Amaral frames an opportunity
When Nathan Amaral began working with photographers Mark and Ally Tatem in January, he did so with the expectation that an entrepreneurial opportunity might develop.
Knowing that the professionals behind Two & Quarter Photography were open to selling the photo booth business that they had launched in 2014, he joined them to take a closer look at its potential.
Three months later, Mr Amaral bought the business — and the 24-year-old Dalhousie University graduate with a degree in economics and management is now the entrepreneurial force behind Bermuda PhotoBooth Rentals.
The operation rents out two portable photo booths for use at corporate events, birthday parties, school proms, baby showers, wedding receptions, and more.
“I knew that Mark and Ally wanted to sell the photo booth business when I went to work for them, but I wanted to learn the ropes before I became fully committed,” Mr Amaral says. “Between January and April, I worked three rentals a month, and I saw how much people loved the photo booth. I would go to parties with it, and it would quickly become the centre of attention.
“We took a booth to the Saltus prom recently, and it was used for two hours straight.”
Mr Amaral was a punitive broker/technical assistant at Aon before taking the entrepreneurial leap. “The job at Aon seemed kind of glamorous at first, but it wasn’t fulfilling me,” he says. “I wanted to go into business for myself, be my own boss.
“It is going really well. On the same weekend as the Saltus prom, we also took a photo booth to a baby shower and to the candelit vigil for Dr C.A. Smith. We are working a birthday party this weekend, and yesterday I got a booking for October. I haven’t really started marketing it hard yet. It is looking really promising.”
Mr Amaral is assisted by his girlfriend, Ashley Aitken, who is an associate photographer at Two & Quarter. “She has run the booth before, and is great with cameras and great with people,” Mr Amaral says. “She is a huge help.”
The 7ft tall booths, which were made by Mr Tatem, have a touch screen monitor that counts down to the moment photos are taken. The high-quality DSLR camera takes three photos, which are printed out on two-by-six-inch strips within 12 seconds of being taken. Photo studio-grade lighting enhances the quality of the photos, which are available in colour, black and white, or with retro or sepia effects. Photo strips can be customised — for example, with a company’s logo.
Additional photos can be printed on request, and high-resolution digital files are also available for purchase. A table of random props is available for use in the photos. Custom props are available to match an event’s theme.
Mr Amaral says a photo booth is available for events taking place indoors or outdoors. There is a booking minimum of two hours at a cost of $550.