After the fantastic experience I had hosting my first Dog Photo Booth at Glens Falls Pet Fest in City Park, Glens Falls last year, I knew I had to return for the 2nd annual event. As simple as the concept may sound, hosting a photo booth (let alone one for dogs) involves a number of technicalities. Having never hosted a photo booth before, last year was a tremendous learning experience for me as a photographer.
When the event ended, I shared my photographs online and they were viewed by hundreds of thousands of people — which was pretty cool. After the fact, I had photographers reach out to me and ask questions about my experience, my equipment, pet photography and more. The project opened opportunities for me to write articles for popular photography blogs. I even licensed one photo of a dog to a large veterinary acquisition firm. This was all great, but the truth was that last year I failed to break even on my investment in the event and as much as I loved my product, it just wasn’t worth the amount of time I’d put into it, financially. Additionally, there were issues with lighting, with lines of people waiting to have their dog photographed, and with my delivery process.
For this year’s event, I opted to take the more traditional photo booth route — instant photo delivery. That meant buying a 4″x6″ photo printer (Epson PictureMate 225), and associated supplies. I opted to switch out the blue vinyl backdrop I used last year for a white cloth backdrop to create a clean white, headshot-like photograph. This simplified my lighting setup while maintaining a professional-looking image. The end result was a beautiful, take-home product at $10/photo or $15 for the photo and the digital file emailed after the event (with 10% of all sales going to a local animal shelter). Once again, I made my dog Red model the prototype: