsical Face (video) with Jane Davenport, and The Magic of Mulberry Art Lesson with Rachel Panagarry–all together at an economical price.

P.S. Have you been in a photo booth recently or do you have memories of the old-timey ones? Share your thoughts about them below.

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