Back to the future as Two + Quarter Studios offers photo booth for rent
Mark Tatem and Ally Lusher are both professional photographers and they are engaged to be married.
But before tying that knot, two years ago they launched a business together — Two + Quarter Studios.
Now, Mr Tatem, who is the deputy picture editor at The Royal Gazette; and Ms Lusher. who is a photographer at DCI, have added Bermuda PhotoBooth Rentals as a subsidiary to their business.
The old-fashioned idea of a photo booth — which produces a strip of passport-sized pictures that could be in a serious portrait style, or quintessentially uncontrived — has enjoyed a real resurgence, so much so that photo booth-styled candids are sprinkled over the cover of trendsetting Vanity Fair Magazine's Oscars issue.
Mr Tatem and Ms Lusher, who jointly have more than 15 years of experience, had always loved the idea of having a photo booth.
“But it was after we booked one in Savannah, Georgia for our own wedding that we decided to properly go to for it here,” said Ms Lusher, who has a BFA Photography degree from the Savannah College of Art & Design.
“We figured if any of our clients were as interested in a photo booth as we were, it had the potential to be a success. We researched different types and styles of booths to see which would be the best fit for us in Bermuda, and eventually decided to custom-design our own. We sourced the various parts and Mark built the unit. Voila! — Bermuda Photobooth Rentals!”
Two + Quarter Studios launched PhotoBooth Rentals at the St Baldrick's fundraising event for childhood cancer research one week ago, donating both their services and the photo booth. With participants volunteering to have their heads shaved, it provided the ideal impetus for plenty of candid shots.
“It was an amazing event to launch Bermuda Photobooth Rentals and was incredibly well received by all. We were more than happy to donate our time and the booth to such a good cause, especially given both of our experience dealing with cancer in our own families, and we have also managed to book quite a few more events since — so it was definitely a win-win. We're looking forward to being a part of it again next year!” she said.
Mr Tatem, who has a bachelor's degree in Visual Arts from Brock University, said: “What isn't cool about a photo-booth?
“It's really amazing the response we've gotten — and maybe what is most cool is that it appeals to just about everyone. The older generations who remember the good old days of film appreciate the retro throwback aspect of the booth — especially in this digital age where it's more and more rare to get a tangible photograph. They remember the physical booths that you'd get in and would then spit out print strips, and our booth brings that era back — just with a more modern design!
“Conversely, the younger generations love the novelty feel of the booth; it's something new to them and while the physical print strips may feel sort of retro when compared to Instagram, they also fit in very well in this era of instant gratification. In under a minute of taking your last shot, two strips are right there at your fingertips.”
Ms Lusher added: “I think we always loved the idea of a photo booth because we fit in both categories — we'd fall closer within the younger generation, but we are old souls constantly saying we were born in the wrong era.”
What is completely different about today's photo booth is the ability to transport it from place to place. Additionally, there is a backdrop as opposed to the boxlike booth — which allows bystanders to be in on the fun.
Mr Tatem said: “The booth breaks down into three pieces for easy set up and break down; it takes about 15 minutes to build it up and have it ready to go.
“The touch screen interface is super easy to use — you just touch the print option of your choice — there are four print options: colour, black and white, sepia and retro — and it will automatically load the first image countdown.
“Once the first image is shot you get a preview screen and then the second image countdown starts — there are four images in total — or three if the client decides. Once the last image is shot it takes under a minute for the printer to spit out your two printed strips, which are two inches by six inches.
“Both the touch screen interface and the print strips are fully customisable to the client's specifications for any event — perfect for corporate events to add their own branding — so no two events need ever to look the same. We have a variety of backdrops to suit any event and tons of wacky props for every occasion.”
Bermuda Photobooth Rentals includes unlimited prints for the duration of the rental, a professional attendant and a disc of images for $225 per hour.
Ms Lusher said you need a spot that is about five by 10 feet, with about seven feet of head room to fit the backdrop, camera unit, and props table. “We also need power, so as long as there is power at your location we'll be able to reach it with an extension cord — or a generator can be rented for an additional fee.”
Although so far rentals have been for the duration of an event, Mr Tatem said set up and breakdown of the photo booth is quick and easy, so it can be done discretely.
“The unit does disassemble easily and discreetly with only six bolts, and the backdrop folds neatly with a few clips and is wheeled out on a hand truck — though if this is something to consider for some clients, we offer a rate of $75 per hour for ‘idle hours' where the booth is set in place, ready to go, but not operational, which ensures the booth and attendant are set up and ready to go when you are, without causing any disruptions to the flow of your event.”
For more information and images go to Facebook: Bermuda PhotoBooth Rentals Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @twoandquarter www.twoandquarter.bm
or telephone 541-0214.
Disclaimer: Mark Tatem is an employee of The Royal Gazette