People love looking at pictures of themselves. This is a simple and undeniable fact of human nature. Another strange phenomenon is that when you put a camera in front of someone, they suddenly loose their inhibitions, make funny faces, and all around act crazy. These simple facts serve as the backbone of Pixilated Photobooth, a Baltimore business which designs and rents custom digital photo booths for all varieties of special events.
“The easiest job in the world is to make people have fun,” says Pixilated Photobooth co-founder Patrick Rife, who started the company just over one year ago with his wife with two partners. Despite the many components of their operation, ultimately, the trio is in the fun business, capitalizing on the cameras ability to thrust people into a state of play and spontaneity. With the added bonus of providing unique documentation of events, this model appears to have the winning combination.
The idea for such an endeavor had been brewing for 15 years, ever since Rife and his wife first experienced a photobooth at a friends wedding in the late 90’s. “It was so much fun,” say Rife, reminiscing about the encounter which he would inspire his latest business endeavor. “It was a standout memory.” With the vision in the back his their mind, it has been the major advances in digital photography over the past 10 years that suddenly allowed the dream to become possible.
The hardware of the business is custom designed photo booths, which capture digital images of people at events. The art of the business is the endless variety of options they offer to customize your photobooth package. From interactive items such as custom backdrops, props, and green screen effects, to viewing options, such as instant prints and live projections, Pixilated Photobooth allows for you to combine an endless array of possibilities to create the package that is just right.
Beyond just fostering fun, a worthy pursuit in and of itself, the service Rife and his team offer also provides the opportunity to create and capture memories. On top of physical prints, you can also receive the digital files of everything captured in the booth, as well as a video montage of all of the photos taken throughout an event.
“We offer custom everything,” says Rife, “and everything is completely scalable.” This degree of customization is a critical component of the business model, allowing for Pixilated Photobooth to offer just the right package for just about anyone for all types of occasions.
Rife proudly cites that his three man operation is comprised of two people with art degrees, and one with an audio visual background. All are strongly business minded. This combination allows for both the technical, creative, and business components of Pixilated Photobooth to enter into a harmony of creation and progress.
Perhaps this concept beckons back to the golden age of the carnival, when people could stick their face into wooden cutouts of clowns, animals and strongmen, and have their picture taken for a small fee. It many ways, it also replaces the free standing photo booths, which for a mere two dollars, would deliver you a strip of four images of you and your friends. Both of these live photo experiences have paved the way for Pixilated Photobooth to emerge, and provided critical inspiration for the digital version of a classic idea.
The plans for the business are big, but not beyond reach. The Pixilated team plans to expand its operations to other cities in the United States, with a longer term goal to set up remote shops in the UK. The founders see such an expansion as not only an opportunity to increase their business, but also recognize that it would provide them with a reason (and excuse) to travel.
Creating a business with the primary goal bringing fun to people seems like quite a brilliant move. With fully customizable options that encourage play and spontaneity, while creating long lasting memories, the folks over at Pixilated Photobooth are on to something great, and they want to get the entire world playing with them.
So what are you waiting for? Its time to Get Pixilated!