I love photo booths, especially the older vintage ones. Whenever my husband and I are on a trip, we try to find one and take a couple of photos. So when I was surfing the Internet and came across the title “Triggered Photobooth By Sound: Screaming Portraits” naturally I had to click and see what that was all about!
Turns out it is a photo booth that is triggered by the subject’s screams. Virginia-based photographer, Billy Hunt, built this device and named it the Scream-o-Tron 3000. The way it works is: You step into the booth and scream at the top of your lungs and when you hit a certain decibel, it triggers the shutter to fire and snaps your photo in mid-scream. The device is a boombox with a microphone built into it and has an attached PocketWizard, which wirelessly triggers the camera’s shutter. The result is quite the extremely unusual portrait.
Billy Hunt describes the Scream-o-Tron 3000 as: “a converted boom box that takes a photo when you scream. Think Rube Goldberg meets the Wizard of Oz. By using a machine, I hope to offer a window through the inherently artificial process of portraiture into real human emotion.”
In an interview with Wired magazine, Hunt says of his invention: “I’ve done a lot of portrait work and you can see the war in these people’s brains when you try to take their picture, people always want to present themselves in a certain way and they make it worse. Much, much worse. People’s vanity, even in their screams, is revealing and allows us to see the struggle of self-perception.”
After watching the video, I think if I were the photographer I would also add in taking a quick photo of every subject at the very end of their scream; because at the end of it, most subject end up making a grin that appears authentic and very much themselves. It would also be an interesting diptych: The scream photo right next to the smile reaction photo. What do you think?
I must say that if I came across this photo booth during my travels, you bet I would stop and take my picture. Also, I can see this photo booth being a major hit at Halloween parties!