Meet the boother
Vanessa Rae Grossman
Vanessa Rae Grossman runs her booth business with her partner Chris. Their success in the last 6 years has come from networking, investing back into the business and education.
We love vanessa’s positive approach to business ‘charge more and work less, while working on a growth mindset’.
This charismatic duo are set to achieve great things in the next few years.
Name: Vanessa Rae Grossman
Business Name: That One Photobooth LLC
How long have you been in business? Almost 6 years
What is your favourite booth? My favorite booth that we own would be our DSLR Booth housed in a T12 shell that we purchased used from another boother.
We swapped out the original LED ring light for a programmable color LED ring to draw attention to the camera lens (we all know how guests like to look at themselves on the monitor instead). We also added an AlienBees flash with umbrella to help control lighting, and added several custom configurations and 3D printed parts to the inside like a holder for the rod for the flash, a dedicated place for the camera lens cover (so we don’t lose it!), an adjustable mount to change the camera from landscape to portrait, and the custom LED ring light holder, among other things.
Regarding a booth we don’t own yet but I think is absolutely beautiful is the Everybooth brand (I can’t pick just one model!). #futureboothgoals
What is your favourite software?
Beginning with no debt and putting all of our profits back into the business in order to build it, we started with software that was affordable and with what seemed stable. We have been using DSLR Booth and Luma Booth. We have also used the Salsa app on our Salsa unit.
We did make sure to learn about several other softwares at the Photo Booth Expo so that we can begin branching out with other offerings and experiences (based on what we think the client will need/want), and we were impressed by Snappic, Curator, Breeze, Dzen Tech, and Darkroom. We know that there are several other reputable softwares out there and know that it’s important to learn them all – whether it’s for white labeling or the features and functionality. So, you’ll have to ask me this question again later in the future once we get hands on experience with them all.
Tell us about the best event you ever did?
My most favorite event we did was not about the money we made, the venue, the decor, the food, the music, or any other wow factor. It was about the relationship we made with the guests that night and how they treated us in return.
It was a holiday event for a military squadron and it was outside (in December) and FREEZING! I thought it was going to be a miserable night trying to stay warm. At first, the group didn’t seem interested in the Photo Booth and most wanted to hang out by the fires burning in order to keep warm. I tried to engage them to come to the booth and they just really didn’t seem interested.
Once they started warming up with some drinks, the fun finally began! They had a bunch of crazy games and bonding tactics and tried to pull me into some of them as well. I’ve never laughed so much at an event before. As they started dressing up in various holiday costumes, we encouraged them to take photos and large groups began to form as now the dressed up folks were photo ops. Every guest we interacted with was kind, fun, and sociable.
The client that hired us went out of his way to make sure we were properly fed, tipped, and even provided a written thank you card. He even suggested we get some drinks and take a seat by the fires (which we kindly passed on).
We were so humbled and grateful for the care that our client so thoughtfully provided to us and we extended our gratitude with a couple of free bonus features to their package (that didn’t cost us a thing).
This event occurred a few years ago prior to the pandemic. A few months ago, I was at a networking event (new venue premiere) and there was my client! I was telling him and his wife how their event was the most memorable of them all. By the end of the night, the wife and I found a ton in common and have quickly become friends. I’ve recruited her into a couple of networking groups I’m a part of and I’m excited for future collaborations with her. Sometimes you just feel the magic at an event for unknown reasons… and you know it means something more than what your mind will allow you to see or understand in that moment.
In this case, that holiday event was the beginning to a really cool friendship with a couple who are doing amazing things in our community (and for our country).
Your 3 Tips for success in the photo booth industry:
#1 NETWORK AND MAKE AS MANY BFF AS POSSIBLE
Opportunities will arise from the relationships you build so focus on building them! It will take a lot of time and effort, but it will pay off eventually. The more visible you are, the more your name will be on people’s minds and in people’s mouths (in a good way)!
You could land spectacular gigs, or you may discover an opportunity or collaboration within our industry. The sky’s the limit, really, but the more you put yourself out there, the more of an opportunity you’ll have to be noticed.
#2 BE A FOREVER STUDENT
If you think you know everything, you’re wrong (and you are kind of an idiot for thinking so, not to be judgy). You may definitely have more experience than someone else but you must remember that new equipment, software, technology, and even perspectives, lifestyles, and trends are being invented and born constantly.
You are never done learning. Be open and determined to learning something new every single day, and do not be afraid of a growth mindset. Change can open the door to opportunities you were closed off from in the first place!
#3 CHARGE WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE PROFIT AND PAY YOURSELF!
Make a list of every single expense in your Photo Booth business (including depreciation of your equipment and the wages that you would like to pay yourself), mark it up, and charge clients that price. If you’ve just priced yourself outside of your community/market, then you either need to rework your expenses and pay, or you need to target a NEW community/market.
Considering your local market’s prices and adjusting your rates to be competitive can work, but why work for more hours for less pay? Personally, I’d rather charge what I need for my business to thrive while working less hours for more money. Don’t you?