While Shannon Zirkle’s mobile photo booth is going places, she also has destination photography workshops coming up.
It’s too hot to muster up any semblance of energy. But when I step into the new Shannon Zirkle Photography studio on Pantheon Road, I’m swept up in a whirlwind of enthusiasm. While the 32-year-old owner-cum-photographer pulls out palm-sized photographs from a recent photo walk, her two young interns rush around setting up the new mobile photo booth that has become the talk of the town in the last couple of weeks—all while her calico kitten, Meep Meep, decides my leg is better used as a climbing pole. I’m there because during a conversation last week, for a story on a Cambodia photo diary, Zirkle had mentioned the photo booth. It takes us a few minutes, but we finally settle down for a quick chat on why photography is something I should seriously consider taking up this summer.
Zirkle, who worked as a photo journalist in the US, has been doing wedding and portrait photography in the city for the last couple of years. She also offers basic photography classes for adults. But now she wants to experiment with something different—destination photography workshops. “This will combine three of my passions: teaching, travelling and photography,” says the American, who’d toured South East Asia last year. “The idea is to spend four to five days in a place and have an immersive experience. In July, I’m planning a trip to Amsterdam, where we’ll explore the city while studying different concepts—from portraits and light paintings to sunsets in silhouettes,” she adds. She is also planning a workshop in Varanasi in November and another in Singapore early next year.
“It will also be a great learning experience of the local culture because we will go to villages, discover their arts and crafts, maybe dine with someone there or get ourselves invited to a wedding,” she smiles. Zirkle’s workshops for kids (six to 12 years) are also picking up in popularity. “I get them to draw a picture and teach compositions using that. We then go around the studio and click pictures of what they drew,” she shares, adding that she is planning a workshop for children and their parents, where they can learn together.
And if anyone’s interested, the airy studio can be rented for parties, too (Rs 18,000), and will come with access to the HappyBooth.
Photo booth packages from Rs 15,000 (inclusive of props and backdrop options). Destination workshops from Rs 35,000. Details: 9840835304 / firstname.lastname@example.org
The concept of photo booths is not new, but so far we’ve only tried the ones where a photographer clicks our picture. But Zirkle’s HappyBooth is completely automated. “What sets us apart is that ours is the city’s first mobile booth. We’ll come to you, wherever the party is,” she says, elaborating, “You can customise your frames (single shots to strips of four) or instantly share on Facebook and Instagram.” It’s also a great marketing tool, as it gives you the option to add logos to the customisable photo strips. A new concept she’s toying with: the hashtag photo booth. All you need to do is click a photo, upload it on Instagram with a special hashtag (created specifically for an event, like a wedding) and it will be printed out for you.
—Surya Praphulla Kumar