Category: Photo Booths

Event Planning, Photo Booths

Betsy The Camper, One Of Our Quirky Photo Booths

6 May 2021

Meet Betsy the camper van. A photo booth with a difference. The original photo booths on the party scene were basically boxes. Much like the old Woolworths or Post Office booths where you would go for a passport photo. Indeed some of the first models used inkjet printers, so not only were they slow. but you would have to wait for the ink to dry.

As things progressed they started to use dye sublimation printers. These used rolls of paper matched to rolls of ink, the paper would be run through the print mechanism four times. Cyan, Magenta and blue would be overlaid on the paper to form the image, then a clear laminate film sealed over the top. The prints were not only quick, but instantly dry and water proof.

The booths themselves though tended not to change much, still being basically boxes. Then quirky booths began to appear. Booths in London taxi cabs, classic mini’s, a telephone booth, even a Del Boy Trotter van had a booth in.

Mini Camper Booth

We had booths installed in all of the above. We were always on the lookout for something different we could stick a booth in. Looking around different vehicles we came across a mini camper van. It looked like a VW camper that had been shrunk. So we investigated. It turned out to actually be a Subaru Sambar. It was one of a special range of vehicles sold in Japan called Kei cars. These had to be no more than 3.4 metres in length with an engine no bigger than 660cc.

Subaru Sambar
Subaru Sambar

Our particular model was actually a high spec version. It had the 660cc supercharged engine, along with four wheel drive and an interior that allowed the front seats to swivel around and face the rear seats. Along with two sunroofs.

The car in its basic guise looked nothing like a camper. However the Japanese seem to have an obsession with VW campers. This led to numerous firms converting them with fibreglass panels to look like the VW T2 campers.

Subaru Sambar VW camper van
The same vehicle after its makeover.

The main change is the addition of a large VW front grill, along with side panels and stainless steel bumpers. A close look will rapidly reveal it isn’t a genuine VW, but it is surprising how often people will ask if we had a VW specially shortened.

Betsy Our Little Camper Van Booth
Betsy Our Little Camper Van Booth

Ours was a blue and white colour when it arrived. We had it resprayed pearl white and candy apple red. Along with a new leather interior in red and white and an internal respray of all the panels.

Colour Matched Interior for a mini VW camper replica
Colour Matched Interior

For festival themed jobs we added a roof mounted surf board to dispense the prints, a music system playing Beach Boys songs and tiki themed dress up accessories.

Betsy The Camper on a job
Betsy On A Job

Betsy The Camper is definitely a perfect match for festival themed weddings and events.

Photo Booths

The 4 Top Christmas Photo Booths

28 November 2020

With the Christmas party season approaching, its time to start thinking of what you need to add some wow factor. Why not add a Christmas photo booths. Everyone loves their photo taking, well except for the bosses wife she hates it.

We have a selection of festive themed photo booths that will fit in with your party a treat.

Giant Snow Globe

This has been on the scene for a number of years now. But still proves popular at events over the December period. Basically it is a giant version of the little globes you used to shake up as a kid. Filled with artificial snow and a decorative backdrop. They come in various sizes from 3 people mini globes to our larger globes capable of taking group shots.

A Giant Snow Globe With A Merry Christmas Background
A Giant Snow Globe With A Merry Christmas Background

Giant Christmas Bauble

A variation on the original snow globe, this one is designed to look like one of those luxury baubles you see hanging on high end Christmas trees. This can take groups of 5-7 people, and the attached tag can be customised with your logo or lettering.

Giant Christmas Bauble Globe
Giant Christmas Bauble Globe

Charlie Xmas, Our London Taxi Cab

One of our popular London taxi cab photo booths, gets a makeover for Christmas, to become Charlie Christmas. With fake snow, Christmas tree, tinsel, wreaths and other decoration. This is great for those outdoor events, or indeed indoors if you have suitable access.

Christmas Taxi Booth
Christmas Taxi Booth

Santa’s Sleigh Green Screen

This was brand new for the 2019 Christmas season. Specially built for one of our major corporate clients it proved a major hit. Capable of taking decent sized groups. With the green screen you have a selection of backdrops for any style of event.

