Interviewed by: Amber Bushman
The Booth Bus puts a modern-twist on the fun, photo booth concept many of us are familiar with. The Booth Bus, a vintage Volkswagen bus transformed into a state of the art photo booth, is a one-of-a-kind experience that brings pictures to the people! We interviewed founder and CEO Anthony Alcala to find out all about the creation behind “Northern California’s Most Charming Vintage Volkswagen Photo Booth.”
Amber: For people who are unfamiliar with The Booth Bus, what is it?
Anthony: The Booth Bus is a one-of-a-kind Volkswagen bus custom converted into a high-end photo booth. The bus is a charming 1970 Westfalia and our photo booth is as high quality and modern as it gets. We Bring Pictures to the People and are available for rent and a guaranteed hit for any occasion.
Amber: When did you start The Booth Bus?
Anthony: The Booth Bus was launched on July 4th of last year. We titled the event The Booth Bus Liberation Party. The unveiling was a surprise for all of our family and friends during our annual neighborhood block party. It was magical to see all of it come together under the sparkling lights of fireworks overhead. The response was so overwhelmingly and positive; we decided to run full speed with the idea.
Amber: How did you go about starting your company once you came across the idea?
Anthony: My wife and I created The Booth Bus from the ground-up. Since it’s truly one-of-a-kind, the creation required endless hours of brainstorming sessions accompanied with trial and error. Achieving high quality has always been our guiding principal. Throughout the bus restoration and building the booth itself, we preserved the original charm of the vehicle while adding a top-of-the-line photography package inside. It’s the perfect fusion of vintage and modern. Our photo booth is a unique memory creator and bridges connections across generations with silliness and laughter. We call it “Achieving Busography” , which is the art of mixing photography with the charm of a VW bus.
Amber: Who or what influenced you to create The Booth Bus?
Anthony: The idea came to us on a road trip up the California Coast (in the bus!). We were in the right lane, of course, and just dreaming out loud together. We talked about building a business that encompassed the pursuit of fun, slowing-down, lightheartedness, and creativity. The idea of a photo booth just popped into my mind and as we talked about it more and more, it became an idea we got really excited about. Volkswagen buses and photo booths have a lot in common. They are storytellers, smile-makers, and catalysts for laughter, silliness and good times. My wife and I love photography. We seek adventure and are drawn to artistic ventures. Creating a Volkswagen bus photo booth brought all our interests, passions, and values together in one place.
Amber: Tell us about the making of the actual bus.
Anthony: Our Volkswagen bus is a 1970 Westfalia camper van. Her name is Georgia and she’s stocked with an aircooled 1600cc engine. She has no radiator. Only the air passing by cools her down. Georgia is a slow moving lady. She lives in the right lane of any highway. Driving her is a reminder that it’s all about the journey, not the destination. When we slow it down, life becomes simpler, easier to enjoy the small things, and be happy. We call this “Life In The Right Lane.”
Amber: What do you attribute to the success of your company?
Anthony: The success of our company has been the pairings of vintage VW charm with high quality photography and a strong design aesthetic. The Volkswagen element attracts all ages from young and old. Our uniqueness intrigues our guests and sparks their interest to try our booth, but it’s the high quality experience and beautiful imagery that keep our guests coming back for more. Event planners regularly tell us how impressed they are with the overwhelming excitement their guests have for our photo booth.
Amber: Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?
Anthony: Absolutely! My wife and I love being business owners and find entrepreneurship very fascinating. We grew roots in business ownership by managing our own photography production company for the past 7 years. My wife is also a professional lifestyle, kids, and beauty photographer. It’s safe to say we dig photography and are passionate for bringing our creations to life.
Amber: What are some highlights from over the years?
Anthony: First and foremost, we have had super happy customers for every event attended. We’ve been honorably noted in a few magazine publications and most recently listed by Wedding Chicks as the “coolest photo booth on the market.” We’ve been featured as a Google small business. But mostly, the feedback and positivity we have received…we’ve been showered with joy and smiles and it’s been the most wonderful thing.
Amber: What kind of experience can people expect in The Booth Bus?
Anthony: You can expect to have an awesome time with The Booth Bus. We provide all the necessary mixings for your party. Just grab a prop and a friend (or a few), step on in (watch your noggin!), and select an array of vintage filters and customizable backgrounds. Then push the start button and smile for the camera. Within seconds, grab the duplicate 2” x 6” classic filmstrips that print on the spot and share your pics with friends who missed the party via our social media kiosk. Our exclusive social media feature allows you to Facebook, Text, Email, and Tweet your heart-out.
Amber: What type of event do most people use The Booth Bus for? Or is it a variety?
Anthony: The Booth Bus is a guaranteed crowd pleaser for any occasion. Currently the majority of our bookings are for wedding receptions and corporate events. We’re also scheduled to be on the show room floor for a few upcoming technology conferences. The beauty of The Booth Bus is that it not only provides endless entertainment but it also serves as a design piece for any event. When Georgia is all dressed up with the lights and all the fixings, it is a beautiful sight. She becomes a living piece of the venue’s décor.
Amber: If you could describe The Booth Bus in one word, what would it be?
Amber: What’s next for The Booth Bus?
Anthony: We have big things on the horizon. We’re currently working on acquiring a second bus and expanding our reach to a larger geographic market. Another goal is to become contributing members to our local community through partnerships, collaborations, and donations. We’d like to give back as much as we can. Finally, we are excited about all the beautiful parties we get to attend this year. Georgia is booked solid throughout 2015 so expect to see her charming crowds all over Northern California!
To learn more about Georgia and The Booth Bus experience, visit www.theboothbus.com.