GREG SCHMIGEL & PHOTO BOOTH NIGHT

Photo Booth Night is the newest project from Washington-based photographer Greg Schmigel who has made a pop-up portrait photo booth and using his iPhone to produce images from it. Volume spoke to Schmigel to find out more. Words: Robin Pope 
What made you think of putting on a Photo Booth night using your mobile device? I've got a couple friends who own bars in my area and have often thought that a photo booth or group photo booth would go over well with the crowd. I've seen photographers snapping pictures in bars and nightclubs and offering for people to visit their site to purchase prints. With the iPhone (or any mobile device), it's much more immediate as the photographs are texted or email to the participants on the spot. Within minutes, the subjects have their photo booth portraits on their mobile devices, ready to upload to Facebook, or any other social network their on.
What type of reactions do you get from the party-goers? Usually, the start of the evening can be slow as the bar goers aren't sure as to what's really going on in the "booth". But once the drinks start flying, they start to make their way in. Sometimes alone, but mostly with friends. The reaction to the iPhone varies. The participants see the soft box lights and the backdrop and don't really see the camera until they take a seat in the booth. After that it's usually a resounding, "WOW, what a cool idea, you're just using your iPhone to do this? How cool!" I've yet to have any type of negative reaction to the set up. 
Do you have plans for more Photo Booth nights?
  
I've done three. I'm fortunate to have friends who own bars who are always up for a photo booth night, especially now that we've got a couple under our belt and have worked out the kinks. I have two scheduled for down the road, one at another bar in town, and one at a holiday party at the end of the year.

How do you go about processing the images throughout the night? I don't post process the images during the evening, they are simply emailed directly to the participants immediately after their shoot. Usually, I'll snap between five and ten shots and have them all sent on the spot.

What apps do you use? For the photo booth, I needed a quick shooting app with minimal amount of developing time. I also wanted a simply square format app to hold a consistent look. The images are also immediately projected to a flatscreen television in the bar, or projected to a wall. I landed on the app, 6X6 which gave me everything I needed for the photo booth. 6X6 also allows for separate focus and exposure adjustments. Even though I'm shooting with two soft box lights, there's always an adjustment to make here or there.