Santa's Sleigh And GreenScreen
Santa’s Sleigh And Green Screen

Whichever Christmas photo booths you choose we can prepare a custom set up for you. With branding and extras to really give you party the wow factor

Fun Story, Photo Booths

Its Never Too Late, End Disability Hate

18 September 2020

Over the years we have carried out a number of corporate jobs, where we have had to brand the photo booth for a client. This can range from a single sticker on the side of a retro booth, to a complete vinyl wrap.

Usually they are for Christmas parties or sales promotions, but we did one job that was totally different.

Disability Video Booth

We were contracted to supply a fully wrapped video booth for a North East police force. This was to visit a number of libraries and community centres. This was to allow people to talk about nasty experiences that had been due to their disabilities.

Our Fully Wrapped Video Booth
Our Fully Wrapped Video Booth

We had one of our regular photo booths fully wrapped by a local company we use. We also extended it and removed the seat. This would allow wheelchair users to access the booth, and we added an uprated microphone system to the unit. All of our booths have video capabilities, but as this was designed to capture their stories we improved the mike systems.

Stott Him On The Heed

The first day we operated was I think Sunderland library. I turned up and set the booth up, and was joined by a couple of females P.C.’s that would be staying with me for the event.

The first client was a young lad. He stood in the booth and asked me what he was supposed to say. I explained that if he had experienced anything nasty he should talk about it.

“Well I was picked on a couple of weeks ago by a lad, should I say that?”

Definitely I replied,

“Then I picked a brick up and stotted it off his heed, should I say that?”

Erm, I think I will get this lady PC to talk to you as I am not sure how that will go down.

For those Southerners that haven’t encountered the North East dialects. Basically he was confessing to smacking his tormentor over the head with a brick.

The PC seemed to think he would be OK, as we weren’t taking names in the data and he left his story. I was a bit worried as over the day we had about 20 visitors. Now usually we have a couple of hundred go through a booth at a wedding or something. So this looked terrible. But the Police Officers seemed over the moon at the response. I guess the client being happy was all that counted.

Looking back on the internet to see if there was anything mentioning the initiative, as it was back in about 2013, I discovered that the Northumberland Police force had actually posted a number of the video clips on Youtube.

They should be watched as some of them are heartbreaking.

I spent a considerable amount of time with the female police teams in the various towns we visited. At one location we had a fairly high ranking officer down. We were getting on really well when she received a phone call and told me she had to rush off. I did see her the next day and she explained that there had been an incident with a guy running amok with a knife. An officer had evidently tasered him, but unfortunately he had previously soaked himself in petrol. Seems that electricity and petrol soaked perpetrators turn into Roman candles pretty quickly.

Photo Booths

Del Boy Trotter 3 Wheeled Van. Its Cushty!

26 June 2020
Del Boy Trotter Photo Booth Hire

We have a number of different iconic and quirky vehicles. None attract as much attention as our Del Boy Trotter 3 wheeled van. Driving along the road you will suddenly realise that no one has overtaken you for a while. When you look in the mirror, a car will be level with the trailer containing the van, taking photos. Once they start to pass us and get level with our towing vehicle, they look disappointed. I think they expect David Jason to be driving.

Pull into a service station for a McDonalds and when you come out there will be a crowd around the van, never fails.

The van itself is not, as Del claims in the series, a Reliant Robin. The Robin is a much newer vehicle. The actual van has the much more grandiose title of Reliant Regal Supervan MkIII.

Raleigh Cycles

The Reliant motor company was actually formed when a management buyout occurred of the motorised division of Raleigh Cycles. They had decided to concentrate on pedal bike production so sold the motor division off.

The new management needed a name for the company, and as many of the parts they had acquired were stamped with the letter R for Raleigh. They decided to choose a name beginning with R so they could reuse the parts.

Historic Motorised Raleigh Cycle
Historic Motorised Raleigh Cycle

Photo Booth

We acquired the van to convert it into a photo booth. You sit inside and it takes your photo, then the print pops out of the suitcase on the roof. It was actually taxed and tested and fully road worthy when we bought it. The day we fetched it home, I picked my daughter up from school in it. That was the last time I drove it on a road, what a nightmare. The handling, was like driving a jelly, the engine was about 2 inches away from your left leg so it got rather warm. The gearbox was like stirring a knitting needle in a ball of wool. The acceleration, well, I think from a standing start I could beat it on foot to about 25 mph at least.

