My name is Kristen and I started Up North Photo Booth in the spring of 2012. I went on a missions trip to Haiti that February and was working with the orphan girls who had lost everyone they knew in the previous earthquake. We were talking about dreams and what they wanted to do and we even made dream boards. It was then that I realized what my true dream was and that was to start my own business combining my love for photography and people. I started with just 1 photo booth and had 23 jobs in my first year alone! Since then, we've grown - adding about a photo booth each year and now have a total of 4 booths and average about 95-105 events a year!
How did you get into the wedding industry?
I was recently married this February 2016 and it was great to see from the inside what it feels like to be a bride. What brides are dealing with - booking places and companies, what it's like at your own reception with being busy and making sure everything goes how it's supposed to. I felt like it was great additional training for running my own business!
How would you describe your style?
Our part in a wedding is pretty laid back. We make sure we are on time and everything is figured out and ready to go ahead of time but unlike a lot of things that go into the wedding planning, we make the photo booth super easy for our clients and give them nothing to worry about at all!
What is your favorite part of a wedding?
My favorite part of weddings is when the bride and groom get to finally relax after all the "planned" stuff they have to do. This is usually after dinner and the first dance. They get to go in the photo booth together and with their friends and family and start to let loose.
What advice do you have for couples about choosing a photo booth service?
My advice for those looking into hiring a photo booth service would be: Make sure you are comparing photo quality, equipment, what you actually get included in your package, and the experience of the employees. I hear so often that workers from other companies show up to the wrong wedding and don't even know what the bride and groom's names are! We have a rental agreement filled out for each event with every piece of information we need for the event so that we aren't bugging ANYONE the day of. We know where we are going, where we are setting up, who we are there for, and have experienced photo booth attendants at EVERY event. We also use Dye-sub printers which make for much better quality photos and are printed very quickly so people aren't waiting for them to be printed. Last, many companies offer "add-on's" for additional fees or different packages. We want everyone to get the most important features of a photo booth and these are ALWAYS included. We don't charge extra for a Memory Book, Props, Unlimited Photos being printed, Color and Black and White, or a Full Time Attendant helping out the entire time at a wedding. These should always be included as these are what the photo booth is all about.
How far in advance should a couple look into booking your services?
Depending on when your event is would determine when you should book your photo booth. If you are getting married anytime between May and October or on a holiday, I'd say book as soon as you've made up your mind. We only need a rental agreement filled out and a $200 deposit to hold the date and then you know you aren't going to be disappointed if your date is all booked up. With 4 booths, we aren't always booked up on every Saturday but there are usually a few weekends a summer that we end up having to turn away several couples due to being completely booked. We never know what weekends they will be either as the popular dates change each year. That being said, if you decide last minute that you really want a photo booth, by all means CALL us! You never know, we may have a booth available and we'd love to be there if we can! We've booked jobs the day of before when other companies have just cancelled or not showed up! By the way, we've never once cancelled on someone or not showed up at an event!!
What do you love about living and working in Northern Michigan?
I love living and working out of Northern Michigan for so many reasons! I grew up in the city downstate so I think I really appreciate a lot of what Northern Michigan entails. I love working with Northern Michigan couples but it's also so much fun to work with so many destination wedding couples from all over too. Unlike most places in Michigan, we get to work with couples from all over, coming to Northern Michigan. To me, this is an honor that we get to be involved in so many different types of weddings with so many different types of people! I get to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country and everyone else comes up here to enjoy it as well! It's pretty great!