The weekend of June 5, 6, and 7 Salem Pet Photo joined up with Creative Salem for the 2015 Salem Arts Festival. We set up between Derby Square and Artists' Row, and in addition to the debut of the Salem Pet Photo Booth, there was also art by Deanna Jacome, Allison White, caricatures by Josh Madruga, and the Creative Salem 3x5 Art table as part of the Interactive Experience.
When I first proposed the idea to the Creative Salem president back in March, I wasn't certain if I was going to actually be able to pull off a full photo booth. In the past I had done small-scale photo booths, mainly for Guinea Pigs, and in theory I figured it would work. I just needed a backdrop, backdrop stand, lights, a tent, a second table, a bench, extra blankets, a professional quality printer, high gloss photo paper, photo sleeves, a whole lot of planning and determination...
And yes, I also needed a sign.
Fortunately, thanks to the kindness of my friends and family, and some timely photo gigs, I was able to get all the equipment I needed within a few days of the festival. That just left one thing...
Making the Sign
My dear Chimæric pointed this out to me a few days before the festival...people weren't going to know what I was doing if I didn't label the booth. He came up with the idea of creating an old-fashioned carnival-inspired sign to hang from the tent (like the example on the left).
So I went to Home Depot with the mission to grab some paint, a couple of brushes, and a long lean plank of wood. Home Depot is a place that generally terrifies me, but I've recently come to see it as more of a turbo-infused art supply store so it's slightly less intimidating.
Fortunately I was able to acquire these things on my list, and on Friday night (yes the night before the beginning of the festival) Chimæric and our designer friend Jamie set to work while I packed everything I needed for the next day. Procrastination is truly an art form, in my humble opinion.
Day 1 we just had the first piece, and I spent many of my spare moments using gaffer's tape to stick it to the tent so that it wouldn't fall on any festival goers. It was less than ideal.
That night we went back to Home Depot for some eye hooks, more twine, some jack chain, and a second piece of wood (for the price!) It worked quite a bit better.
The Photo Booth was a huge success. The first day we had about 20 pups, and the second day more than twice that. The second day we also had two snakes and a guinea pig come to visit, which is a bit extraordinary I think. Most people don't take snakes out for a walk.
There are some improvements to be made, like getting a more neutral backdrop and sturdier backdrop stand, but that's not difficult. I plan to take this setup to events all over New England, starting this year. Recently I've found out that I've been chosen to bring my booth to the New England Pet Expo in Wilmington, MA on September 19th of this year. It's a huge event, and an absolute honor to be included.
Because, honestly, I need more pets in my life. :D
Behind the Scenes
Here are some photos of how the booth looks in its current state, some improvements yet to be made!
Photos by Abbie Loewenstein
Pet Photo Gallery!
Without further ado...
A HUGE thank you to Creative Salem for letting me be a part of this year's festivities, and for letting me debut my photo booth in style!