fun booth

Highlights of 2014: Kate & Toby

Another great one from August last year! Kate and Toby had their wedding at Stoneleigh Abbey in Warwickshire. They live in Australia but because they’re both originally from the UK and they have family and friends here, they decided to tie the knot here too. I had a great time shooting this Bonkers Box, everyone was so lovely! Plus they had polaroids as well, which the guests wrote messages on for Kate and Toby to take home as a memento. It was awesome :-)

Check it out:

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Kathryn & Calvin (aka Kat & Giz)

Another fantastic bonkers box to share with you today! This one was at Compton Verney in Warwickshire, which turned out to be a great location for me as there was the perfect space between the main room and the bar for the Bonkers Box. Also I must say thank you to the staff there, who were really great and helped me loads with setting up. And oh my, what a crowd! Kat & Giz and co. were amazing, I have never taken so many photos in one shoot before! It was epic.

Kat and Giz provided loads of additional props for the booth as well, which you’ll see below. There was army gear, a Butlins jacket, a Can-Can dancer skirt, and loads of silly hats and wigs on top of all of mine. The results were pretty awesome! Check it out:

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Becky and Ian

I had a blast taking the Bonkers Box to Becky and Ian’s wedding back at the end of June. It was a great crowd – full of enthusiasm and silliness. And Becky and Ian themselves were such a fun couple to shoot! They really got into the spirit of things. In fact, I liked the images so much, I’ve used some of them for advertising.

My only regret was that by the time I arrived, their dog (a special guest at their wedding!) had gone to bed so I couldn’t get any shots of a dog in a feather boa. That would have been awesome! Check it out:

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4 Top Tips for Posing in a Fancy Dress Photo Booth

Another list! I looovvveee lists.

Anyway, here’s a handy guide to really making the most of a photo booth. Because just standing there and smiling is totally not acceptable these days.

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1. Choose your props wisely

Now, I don’t want to start off by being a party pooper, but sometimes less really is more. Keeping it simple in the props department is the key to photo booth success! You don’t have to pile on every prop you can find in order to make a photo hilarious or creative. You just need one or two props to rock the booth. Get creative with props too, try thinking of different uses for them. For example, the purple tutu doubles up as a headdress quite nicely!

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2. Don’t be afraid to go it alone

You don’t need all your friends and family with you in the booth at one time. My advice? No more than 5 people in a picture at one time. Better yet – go it alone! I love random shots of just one person. There’s more room to do the next tip on this list as well…

3. Throw some shapes

Yeah man! I’m talking silly faces and arms in the air like a loon. No more shots of people standing awkwardly side by side and smiling timidly. If you have a plastic gun, point it at someone! If you have a police baton, mime whacking it over someone’s head! If you wear an Elvis mask, I’ll be expecting some funky moves. Make the most of the space and get crazy!


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4. Have fun! Be silly

This is the only rule that matters. Let go! Get ridiculous! There is no place in the booth for self-consciousness. Just relax and have a good time.

NB. This may also be a suitable life motto.

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5 of The Most Frequently Asked Questions

I get asked questions on how the Bonkers Box works all the time. So if you’re curious about the finer details of the photo shoot, this post’s for you.

1. When is the best time to have the Bonkers Box at my wedding?

Every wedding is different, so whenever you think the bonkers box will fit into your day is totally your call. I’ll show up whenever you like! Having said that, 100% of the weddings I did last year opted to have the bonkers box in the evening, after the meal and speeches. I usually get into the swing of things around the time of the first dance. It’s a great way of getting people into the party mood before they head on over to the dance floor. The typical photo shoot lasts for about 2 hours between the hours of 7 and 11pm.

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2. Where should we have the bonkers box?

Ideally I like being situated as near to the action as possible so as to catch as many guests as possible! By the bar is usually a good shout ;-) Or by the dance floor, or in the room next door. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that my white backdrop is 8ft by 8ft so ideally I’d like a space this big to work in. 8ft might sound quite wide, but it’s a decent enough space to get those cracking group shots.

3. Can I bring my own props?

Yes! Of course you can. The more props the better! Especially if you’ve got a theme in mind. But if you’re thinking of buying special props maybe just check I haven’t got something similar first. I have loooaaadddss. I’m always keen to add to my stock too so if there’s something special you’d like that I reckon I’ll use in the future, I’ll throw it in for free. Within reason, of course, if you ask me to source a Faberge egg to pose with, I may have to charge a little extra!

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4. Is two hours enough time?

Two hours is a rough guide based on previous experience. Generally, after two hours most of the guests have had the chance to have a go in the photo booth. Sometimes this happens after an hour and a half. It doesn’t mean I have less photos, it just depends on the crowd as to whether there’s a steady stream of people or a mad dash. But I will stay for as long as it takes, and I’ll leave only when it’s clear no one else wants a photo. I’ll check in with you before I leave though.

5. When will I get my photos?

I will send you a disc of fully edited images within one month of your wedding (or party). If you have a wedding website with a photo gallery, I can also send you some compressed images for your guests to have a look at. Just let me know! I can also get high quality prints of all images if you or any of your guests would like them. I’m considering having an online gallery of my own for people to order prints from, but I’m afraid this hasn’t been done yet. Watch this space though!

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Family Holiday to Tuscany

Back in June, I went to Italy with my parents and sister and brother in law (Anna and Simon Clarke). We stayed in southern Tuscany in a house  three quarters of the way up a mountain taller than Snowdon. The house and its surroundings were breathtaking. The drive up to the house, however, was absolutely terrifying. Looking back on it now, it’s actually quite funny that we picked a holiday house so remote that the nearest shop was a 45minute drive round hairpin bends with 200ft drops to the side of them. At the time, I was horrified. The house itself was only accessible via a 2km dirt track which our Ford Focus hire car really struggled with.

Nevertheless the house was beautiful, with a gorgeous pool and great views and being so out in the sticks we saw so much crazy wildlife! There were scorpions, wild boar, giant lizards, fireflies and huge wasp/hornet things that sounded like lawn mowers. Apparently there are also porcupine and poisonous snakes in the area but we failed to see these. Bit glad about the latter.

The house we stayed in belongs to Kate and Andrew, a lovely English couple who were fantastic and very welcoming. The nearest town was Cortona, which was also lovely, a typical tuscan hill top town with picturesque streets and fantastic views over the region.

Despite the treacherous and vomit-inducing roads, we managed to make it out of the house for a day trips to Siena and Rome. We also went to Fattoria La Vialla for the day, an organic farm which produces a whole range of things: wine, olive oil, pasta sauces, biscuits etc. For 25 Euros you can have lunch there, a 4 hour, 5 course affair where everyone eats together under fig trees and is plied with food, wine, vin santo and grappa until they can hardly stand. It was fantastic. Most of my pictures from the week are from this one day!

Have a look…

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The house we stayed in near Cortona

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A view from the house

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Local wildlife

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Lunch at Fattoria La Vialla

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Three courses down, two to go!

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Under the fig trees

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Anna and Simon

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Standard holiday selfie

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A view from Siena

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Anna and Simon in Siena

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Pretty much the only photo I took in Rome! But it was raining heavily and heaving with tourists.

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