Thanks to the mantra “If it’s not on social media, it never happened”, the desire to document ourselves in real time has never been greater. Newer technologies like GIF cameras have made photo booths an integral part of events, from award ceremonies to fashion shows. Mike Limatola, co-founder / COO of photo booth rental company Fonteco Event Technologies, told The Daily how the technology has evolved and what new interactive features may be next.

Has Social Media Affected Photo Booths?
Social media has reinvented the photo booth and the concept of photo sharing at events. Photo booth software has evolved over the years and integrates seamlessly with social media so guests can share their experiences immediately. Who doesn’t want to show their photos on their social network? In the past, these photos were only printed and often ended up on a desk or refrigerator.

Mike Limatola (Courtesy)

Do people still want to print their photos?
Our events are mixed between digital approval and digital approval as well as on-site printing. In this digital age, it’s always nice to have a physical keepsake or take away. It depends on the budget, the goals and the ideas of our customers.

Why do people love setting up photo booths at events?
People go to events to see and be seen, and they love to share these moments. In the age of camera phones and digital photos, images are ubiquitous. However, stepping in front of a photo booth at events that cannot be replicated with a smartphone is a fun, interactive element. And let’s face it, people love showcasing themselves at cool events, and photo booths help promote that, especially with Millennial and Gen Z demographics.

How did you get into the photo booth business?
My business partner and I started Fonteco Event Technologies when we saw a growing trend in event and photo booth rentals. We both have experience in the tech industry and he was interested in photography, so it was a good fit. After analyzing the market, we jumped in and built our first photo and video booth. Since then we have grown to become one of the largest providers of photo, video and GIF stands in the country. We also design and manufacture our own stands in-house.

Guests interacting with a Fonteco photo booth (courtesy)

What can a photo booth contribute to the atmosphere of an event?
Retail and fashion events provide the perfect atmosphere for taking and sharing photos. The demographics of these events fit well with our services as attendees enjoy posing and letting their colleagues know where they are and how much fun they are having. We’ve worked with clients like Tiffany & Co., World Cost Plus Market, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Marc Jacobs, Rebecca Minkoff, and others to liven up their activations and add a fun, memorable digital keepsake.

Are there any new photo booth trends that you noticed?
Our retail and fashion customers want custom builds and experiences. For example, a customer came to us to set up 60 photo and karaoke kiosks in their stores for a holiday promotion. It was not an off-the-shelf stand. We worked closely with their team to bring together photos, videos and user-generated credentials from our kiosk for their nationwide competition.

Tell us something fun and new that a customer asked about.
We had a customer come up with the idea of ​​a “meme photo” experience. They wanted a way for guests to have photos taken with two different sets or scenes in a row. We were able to bring this idea to life and allow guests to choose their meme, take their photos, and instantly print and share their meme.

Are animation-oriented stands likely to remain popular?
Animated GIFs and boomerangs are more visually impactful when shared on social media. We therefore believe that they will continue to be popular. We have numerous options for customizing the GIFs such as: B. the speed, animated backgrounds and overlays.

Are Social Media Feed Walls Getting More Popular?
Social media feeds like Instagram and Twitter are a proven way to promote social conversation, increase brand awareness, and aggregate and display that social conversation in a visually engaging way. We have seen brands use our social media displays for all types of events as well as in store as a signage solution. Retail customers can easily and inexpensively present their social media posts and / or user-generated content around their brand. There is also a feature that allows brands to quickly and legally request the rights to the content posted by their fans.

What could the photo booth of the future look like?
Technology and photos keep evolving. Regardless of the hardware or device, it all depends on the experience of the guests. A fun, socially divisible encounter drives the commitment further. We saw a lot “New” trends, but most of them offer the same functionality and bottom line. People love to brag about events they attend. What could be nicer than offering photo evidence to your friends, family and followers. This is why photo experiences don’t go away anytime soon!

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