A Case for Dedicated Equipment

Live and learn! This past weekend we had a friend who contracted a high school reunion event, complete with photo booth, candid photos and class photos, all printed on site. All in all it was the perfect lesson in dedicated equipment!

The reunion coordinator requested the night begin with a photo booth, complete with fun props to kick the night off with fun photos. The photo booth set up consisted of a laptop tethered to camera and printer as well as a single studio light. The set up was perfect; however, the timing of classmates arriving and the use of the photo booth was not good. Naturally, classmates were excited about seeing one another, and not ready to use the photo booth at the beginning of the event.

Next, there was a dinner and presentation, during which time the photographer was asked to capture candid photos. This set up consisted of a second camera, hand-held bracked with off-camera flash and sync cord. Again, the perfect set up. Photos were to be posted on the web for post-event orders.

The real problem came with the group photos. Once the presentation was concluded, people wanted to use the photo booth but the photographer was tied up with the class photos so it wasn’t an option. There was a second light arrangement set up in another area; however, they attempted to use the same printers as for the photo booth. Needless to say they couldn’t be in both places at once, so the photo booth was a complete bust. There wasn’t adequate time to switch the laptop and printers to the software required for the class photos so rather than print everything onsite, all of the photos were printed the next day and mailed to the classmates. You can bet the revenue generated for the event suffered at the expense of not having dedicated equipment.

In hindsight, the photographer realized they needed a self-service, touchscreen photo booth with dedicated camera, laptop, printer, etc. This would have allowed people to use the photo booth while the class photos were being taken and people would not have been in such a hurry to conclude the event.

In addition to the second studio light arrangement, they needed a dedicated camera, laptop and printer set up for the class photos. This would have made the workflow run smoothly, all photos would have been printed at the event and more revenue would have been generated through the photo booth as well as additional class photos being sold as a result of instant gratification for attendees.

Lesson learned: don’t pinch pennies so tight that you try to share equipment for different applications, especially for onsite printing! Invest in the equipment you need to fulfill your entire photo operation and it will pay for itself in additional revenue generated!