I've always enjoyed taking photographs from a very young age, but wasn't until 2011 when I decided to step away from a point and shoot camera with my first DSLR and begin learning how to take it off automatic. I was instantly hooked! I found a new love and passion for photography in many different forms. Landscapes, cityscapes, and nature were my absolute favorite subjects and well within my comfort zone. I explored different techniques using time lapse and long exposure photography. After a year I started moving into portrait work opening a studio in Wake Forest, NC on a part-time basis while leasing space to other photographers who couldn't justify the expense. I started working with amateur models and even a few weddings, but found myself truly enjoying the simplicity of the outdoors. I took a chance and invested in some larger lenses used in sports photography and began working as a part-time professional photographer and selling prints online as well as more portrait work at several local high schools. Unfortunately, without any form of name recognition I quickly realized that wasn't going to bring in the money needed to buy all of the specialty lenses I wanted!
Then the fun really began! While preparing for a large New Year’s Eve party with friends and family, I wanted to make a Photobooth after reading about them online. Using a spare computer and extra camera, I loaded some software I found online and set it up wondering if anyone would use it during the party. It was an absolute success! People were having a fantastic time being silly and taking family portraits. I took all the photos and uploaded them to my website for everyone to download as I couldn’t yet print.
A couple of months later I was helping with a school function at my daughter’s high school and mentioned the Photobooth idea for a dance that week. I did the same setup as before, but this time I customized the photograph as a 4x6 print with 3 photos and used the dance theme as part of the design. I still didn't have a printer however I did have the ability to send them via text. The kids loved it. The teachers loved it. I loved it. It was a huge hit once again without any props, bells, or whistles. After the dance I thought I'd see if I could make some money doing this as it was also a lot of fun for myself too!
Over the next few months as business grew, I became obsessed with props! Everywhere I went I would look at an item in the store and think to myself "how would this work as a Photobooth prop"? My collection grew quickly, and I started customizing the software and lighting techniques inside the booth. The smaller photobooths were becoming popular now, but as a photographer I couldn't give in to the tiny camera and cheap lenses being used, nor did I want to have a small tablet as a computer and screen. The setup time was over an hour, but I didn't care...I wouldn't sacrifice quality and to this day I spend over an hour with preparations before each event.
The props continued to grow, and word began to spread about this unbelievably huge Photobooth with an insane number of props. "This is the biggest and best Photobooth I've ever seen!" I found myself listening for those words with every event...and always had the opportunity to hear them. Venues were telling me how impressed they were with the setup and how they never experienced anything quite like it. Not good for my out-of-control prop fetish and quickly doubled my collection! Finally, in the summer of 2017 it was time to separate my photography from the Photobooth business, but would need a new name...how do I come up with that?
That's when it dawned on me that everyone loved the booth for many different reasons...hundreds of reasons! ALL THE PROPS!