Iris Booth, a Canadian-based photo booth allowing travelers to take, edit and download professional headshots, has opened its first Florida location at Jacksonville International Airport (JAX).
We had the opportunity to sit down with the creator of Iris Booth, Sue Siri, to find out what inspired her to create such a new and exciting concept.
Q: What gave you the idea for the professional headshot photo booth?
A: I was running a studio in Halifax and a big portion of my work at that time were high end corporate head shots, and I would charge $300-$500 for a head shot. I got a request from a local University and they needed 4000 grad photos. I remember thinking, there is no money in the world that would make that remotely appealing to me. But, at the same time, both of my children were at University, and I was doing a lot of head shots. Head shots have a sort of formula. There are best ways to take a good head shot. I joked at dinner one night that I was going to find an empty classroom at this University, put my camera on a tripod, set up my lights, and record my voice (I say the same thing over and over), and charge people $20 to come in the room to use my camera. So I thought, ‘Wait a minute, that’s a really good idea.’ Because I’m living with that demographic, and I understand what they like, and how they operate. At the same time, I would look at Instagram, and my daughter’s friends could take these absolutely stunning selfies. I thought ‘Why do I exist?’ These girls can take amazing photos of themselves! The quality of the image isn’t always where it needs to be, and they don’t always nail the lighting, but they know how to pose, and take their own photos. So I just put those two things together, to give the people what they wanted.
Q: What is your favorite feature in the booth?
A: Teeth whitening! It’s by far the most popular feature. I tried to put really exquisite lighting into the booth. I tried to use really good equipment in the booth. The user interface was designed and re-designed so many times, that I feel like it’s really tight. It’s almost like someone is in the booth helping you through the process. We developed and wrote all of the code for our own proprietary editing tools, which I’m really proud of. They mimic a cross between Instagram and Photoshop. So, by literally just swiping your finger, you have pearly white teeth. It is like magic. What’s really fun is that we use an algorithm that masks off everything other than your teeth, so you don’t even have to be that exact when you whiten your teeth.
Q: What is the process after you’ve taken you photo, and you’re happy with the finished product?
A: By the time you walk out of the booth, within about 30-60 seconds, you’ll receive an email on your phone with a thumbnail of the image that you edited, and a link to your online account. All of your photos are available online. You can edit them online. You can download them to your desktop, save them to your phone. They are high resolution files, so you can print them on a business card, or brochure. The copyright belongs to the user, so there are no restrictions whatsoever on what you can do with the images.
Q: What are other uses for the booth, if you don’t need a professional headshot?
A: We’ve seen it all! Dating sites…lots of dating sites! We’ve seen mother/daughter photos, mothers with their babies, girls-night-out, people with their dogs & cats, family photos. One of our busiest days to date was New Year’s Eve. Good hair days are good Iris days. You can be impulsive. You aren’t booking an appointment a week out, and you wake up in the morning with bad hair, or a zit. You can feel good, and just walk into the booth and use it whenever you want. You know, I built it with one idea in mind, but it’s really rewarding to see how other people interpret what I imaged it to be, and use it for their needs and wants.
Whether you or your business associates need a professional headshot, or you’re looking for a new LinkedIn profile picture, the Iris Booth gives you a quick, cost effective, and easy way to accomplish your end goal. Even if you just want to pass some time while waiting for your flight, the booth is a great spot for a travel inspired selfie.
You’ll find the Iris Booth, post-security at Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), right next to Vino Volo. The booth is sleek and appealing, and very user friendly. You enter the booth, use a large touch screen to enter your information, and get ready to snap your professional selfie. It is truly “the selfie reinvented”. The cost for a single headshot is $20, or six for $25.
JAX is extremely excited to offer Iris Booth to its travelers. Iris Booth just opened its first two airport locations in Jacksonville, FL and Minneapolis, MN, and plans to expand into many more airports in the coming months.
To learn more about Iris Booth, watch the video tutorial.