I never thought in a million years I would buy a photo booth. After 15 years in the therapy business, I prided myself as an intellectual, insight orientated person. I valued the personal journey inside people’s stories and pain. It wasn’t until I started dabbling in laughter yoga that I learned about the sheer power of laughter. I attended many laughter yoga sessions, crying in fits of laughter and feeling like a weight had lifted off my shoulders.
My journey into buying a photo booth is weird. One day I met someone who had one and the next day I bought one myself from Strike a Pose photo booths in Madison, Wisconsin. It was as simple as that. I didn’t even know what I was getting myself into. I just did it. My husband supported me for some strange reason and we were on our way. After meeting the people at Strike a pose I knew that perhaps God was watching out for me because I just loved all of them.
Ok, so now I give my impressions of this magical tent from a therapist’s perspective. You cannot underestimate the power of play to soar someone into the joyaphere immediately. Adults simply do not get to play as much as they want. The minute they see my props on the table or my hat rack filled with ridiculous hats, they start allowing themselves to smile and giggle. Yes, they giggle. You can almost see the moment they give themselves permission to let go. As the hot dog hat and glasses go on, the fits of laughter take over. By the third shot in the booth they are hysterical. Grandmas go in the grandkids, parents embrace teenagers with awkward signs that say “party animals”, fighting siblings hug each other in the love tent. Families pile in to get the Christmas card photo that seems almost irreverent and slightly over the edge. What is going on? In the tent, people become children at heart. Filled with props, signs and glasses, they are the divas, queens, pirates, clowns and cool dudes they have secretly always wanted to be. Escaping their realities for just 1 minute of their lives and for free? What could be better!
As a business owner and therapist, I see the value of sharing this fun with the larger community. Once a month I want to donate my booth to a worthy cause or fundraiser. It‘s purely for selfish reasons. I’m no saint. It’s part advertising and part needing to be a better humanitarian. I’ve always wanted to have something to give to my community that is of value. Believe it or not, I’ve finally found it! So, I have started the ALL SMILES CAMPAIGN. Sending out joy and spreading laughter is our mission. We donate three hours of booth time to fund raisers and causes we believe in. It’s that simple.
We at ALL SMILES PHOTO BOOTHS desire to be a small business with a big heart. We realize the industry is very competitive and you have many choices . I guess I’ve never really been that competitive. I’ve always seen myself more as the girl in the photo booth with the hat on that says “free hugs” and of course the “party animal” sign.
Jen Gori owns ALL SMILES PHOTO BOOTHS in Woodbury, MN. 651-398-2143.