photo booth. vinejoy. teacher appreciation. celebrate.

About a month ago, my husband and his business partner, Steve threw a "Friends of Vinejoy" holiday party.  The idea was to come together with some of their good friends, clients and community members to thank them for such a fun and successful year of slinging slamming California wines to the people of Chicago.  The holiday party was a great way to catch up with old friends and meet some new ones, plus, as an added bonus, party-goers were able to enjoy the Emily Alt Photobooth set-up.

Now, a word on photo booths.  To rent a photo booth for a wedding is usually around $500-600.00.  I don't currently offer a photo booth package, but I am hoping to by next year.  However, if you want a photo booth just for a fun party or a get together with family and friends--do not worry! First, a photo booth is like possibly the easiest thing to construct. You basically just need some fabric, a semi-decent camera (more on that in a second), possibly some umbrella lamps if you're shooting in a dark space or are opposed to flashes, and, if you want to get super fancy, an old, but functioning laptop computer that will either save the files or will print for the guests.  I went the most basic route for this event and headed to my local (though in the process of closing forever) Hancock Fabrics.  After about 30 minutes of contemplating my fabric choices, I came away with a great circus themed backdrop for a mere $3! Fast forward a few hours--I arrive at the Vinejoy office and with the help of Ian and Steve, the photo booth is set up and ready for action in about 5 minutes.  I opted to use my old Nikon D3000 for this photo booth.  The thing about it is that it's a great camera, even if it is an "entry level" DSLR and not a full-frame.  This little guy still takes sharp pictures and is user friendly.  Plus, I wasn't going to lose my life savings (and my mind) if it fell on the group as I would if I were to lose one of my 5Ds to the joys of photo booth excitement later in the night (seriously, we're talking about at WINE soaked potluck party here, people--these things can get a little crazy).  Set up the Nikon on a tripod, tell people to watch their step, automatic mode--boom. Photo booth ready to go.

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As the night went on, the photo booth became THE place to be--filled constantly with friends trying to outdo one another.  This potluck also took place only a day after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School and, as a full time teacher, I was feeling a little worn down.  Together with Steve's wife (also a teacher) Tara, we created an opportunity for photo boothers to write "thank you" notes to teachers who had influenced them positively over the years.  These cards and photos we then put together to send on to the teachers of influence.  It was a great way to thank those who often work tirelessly in a profession without much thanks or appreciation.

Final thoughts--if you are considering a photo booth for your wedding, anniversary, birthday party or general shindig, I cannot recommend highly enough that you pull the trigger and GO FOR IT!  They are an awesome way to capture those candid moments that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.  I'll be spending some time over the next few months trying to convince Ian to create a more professional photo booth for me to offer for parties...in the meantime, the homemade photobooth is ready and available for action--just let me know you want me to "bring it along" the next time you're partying with me; I can assure you will not be disappointed!

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