This month’s Customer Spotlight is Vicki Gray. What we appreciate about Vicki most is her critical eye for quality and her quest for perfection in all she does with her imagery. This is the first Customer Spotlight we have done with a customer who, before starting a photo booth business, was a successful event photographer here in the states. We are continually getting calls from traditional event photographers asking about photo booths and wanted to share her thoughts on this topic.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I started Action Photos on Feb. 1, 2000 after a brief stint working in the photo lab at Rockin’ R River Rides in New Braunfels. In the beginning I mainly concentrated on youth sports leagues, doing both team & individual photography as well as action, then gradually moved into corporate event photography which is my main focus now.
How has the addition of photo booths impacted your event business?
Several years ago I started noticing that previous clients were calling and asking for photo booths, not the traditional event photography I had given them in the past. I started looking into it and eventually purchased one and now I have 2 booths. Having the booths has helped to increase my business and keep me busy in the summer months when the corporate event work has been slow.
What other photo booth programs had you used in the past and why did you switch to Darkroom Booth?
When I purchased both of the booths they came with Photoboof; since I’ve been a Darkroom Professional user since 2000 it just made sense to switch over to Darkroom Booth when it became available. To me the software is intuitive and makes sense; it’s easier for me to figure out and offer new template designs.
You give presentations to a number of larger event industry professionals, just curious what advice you may have for those audiences relative to the booth business?
Several years ago I spoke at Imaging USA about Green Screen event photography, the best advice I can give anyone would be to do your best to make sure the client is happy, and have fun while you’re doing it. That is the best way to gain referrals and increase your business.
People who are new to the booth business, that come from outside the professional imaging industry, often struggle with understanding the differences between traditional event work and photo booth workflows. How would you describe the differences between the two workflows?
The main difference in my opinion is the set-up, in traditional event work we have to set up a backdrop, lighting, and the computer & printer table; with a photo booth you wheel the booth in, put it together, turn it on, maybe a few camera tweaks and you’re done. When doing traditional event work we also spend time with each person/couple to position them in a flattering pose and may take several snaps of them to get one they are happy with; the photo booth is more spontaneous and less hands-on on our part once the curtains are drawn.