Don't get the wrong impression from that title; I'm a big fan of good second shooters. Unfortunately for many event photographers, though, many gigs aren't going to have the budget to allow one. If you're successful enough to say you won't take a job without one, congratulations. If you're on the other side of the tracks and not in a position to refuse work, one of the newest trends is a good alternative and it's taking many areas of event photography by storm.
Many readers will, no doubt, already have figured out that I'm talking about photo booths, but please, read on, because there's a brand-new twist to that idea that you may not know about. Yes, I'm talking about letting partiers, wedding guests, convention groups, covens – ok, just seeing if you're paying attention with that one – do their own selfies and crazy stuff while you focus on the serious work.
Portable booths are becoming a regular item at events of all kinds and a staple piece of equipment for many event photographers. While they've been permanent installations in shopping malls and other locations for quite some time, these new, streamlined versions are perfect for just about anything else. On the surface, they're bringing self service photography to everything from company parties to golf tournaments and birthday bashes. Underneath, they're taking some of the load off the event photographer and providing a value-added service to the client, as well as great fun for the guests.
So, while you're taking all the obligatory shots to fulfill your contract, you've got this silent partner taking all kinds of interesting photos and the fact is, not many people at gatherings can resist them. You simply charge the client a fee for having the booth at the event, stock it with a few cool props and the guests do the rest. Not a bad sideline.
That concept has just been taken to another level and we think it's something every event photographer is going to want to check out. Imagine letting the guests record and preview themselves having fun, not in photos, but in fun and funny animations, then sending the ones they like directly to their smart phones. After the send, they'll see a link to their GIF animation with share buttons for the social media networks. It's coming to events near you, it's a laugh a minute and it's something you're going to want to see for yourself.
It's called Gifyyy and it's a super-portable platform with its own light source, tripod, AC adapter and carrying case, complete with all the hardware and software needed to do all of the above and more. Here's the best part: The phone numbers entered are saved to a list for you. When you need to announce the event photos going up for sale on your site or notify people of our next fun gig, you can send an SMS message to everyone.
With or without a second shooter, Gifyyy adds a whole new dimension to gatherings, with fun for the guests, kudos to you and your client and a list of new prospective clients for you. I know what my next purchase is going to be, but don't take my word for it; go check it out for yourself.