TapSnap photo can 'bring' dinosaurs to a wedding
By Mark Sullivan
WEST BOYLSTON — This is not your grandfather's photo booth.
Stand against a green background and smile, and with a click, your picture appears on a 42-inch computer screen. A touch of the screen, and you're in front of the Eiffel Tower, Jennifer Lawrence at your side, a man-eating shark heading your way.
Another touch, and your digitally-customized image is winging its way to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the world.
"It's 'phototainment,'" said Ed Rojcewicz, of Rutland, an account manager for TapSnap of Worcester. "Once people start photographing, it's the life of the party."
Mr. Rojcewicz was at The Manor restaurant and banquet facility Oct. 1 for a demonstration of the TapSnap system that is described as a "photo booth without walls," reinvented for the social-media age.
Vancouver-based TapSnap, providing what it describes as "open-air photo entertainment" for weddings, parties, and corporate events, has more than 100 locations across the United States and Canada.
Since Bob Petipas of West Boylston acquired the TapSnap franchise for Worcester County earlier this year, he has done weddings in the area, as well as the annual Chowder and Chili Challenge hosted by the Rutland Fire Brigade.
Mr. Petipas went into the photo entertainment line on his return to Massachusetts after running an antique store in Manhattan for 30 years. "I wanted to get into something fun, with social media attached to it," he said.
His experience pitching a business began early. Fifty-four years ago, as an eight-year-old in Norton, Mass., Mr. Petipas said, he was the youngest licensed auctioneer in Massachusetts, helping his father run auctions of department-store overstock out of the family barn.
To promote his latest venture, Mr. Petipas and two account managers set up their green screen, camera and touchscreen computer kiosk in a function room at The Manor this past Wednesday night and invited people to try out the system.
Amy Sequeira of Worcester and Katlyn Everitt of West Boylston, servers at the Draught House Bar & Grill, posed in front of the green screen as if they were screaming.
Then, on the 42-inch Dell touchscreen, a tyrannosaurus was dragged and dropped into their picture. "Oh, I like that one a lot," Ms. Sequeira said of the finished image, which she said she planned to post to Facebook.
Another visitor, choosing from a range of settings and digital props, edited his picture to incorporate giant eyeglasses and a pterodactyl, against a backdrop of the Egyptian pyramids.
The aim is to give guests an event an enjoyable way to create — and share — lasting memories. "Everybody likes to get their picture taken," said Mr. Petipas: "Everybody has fun with it."
Mr. Petipas said it takes about a half-hour for two people to set up the photo kiosk at an event, and the same amount of time to take it down.
He said the cost to rent the TapSnap system for an event is "pretty much the same as what a conventional photo booth would cost," ranging from $250 to $400 an hour.
He employs two salesmen and two part-time event attendants at TapSnap of Worcester, which is one of three TapSnap franchises in the state and goes by its franchise number, TapSnap 1059, on Facebook.
"There's nothing like it on the market," Mr. Petipas said. "If you've never seen it, it's a good time waiting to happen."
Source: Sullivan, Mark. "TapSnap photo can 'bring' dinosaurs to a wedding." Worcester Telegram, October 5 2014. http://www.telegram.com/article/20141005/NEWS/310059951/1237