The practice of taking pictures inside a small booth has a long history. Back when there were few cameras, there would be small booths the size of a telephone box in carnivals, fairs and other fun events. These would have a camera that had a timer or could be remotely activated; people paid a small amount to enter and take pictures of themselves. The pictures would come out in a strip and they would pose outrageously to make it fun.
After a period of inactivity, the photo booth has made a comeback, but in a different form. Now that almost everyone has a camera on their phone, the booth has become a way for them to jazz up their photos and make it creative, rather than to simply have a memento. Today, there is no booth, but there is a mounted camera and a photographer that produce high-end image quality and several other things that make it interesting, such as:
The theme of the event is usually the theme for the shoot as well. For instance, a Singapore photo booth where the party is to celebrate a cultural event could display elements from history or explore features of modern Singapore. The theme can be anything from fantasy, to horror, to a word that sums up an experience. Even corporate parties are made more interesting through the use of a photo booth that has a funny theme; people would show up in their office clothes and have fun posing for the camera.
Props and Signs
Along with the digital and social media culture came a host of signs and symbols. It is common for people to hold up signs on sticks that make some form of declaration: “#Cool”, “#I Rock!” and the thumbs up sign from social media are commonly seen in these pictures. They can also be theme-specific, for example like the sign, “May the force be with you” at a Star Wars themed party or “Hasta La Vista baby” for a Terminator one. Props also include customized headbands a la Ariana Grande or ginormous glasses and hats.
Some of the more sophisticated events have a green screen as a backdrop, and allow the attendees choose a background for their photo. Others have more normal, stationary ones that again fit the theme. A Halloween party could have a white backdrop painted to resemble a graveyard with tombstones, RIP signs and ghosts hovering in the background; a nautical themed bash could have an underwater scene. The backdrop was seen for many years among Hollywood stars who attended brand parties and events and stood in front of a screen printed with the event or brand logo. That way, any photos from that event could be easily identified and it also promoted their name. So next time you want to do a photo booth, pay attention to these elements.