Monday, June 6, 2011

Photo booth at Irv's 92nd birthday party - Steampunk themed!

       Last Saturday night I had a photo booth set up on the steam ferry Berkeley at the Embarcadero in San Diego Harbor. The special event was Irv's 92nd Birthday and it had a Steampunk theme to it. The birthday boy had the time of his life. Dancing on the floor and flirting with the girls. I loved it!

       Now I have set up photo booths at events before. Most recently at the Gaslight Gathering convention at the Town & Country in Fashion Valley. More on that in another post on Steampunk. This event was a little different. The organizer, Liz wanted photos printed. But on top of that there were to be 2 photos printed, one for the party goers and one for Irv's scrapbook (Splendid idea Liz!). Now all of a sudden I had to think of the logistics on how to get this done.
       When faced with this request the first question I asked was how many people? You need to know how much ink and paper to get. But another more pressing question was posed. What printer should I use? I had no such photo printer that can do the job, so this meant shopping around online to see what was out there. I went to my tried and true to compare photo printers and whittled it down to 2 printers. One from Epson and one from Canon. Both had excellent reviews, but in the end I went with the Canon Selphy CP800 which was quite compact and for $80 you can't go wrong. The catch was you had to use their proprietary combo ink and paper packs. So I bought 2 of their 108 paper/ink packs along with the printer. Shipping was nice and quick as always. Thanks again Amazon!
        So now I have said printer with 216 photo papers and the ink to print them. The next question was how am I going to take pics and download them into the computer, edit them and then print them while shooting at the same time? I decided to shoot tethered. Which basically means connecting the camera to the computer and the pics download into a program. This bypasses downloading the pics from the memory card. The program I use is Adobe Lightroom 3. If you are a photographer of any level, I highly suggest you get this program. There are other programs out there, but I feel Lightroom best fulfills my needs.
        Here is my setup. The Canon 50D is connected to the laptop via USB cable which has Lightroom open (Go to FILE --->TETHERED CAPTURE --> START TETHERED CAPTURE). Then follow the prompts from there. The Canon Selphy CP800 is connected to the laptop. I am shooting the party goers at my photo booth, the picture appears in Lightroom, my assistant (my lovely girlfriend Cindy) is editing the pics and printing them while I still shoot. One caveat here, you cannot shoot and edit pics at the same time. So once the 2 pics are printed (remember one is for the scrapbook and one for the party goer) Cindy puts them in a 4 x 6 plastic sleeve along with my business card and then hands it over to the scrapbook person. (whenever possible, always have a business card and/or contact info.) We had a great system going on there. The only glitch was that at certain times I was shooting faster than Cindy was able to edit and print the photos from the previous people. So I gave the computer a breaks and took pics of the Can Can dancers and the Charleston Girls.

       Overall it was a great learning experience. I made some contacts and networked with some people. Increased my business presence. And met some wonderful people and even saw several friends from the San Diego Costume Guild!
       To see all the pics from the birthday party please visit the gallery page here

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