DailyBooth CEO Brian Pokorny, left, and co-founder Ryan Amos in San Francisco look at a video feed of co-founder Jon Wheatley, who's in London. (Robert Durell, For The Times / May 21, 2010)
Every day for six years, New York photography student Noah Kalina took a picture of himself with a digital camera.
He toiled on the art project in obscurity until 2006, when he strung together all 2,356 self-portraits into a five-minute, time-lapse video and posted it on YouTube.com.The video surged in popularity, touching off a global phenomenon. More than 15 million people have viewed it, and the video inspired dozens of others to turn their cameras on themselves. Kalina's digital exhibitionism was even spoofed on an episode of "The Simpsons."
Where others just saw photos, British entrepreneur Jon Wheatley saw opportunity. "You could see these people actually grow and evolve. You could watch their style and fashion change over time. It was the most compelling thing to sit and watch," Wheatley said.
He and co-founder Ryan Amos launched DailyBooth.com in February 2009 as "your life in pictures" and asked users to upload a photograph of themselves every day. The social networking site now has nearly 6 million photos and the tally is growing quickly.
Tech-savvy Hollywood celebrities Ashton Kutcher and wife Demi Moore, along with some of the Internet's biggest names — Twitter's Jack Dorsey, Digg's Kevin Rose and Flickr's Caterina Fake — have embraced the online photo booth.