This is what was going through my head as I was trying to sleep Saturday night. The Photobooth had it's big night out Saturday, the first event for a paying client, and I found out quickly that things don't always go to plan, even if you think you have every detail covered!
Saturday started out like a normal Saturday, and after some morning errands, I headed back home to get things ready for that night. After some quick assembly of a hand cart, I went to my desktop computer and emailed the files for the starting screen of the booth, and the printed strips (as seen to the right with the bride and groom). I tried to save myself a few steps in the download process and clicked right on the thumbnails of the images, hit "Save As," and put them on the desktop of my laptop computer that runs the booth. Those of you that are computer savvy know what's coming, but, for the rest, more on that later; I had the files ready and in place, and it was time to start packing up the YAW-Mobile. I had a bit of help from Mrs. Art Works before she had to leave, and I got the rest of it loaded in no time. So far, so good.
I cleaned up, grabbed some snacks, and headed down to the Athenaeum. Unloading the booth brought frustration #1: without being able to get the YAW-Mobile any closer, and without a good way to cart the booth around (my quick, cheap cart from Home Depot was inadequate to say the least), I struggled mightily to get the booth where it needed to go. Most of the smaller pieces were OK, but the bigger ones were a hassle, moreso in the breezy conditions downtown, where they acted like sails. Solution #1: Get a better cart, dummy. (I did look around, but expected to be able to find what I needed at a home improvement store. I did, but they all seemed to be "online specials." Obvious note to self: Don't wait so long next time!)
Frustration #2 came in a slight design flaw. The original design of the booth was taller than the end result, and I was too hasty to remember to redesign the space that holds the touchscreen monitor. This is only a problem when I keep my checklist in my head and forget to consult the silly list after every step! Having put everything together, I went to start the booth, and realized I hadn't turned the touchscreen monitor on. Uh-oh. With the help of my cousin who was at the wedding, I didn't have to take the whole booth apart, but it was close.
Even with my cousin's help, I wasn't ready to go when I was supposed to be (frustration #3). And, once I got the booth software running, I found out why you're not supposed to just right-click and save the thumbnails in the body of GMail: That's all you're saving is the thumbnail (gee, how could I miss that?!). (Frustration #4)
"Well, crap," is the nice way of putting what was going through my mind by this point. Fear not, however, "Technology will save me!" Once dinner started, my cousin, to the rescue again, started a new-found mobile hot-spot app, and I was off to the races downloading the proper templates.
From that moment on, the night went exactly to plan; the booth ran perfectly (with one quick time out for an overheating issue), everyone was having a blast, and, as always, time flew by as everyone was having a great time! Tear down and load-out were non-issues, as I was able to use the freight elevator and a big cart from the Athenaeum to get everything out within two trips.
Getting home that night and starting to get everything uploaded, I was reminded why I do this: The happy faces of people just having some fun. The Photobooth is perfectly designed to capture this, and I can't wait for the next time out!
Oh, and if you're ever at the Athenaeum's parking garage, it's tighter than you think. Swing wide, and make sure you have some clearance as you enter the garage...
To Molly and Adam: Thank you for the awesome party, I'm glad I could be a part of it! Congratulations, and may you live happily ever after!