NEW YORK CITY -- When the Museum of Sex hosted a party for breath mint company Eatwhatever, it was the photobooth that captured the guests' attention. A permanent fixture in the Manhattan museum's gift shop, the booth was set on free vend for the society-packed party.
"The museum has a vintage-style photobooth that's customized for special events" said Dave Savatteri, president and founder of NYC Photobooth.
Savatteri said the booth, which has been on location at the Fifth Avenue museum for several months, is doing well. Museum personnel said its charm is bolstered by the collection of costumes provided onsite, which includes feather boas, wigs and hats.
If the museum sounds a little off the norm for a photobooth, Savatteri seems to have made inroads into what constitutes a new category of profitable locations. He's also placed booths at the legendary Strand Bookstore in downtown Manhattan, the visitor's center in Times Square and the ultra-chic Standard Hotel. They're showing up in upscale retail stores, too.
The range of locations served by NYC Photobooth is a result of its ability to creatively customize booths to match locations or events. For special event themes like a movie premiers, booths are adorned with posters of the movie wrapped around the outside. NYC Photobooth machines on location have been decked out in everything from brushed steel to bamboo exteriors.
NYC Photobooth presently offers three different models: the large Vintage, a more portable Presto and the new Photo Tent for outdoor events. All booths, which are made at the company's Oceanside, NY, plant, are outfitted with a 12-megapixel Canon camera, touchscreen interface with audio cues and dye-sublimation printer technology. Depending on the model, a booth's printer can hold between 500 and 700 sheets of paper.
Patrons choose from three-, four- and six-pose formats in either color or black and white on 4" x 6" glossy paper. The booth connects to the Internet and supports cash and cashless payment options. It also allows patrons to email images or send them to Facebook; a Twitter feature is in the works.
Savatteri said his booth's "green-screen" feature might be the most appealing. This imaging feature is the same chroma key compositing technique used in weather broadcasts and movie special effects (it overlays the camera's images on a background layer by optical mashing). On a photobooth, it allows a location to put patrons in front of nearly any scene; and NYC Photobooth can update backgrounds to use with the green-screen software.