Polite In Public - The Photobooth- 03.04.08
Polite In Public. The standard for photobooth/party photography has just been raised dramatically. Imagine this ~ you show up at a party, and in one section you see a crazy well lit open closet of sorts with people lined up… as you get closer you see that the “closet” is lined with white fur and has gold port holes in it, as well as a rack of clothes… and people are trying them on and striking poses within it! That was the scene at the Dussault party i went to back in November 07, and combined with having half of melrose closed off and covered in astroturf, with fake “snow” fluttering down on us, a wooden hottub and girls in leaderhosen dancing about, i didn’t think twice about this set up at first. Until i got home and noticed the “Polite In Public” sticker in my purse with a url on it. That “closet” was apparently the new generation of photobooths, and the images were unlike any i’d seen. Flash forward a few months, and when my friend’s pics from the Obama Rally for Super Tuesday had some more great Polite In Public shots, i had to take note.
Well, playing with ideas for perhaps the next blogfest or maybe a NOTCOT party, i finally gave them an email, and was surprised to find that Polite In Public is the brainchild of Joe Rubenstein and Joe Miller, two SCAD graduates. Joe R, 31, is a painting and film double major, and Joe M, 29, is a Graphic Design major and Computer Artist… and with backgrounds in lighting/cinematography and photography, it’s no surprise that after trying out their photobooth concept at their own myspace publicized house party (early 2007), the idea spread fast throughout LA and before they knew it they were flying around the country going on tour and doing jobs for PlayBoy, Verizon, Svedka, Dussault, Mercedes, Burton Snowboards, The Obama Campaign, Universal Home Entertainment, 944 Magazine, and GenArt among others…. More info about how these are set up, and pictures behind the scenes after the jump!
So what goes into these photobooths that creates such a glamourous look from what can often be quite the crazy party? Well, their services start at a mere $2500, which includes a custom made backdrop, onsite 5x7 dye-sub printing, onsite slide show, and web hosting for all images. If you’re like me, the first thing you wonder is “how do they clean up the images so incredibly and still manage to have onsite printing and slide shows?”… well they have spent a year developing custom software and hardware that helps them complete the finishing work for each image in near realtime. The average file goes through 40-50 changes before being printed and exported for the slideshow and web viewing. All image filters and lighting designs are custom developed for each project.
As for the photobooth’s themselves… clearly they can be as simple or complex as you desire, and although some clients are very involved in the design process, they still do the majority of the design work and even commission set builders and artists to fabricate the backgrounds they design. Most sets even come with a variety of props for all the “models” to play with. I couldn’t resist and asked them what their craziest set was… “One of the craziest set pieces we’ve had made was for Svedka’s booth for the National Night Club and Bar Owners’ convention in Las Vegas. The set consisted of a giant 7 foot set piece containing a 5 foot circle window people could sit in. Behind the window was an illistration of New Years 2033 by a famous artist by the name of Jeffery Scott or Factory 1019 as he is sometimes known. The set was painted with a Silver Aircraft paint and had built in strobe lights.”
So although the two Joes have managed to run Polite In Public with only 2 full time employees so far (just like NOTCOT!) ~ i’m excited to hear that they are actually looking to open a New York brand by early May! Which is exactly in time for ICFF/NY Design Week! So what do you guys think? Any interest in a crazy NY or maybe even an LA party? happy hour? meetup? with some fun designer photobooth-ing? Have people come pose with their designs? or perhaps with their favorite product? Ideas?
Top three here are a few horrendously bad camera phone shots i jut found… and below are examples of what they made in that booth!
Here are a few behind the scenes shots that Joe was kind enough to send over so you can see what the set up is like!
And for classic before and after ~ here are some examples of what came of that set up!
To see more of their mesmerizing photobooth pics, see the galleries at Polite In Public!
p.s. this post is sparking a lot of crazy im conversations and crazy ideas… here are a few…
1. NOTCOT.org ~ lets all meet up and do a happy hour with a giant org post/polaroid you can pose in, and even white board marker your own caption!
2. TasteSpotting ~ meet us for happy hour where we have a faux kitchen set up and you can grab chef’s hats and aprons and pans or plates of food and strike a pose?
3. Weddings! Forget guest books, make them jump into a photobooth! And they’ll definitely look good in there… much much more memorable!
Oh and most of the conversations i’m having are quite certain that people need a certain amount of loosening up to make the best use of these set ups! So, let us know if there’s any interest, and if there is enough, perhaps we’ll have to start trying some random meetups…