But for all its faults its fun. We did a job in a shopping centre in West Brom. The amount of elderly gents that come to talk to me and reminisce about it being their first car. How they used to pile 6 or 7 in the back and go to the seaside, boy they were brave men in that generation.

Restoration

During the lockdown, we took the opportunity to carry out a full restoration on the car. The chassis was taken back to bare metal. Repaired where necessary. Treated and fully resprayed. The engine was stripped down for a rebuild but found to be to damaged for economical repair. We managed to source an excellent running moderner version of the Reliant engine. This was fully refurbed then fitted into the chassis, along with a fully restored rear drive axle, clutch and brakes.

The body was sanded back to its gel coat. The myriad of small cracks, dings and gouged sections filled with a carbon fibre compound for strength, then coated with a top glaze. Two coats of high build primer were followed by two coats of Ford Daytona yellow with a matting compound to take the ‘newness’ from the look of the paint.

Finally Craig Ainge, a local signwriter reapplied the lettering (actual signwriting this time rather than vinyl stickers), and added the rust streaks and dirt to the body to make it look, well, dingy!

Del Boys Props

We always provide a box of props for people to use with our photo booths. Usually hats, wigs that sort of thing. With this one we provide props themed around the series, so there is triggers broom, granddads hat etc. We did have Del’s sheepskin coat, till some light fingered prat decided to purloin it on a job. I remember on the West Brom job, my daughter going barmy, all because I had her inflate the blow up doll, cos I was a bit out of breath.

Danger UXD. Our Inflatable Vinyl Vera.

The photo booth software is custom reprogrammed to play short clips like ‘You Plonker’ and ‘This time next year we will be millionaires’

In short I don’t think we have anything that is quite as much fun. So if you need a photo booth that will make an impression, then Del Boy Trotters 3 wheeled van is definitely it!

Fun Story, Photo Booths

The Duke, Our Wild West Photo Booth

8 April 2020

We have a number of specialised photo booths, London taxi cabs, a classic Mini Cooper, Indian Tuk Tuk. Well now we have a wild west photo booth

When looking for new lines we hit upon the idea of a Wild West photo booth. We looked at various saloon bars, a teepee, but decided that the most classic wild west ‘vehicle’ had to be the Concord stagecoach. Just like John Wayne in the classic film.

Luckily, we have a member of staff that happens to be a whizz, with wood. So, after some research, and finding some stagecoach plans (albeit for a model coach), we managed to create a workable blueprint.

The Build

When we started, in fairness, we didn’t actually realise the amount of work we were letting ourselves in for. But the initial body shaping looked spot on, and kept us reassured we were on the right track.

Initial frame build on our wild west photo booth
Initial Frame Build
Wild west photo booth outer panelling
Outer Panelling
Basic wild west stagecoach body
Starting To Take Shape

The initial body shape came together well, because the body curves in 2 planes, it was difficult to shape, but after some intensive work, we got it together into the basic body.

Detail on our doors and windows
Adding The Detail to the Doors and windows.
Our stagecoach body after staining.
Coat Of Stain, And Trying The Wheels For Size
Drivers seat and footboard added
Adding The Drivers Seat And Footboard

This about finished the body, other than the interior. We didi think that was the bulk of the work done, until we actually started assembling the chassis.

Fitting the chassis joints
Fitting The Chassis Joints
Getting there with the chassis
Getting There
Assembling The Front Axle
Assembling The Front Axle
Adding some of the metalwork to the chassis
Assembled, Now Adding Some Of The Metalwork

The Chassis was actually quite complicated, as we tried to follow the real things metalwork, with a working handbrake, and the correct slings and fittings.

Almost The Finished Item. Body Mounted, Much Of The Steel Work Fitted. A Wild West Photo Booth.
Almost The Finished Item. Body Mounted, Much Of The Steel Work Fitted.
Adding The Artwork To Finish It Off
Adding The Artwork To Finish It Off
Our High Plains Buffalo
Our High Plains Buffalo

All in all it was a long complicated build, but it has given us a totally unique photo booth, perfect for those wild west events.

Photo Booths

Our Black Cab Photo Booth At Joe Macaris

15 February 2020

We recently provided a classic black cab photo booth for a birthday party. At the Joe Macari car dealership in London.

Now this isn’t just any old dealership. A quick look at his stock inventory will show a who’s who of classic high end cars. Lamborghini Countach, Jaguar E Type, Ferrari California, the list just goes on.

Really its like a petrol heads dream. He even has some quirky items like the Lamborghini LM002 SUV, of which only about 328 were ever produced. Or how about a Lambo tractor.

Classic Black Cab Photo Booth

We installed a black cab photo booth. After setting it all up, the boss told his car detailer to polish it up. He started and laughed to me that he had cleaned some of the worlds most exclusive cars, but that was his first ever London taxi.

Classic London Black Cab With A Photo Booth Built In
Our Classic Black Cab Photo Booth

Whilst on this job, a stunningly attractive Indian lady came up, accompanied by what looked like a throwback to a 1960’s groupie. Slicked back hair and the works. She looked at me and exclaimed, “Do you know what he did last week?”,

“No Idea” I Said,

“He took a porn star to a red carpet event!”

Laughing he said yes, she was off fake taxi dot com. His companion inquired as to what that might be, to be told that its a porn site. Where a taxi cab exactly like ours drives around London picking up beautiful women. Who just happen to want the driver to climb in the back with them and, well you can figure out the rest.

“Yes”, I said to break the tension, “I have been driving around all day and not been stopped once!”.

“Thats OK mate he replied, I will give you the number for my friend”

Lol, before I could comment his companion, replied “I can do better than that, I will give him my number and he can come and pick me up.”

Funny thing was he didn’t seem to be too impressed by that. As I walked away for a drink they were just firing the starting salvos of what promised to be an acrimonious argument.

Photo Booths

Restoring Our Mini, Some Of The Little Bits

11 February 2020

Restoring our Mini is continuing. Most of the larger parts are with various experts to be sorted out. Meanwhile we have been tidying up some of the smaller pieces, which are necessary to put the icing on the cake and make our Mini something special.

Steering Column

The original column was a bit tatty, plus the steering boss was falling apart, and the steering wheel had seen better days.

We stripped the column down, shot blasted it then zinc galved and coated it with black anti rust topcoat.

The plastic column was replaced entirely as the old one had been drilled a number of times to insert screws to hold the broken indicator stalk.

Classic Mini Steering Column
Our Old Column A Bit Worse For Wear

The original boss was broken, well the plastic surround. We had intended upgrading the steering wheel to a Momo version, so needed a new boss as the hole pattern was different.

Momo steering wheel and boss
Our New Momo Steering Wheel, complete with uprated racing quality boss.

Whilst we were on the renewal war path, we also added some nifty billet alloy indicator stalk ends. These are made by a classic mini owner in limited quantities and really add a touch of class.

Billet Alloy Stalk Ends
Our Nifty Billet Alloy Stalk Ends

Finishing the steering column off was a new column drop bracket. This came from the range created by DSN retrosport. The quality as always is absolutely fabulous.

DSN Retrosport Steering Column Drop Bracket
DSN Retrosport Steering Column Drop Bracket

Finishing our days work off, we managed to get the fuel tank coated with an anti rust top coat. Restoring our mini, has admittedly become a bigger job than we realised, but we are three parts through it now.

Classic Mini Fuel Tank
Classic Mini Fuel Tank
Fun Story, Photo Booths

Classic Mini Restoration

30 January 2020

Continuing our restoration we have just finished the front subframe. That’s the classic Mini version of a chassis, they have one front and one back. The front one here carries the engine, front braking system and front wheels.

This one was a bit worse for wear than the rear frame. Necessitating replacing the entire metal structure with a new one. We took the opportunity whilst doing this to replace and upgrade the braking system, drive hubs and brake pipes.

Classic Mini Front Subframe
Classic Mini Front Subframe

We replaced the entire front subframe to give us a firm base to start from.

Badly Rusted Towers
Badly Rusted Towers
More Rust
More Rust

We also made the decision to go back to solid mounts on the front subframe and semi solid on the tower mounts. Although it is meant to slightly worsen the ride quality, it is supposed to vastly improve the handling, and lets face it, the best part of a classic Mini is the ability to throw it around corners, fast.

