This past weekend some family members and I were walking in the middle of the street because we could. It was something called “Sunday Streets”here in San Francisco and this is what happens: the city blocks off a bunch of streets in a particular neighborhood so that folks can bike, stroll, unicycle, or walk on their hands down the street without having to worry about auto traffic. Stores have sidewalk sales, musicians play and sing, vendors sell refreshments. It is really fabulous.

I had a particularly “Simply Celebrate” kind of moment when my little gaggle of family members stopped to talk to a guy selling pickle-flavored  sno-cones. He was dressed in a jaunty hat and had on a striped tie and there were whisperings that if he liked you, he’d spike the coconut-flavored sno-cone. But you didn’t hear that from me.

This fun gentleman pointed out to us that the Photobooth right next to him was empty … and that it was completely free to use. We all looked at one another, shrugged our shoulders in that “why-not” kinda way, and piled in.

And this is the moment I want to share: four people all mushed into a little photo booth, trying on silly hats and even sillier expressions. You know what I’m talking about, I hope, because you’ve been there — I hope.  Isn’t it grand? Such a simple, silly thing? There’s just something so heart-warming and old-fashioned about it. It feels good to sit on a tiny portion of a tiny stool and try to coordinate it so that everyone’s head fits inside the tiny preview square. And the pictures are always loads better than any taken when we’re all lined up perfectly with our mannequin smiles.

This Photobooth happened to be free, thanks to Magnolia Photo Booth Company. But c’mon, even when they cost money, it’s usually just a few bucks. Isn’t it worth it just for all those giggles?

So this post is my encouragement to you that next time you pass a Photobooth — in the mall or at a fair or wherever – stop, turn around, grab your people, and pile in!  Squeeze together and say “cheese!” Celebrate the silliness!


After we took our pics, I was talking to the Photobooth owner, Alex. She told me that they rent these booths out for weddings, birthdays, and other big events. For a set fee, folks can take as many pics as they want, all of ‘em are posted online so they can be downloaded, and the booth renter gets a coffee table book full of all the pics at the event. Wheee! Wouldn’t that be so much fun?! Check out their website if you got a big event coming up and you wanna make folks smile. (I’m not gettin’ any kickbacks from them; I just think it is a really cool business!)