Hiccups, otherwise known as catastrophes

It’s 3am where I live and I’m doing my usual Saturday night worrying about catastrophes that happened with my photo booth in the past and wondering if they are preventing me from getting bookings in the present. 
 
I think that the worst thing that ever happened to it was when I set it up 5 minutes from my house and left it alone for a couple of hours while the wedding guests ate dinner. When I got back, the venue had piled all of the dinner tables on top of my extension cord and had ripped the outlet it was plugged into right out of the wall. I tried everything to get power to my booth that night but it just wasn’t happening. I refunded the bride and learned from that experience BIG TIME. 
 
Then there was the first time I ever had two events in one night. My daughter was manning the old Mojo booth at a wedding in Inverness while I was 2 hours away in Sydney Mines, fighting with this crotchety older fucker gentleman at the venue (that I have never been invited back to. Oh well). My poor daughter had to put up with rowdy drunk people who decided it would be hilarious to shotgun beers inside of the photo booth. If you know these upstanding fellas, congratulate them on my behalf. They managed to destroy an indestructible photo booth enclosure in one photo session. Also note how disheveled the interior of the booth became because I wasn’t there to keep an eye on it. That shit don’t fly when The Photo Booth Lady is on site.
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Bartering

Bartering is definitely a lost art.

Thankfully, websites and apps like Bunz are amazing mediums to bring it back because they promote trading goods and services rather than money changing hand. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?

I would love to trade a photo booth rental for a big tattoo or a camper that I could fix up. I am not opposed to trading Snapchat filters for small things, either.

If it wasn’t for bartering, I would not be enjoying maple syrup in my coffee every morning.

tattoo

It’s legit.

New printer?

I have been seeing some exciting things in my photo booth groups on Facebook that make me want to change up my printer situation. I definitely need to find something to replace my stupid Hiti printer anyway. That thing is a relic from the dark ages and I need to cull it before it lets me down at an integral time. It makes the worst noises sometimes, which nobody seems to mind (or even notice) except for me. You can see and hear it in action here.

The DNP models look pretty sweet. There are some with 3 2×8 print outputs that don’t even need special drivers to be programmed to slice because the media is double perforated and the strips pull apart. I don’t really know how practical that would be for my business where I am always switching between strips and postcard prints but it’s something to look into as a dedicated strip printer if I happen to increase my production.

I have so many ideas that I wish I could execute with my business but until I really get established, it’s hard to justify putting a lot of money into something that may not work. A printer is a safe bet because I will always need to be able to print. My other ideas are the ones that need to be back-burner-ed.

 

Custom Snapchat filters

I was dismayed yesterday at the backlash aimed at my advertisements for custom Snapchat filters in a local buy and sell group. I am abundantly aware that you can log into the application and create a personalized Snapchat filter. They are quite lovely but most are a very cut and paste, preset type of thing. They are not everybody’s cup of tea nor are they what I am selling.

Mine are marketed to clients who want a filter for their event that is customized to their specifications and coordinated with their vision, without having any hand in the process. I design the filters with custom colours, fonts, wording, and graphics. I then pay the fee to have the filter live at the correct geographic location and allotted time frame. I also provide customized signage that matches the event’s decor and indicates how to find and use the filter(s) for those who are not familiar with the process.

 

 

I am only charging for my time and effort, not trying to get rich off of these things. That is why I almost always make one for my brides, even if they don’t request one.

I will still be including a Snapchat filter in every package in 2018 and they will still be for sale for those who would prefer to have one instead of a traditional photo booth.

I am The Photo Booth Lady

Why, you may be wondering, would I call my blog “The Photo Booth Lady”. It is pretty simple, actually. I love photo booths. That sounds pretty lame, I know. It’s also not even true. I am not particularly obsessed with photo booths. In fact, I sometimes loathe them. This is particularly true when I have to carry the components of one up three flights of stairs at a venue because they forbid anybody but staff from using the elevator unless it’s an emergency. Hello, I’m like 300 lbs and huffing and puffing, plus I can’t see where I’m going for the pile of shit I’m carrying. This could very quickly turn into an emergency.

Why, you may be wondering, would I be carrying the components of a photo booth up three flights of stairs? It’s pretty simple, actually. I am the Photo Booth Lady.

HA! Are you sufficiently confused? I apologize profusely. I wanted to try to make this come full circle but instead of I have pissed you off. I am pretty good at that.

Let me start at the beginning. It was a beautiful May afternoon in 1986. My mother was trying her best to keep me and my brother in so the OB/GYN finally gave in and performed a c-section.

Sorry, too far back?

In October 2012, I sold my mother’s house. She had died in 2008 and nobody was living there but a couple of loser tenants who destroyed everything. Needless to say, we weren’t going to get what we were asking.

The only thing I wanted to do with that money was to create an income stream for myself. I had been out of the workforce as a stay-at-home mom and I wanted to contribute. I looked into so many different businesses but there was not a lot I could do with the amount we were getting for the house.

I had been doing a little bit of prom photography and one of the things the kids always asked for was funny hats and sunglasses to wear in the photos. I also noticed that the internet was calling the exact same thing a “Photo Booth”. Since I didn’t really like that being a “photo booth”, I looked into buying an actual booth, something that could take and print photos on demand, completely operated by the individual in the booth (…so a photo booth).

I ended up buying one from the States and on December 1st, 2012, I was ready to test it out. My husband told his sister that we were bringing something to her husband’s 30th birthday bash. When we arrived, she thought we had brought DJing equipment. The components of the photo booth fit into three black cases with handles so I guess I understand why she thought that way.

When we were finally set up and everybody realized what we had brought, hilarity ensued. It was the hit of the party and thus began five years of ups and downs, establishing myself as the foremost photo booth rental business of the world. So far I have only tackled a small island in Canada so if you have any tips on conquering the world, hit me up.

There is more to the business than just a photo booth. We also offer an Instagram kiosk which allows people to take their own photos using our props (and selfie sticks if they want to) and printing their photos directly from Instagram. In doing so, they are applying a custom border to their print and also compiling all of the photos associated with the event hashtag for the host(s) to peruse. It is especially handy for the hosts when they don’t follow all of their guests and cannot sometimes see the posts from private accounts.

To do this, guests must log in to their account and select the photos they want to print. The custom border is automatically applied and the photo prints looking something like this:

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What about GIFS? Who doesn’t want all of the photos from their session turned into a short film? I know I do! These can be shared via social media or downloaded after the fact. Either way, they are super fun!

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Anyways, that’s about it for now. Cheers!