Our Newly Refurbished Frame
Our Newly Refurbished Frame

We also decided that we were going to replace the brake discs with some uprated versions. After much research settled on some Red Calipers from KAD. To be honest this was as much for the looks as anything else. They are absolutely stunning in anodized red, we also added vented and grooved discs, and lightweight alloy drive hubs for a little weight saving.

Braking System

KAD Brake Calipers, Classic Mini Restoration to better than new
KAD Brake Calipers
KAD Brake Calipers rear view
KAD Brake Calipers rear view

We also added the obligatory Goodridge braided brake pipes. Fully adjustable tie bars and bottom control arms to allow the suspension to be set up to perfection.

Specialist Components LIghtweight Tower Bolts
Specialist Components LIghtweight Tower Bolts

The late great Colin Chapman once said, give a car more power and its faster on the straights, make a car lighter and its faster everywhere. To this aim, we swapped the tower bolts for lightweight alloy alternatives. Another product from Specialist Components, a little weight saving along with stunning looks.

DSN Retrosport Solid Front Mounts
DSN Retrosport Solid Front Mounts

The other front mounts.
The other front mounts.
Stainless Top Arm Brackets
Stainless Top Arm Brackets

Its meant to be a classic mini restoration, but the aim is to use modern components to make it better than original.

Event Planning, Fun Story, Photo Booths

Beginning Jaspers Restoration

22 January 2020

The engine out of our mini is in bits, spread around a number of specialist engine builders (MED and Southam Mini Centre), to be tuned up and the power output cranked up a bit. Although Jaspers restoration was meant to be a quick tidy up, its ended up becoming a complete makeover.

The bodyshell is in the blasters to be stripped of paint. So we have turned our attention to the rear subframe, the first of the parts we are refurbing in house.

It was a bit grotty to start with, but mainly surface rust so nothing to major to put right.

Mini Rear Subframe
Mini Rear Subframe

Pretty much everything came undone without any effort and we quickly had it stripped to individual components.

Rear Swing Arm

The subframe was blasted, zinc passivated to prevent rust and then powder coated to look nice.

Rear Subframe Restored

Rear Swing Arm
Rear Swing Arm

The swing arms were blasted, coated with cold galvanizing spray then topcoated with a Rustbusters product. The bushes and bearings were changed, new pins fitted, Goodrich brake lines, alloy brake drums, and specialist components rear hub assemblies fitted, along with DSN retrosport alloy brake plates.

Alloy Handbrake Quadrants

Things like the handbrake quadrants are really for looks rather than performance, but hey if you are going to do it, might as well look the part.

Rear Trunnions

To finish the subframes we fitted alloy trunnions, adjustable swing arm brackets, and seam sealed the subframe to prevent water ingress. Once the subframes are fitted we have some Bilt Humber anti rust wax, but we don’t want to coat the parts yet as it will make a mess fitting them.

Alloy Superfin Brake Drums
Alloy Superfin Brake Drums
Trunnions Again
Trunnions Again

Event Planning, Fun Story, Photo Booths

Jasper’s New Clothes

21 January 2020

Jasper is our British Racing Green Classic Mini photo booth. One of our most popular booths he has travelled the highways and byways of our green and pleasant land. Dispensing lashings of fun and weddings and corporate events. This will be a running tale of Jasper’s new clothes, also known as a full restoration.

After much hard work it was felt that Jasper was starting to look a little frayed around the edges. The decision was taken to patch up some of the rust that is starting to appear. Then to paint the engine and engine bay to spruce him up a bit.

However, like many of the best laid plans, once we started stripping him down, this suddenly morphed into a complete nut and bolt restoration. Similarly it was felt that a little extra power would be nice on the engine front. Which rapidly became a full engine rebuild with numerous upgrades to increase the power and drivability.

Currently Jasper is in bits, (and we mean in bits, there isn’t any 2 pieces still connected together). Pictured below he is being carried into the shotblasters. He is going to be taken back to bare metal before the new body panels are fitted.

Jasper's new cloths. Going into the shotblasters
Jasper Being Carried Into The Shotblasters

Over the next few months we will post regular updates to keep you informed of how he is coming along. At the minute the shell is in being blasted, the engine parts are at various experts getting work done. The sub frames are at our base being rebuilt by us.

All in all we are sure Jasper’s new clothes will result in a stunning example of this classic British car.