Sophomores Connor Flood and Joseph Zangel’s new business, Primetime Party Pix, aims to change the way students capture memories with friends.
Primetime Party Pix was launched in late January and is a large photo booth customers can rent for the day.
The duo put an ad on Craigslist in February for their self-made photo booth and had four hits within the first day. The students were encouraged by the response and hope their photo booth business becomes more than just a way to document an exciting event.
“Our whole ideology is that our photo booth will be the entertainment,” Flood said. “Joseph and I will be interacting and having a good time with our customers.”
Primetime Party Pix’s first scheduled event is on Saturday, April 13, at the St. Paul Riverfront Hotel, where Chesterton Academy will be hosting its annual gala.
“We’re doing the gala pro bono because it’s our first event and we want to get our name out there,” Flood said. “We’re actually donating a full night of our services at their silent auction. We’re just trying to build relationships.”
Flood and Zangel will feature their photo booth at a graduation party in June, as well as numerous weddings throughout the summer. Their target audience, however, is St. Thomas students.
The duo were inspired by the photo booth at last year’s Up ‘Til Dawn event and at freshmen orientation, and hope to recreate the success that they saw at these two events.
“People were having a blast. Everyone loved it,” Flood said of the photo booth at the Up ‘Til Dawn event.
Senior Ben Watson said he thinks it’s an interesting idea, but has some concerns.
“People aren’t always responsible, so there is the risk of things getting broken. Liability-wise, would you be held responsible if something happened to the photo booth while it was at your house?” Watson said.
Watson also said any images from the photo booth that included or alluded to alcohol consumption, both for individuals that are legal and underage, could turn problematic.
“Even if you are 21, those pictures can give people a one-sided perspective of you. So having professional photographs of you partying definitely could be an issue,” Watson said.
Senior Luke Dewall also worried about the cost of renting the booth for the night.
“I would have so much fun with a photo booth at a party, as long as I didn’t have to pay for it. I don’t know who would actually be willing to pay for it,” Dewall stated.
He did, however, think that it would be different if the photo booth were to be rented for a special occasion, like a birthday.
“I could see it working if everyone chipped in, rather than one person getting stuck with the cost,” Dewall said.
Dewall believed that cost issues aside, it is a fun and novel idea. Watson agreed, thinking that the photo booth concept has some merits.
“When you have a really close group of friends over, you want pictures to be taken, but nobody wants to have a camera on them,” Watson said.
Flood said he and Zangel plan to reach their market audience through social media.
“It’s the most viable way at this time,” Flood stated.
The duo has a Facebook page and website, both of which launched three weeks ago. Watson thinks that word will also spread on its own.
“If you can host a party and have a photo booth as one of the draws for it, I think that people would get excited about it. And if Primetime Party Pix is successful the first few times, I think it would be all word-of-mouth from there because St. Thomas is a small enough community that it would be easy for them to grow,” Watson said.
Another way in which Primetime Party Pix will attempt to create awareness is by setting up its booth on campus later this semester. Flood and Zangel will encourage students to visit their booth, and later post those pictures on Facebook.
Flood said the photo booth is only the beginning for the company.
“There’s so much we can do with it, as far as event planning goes,” Flood said. “We see this as the starting off point to get our feet in the water and test out the field, not as the end destination.”
Maggie Whitacre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.