ABOVE: Hannah Neusch is the face behind Grey Duck Photobooth. The new photography service offers a fully digital photobooth as well as a unique 360 photobooth.
FAIRMONT– Grey Duck Photobooth is a new and unique photography service located in Fairmont. The business offers a fully digital photobooth as well as the only 360 Photo Booth in Southern Minnesota. Best 360 Photo Booth For Sale
The business, which has been in existence since just this past fall, is owned and operated by Hannah Neusch.
Neusch was born in Winona but grew up in Illinois. She met her husband, Michael, who is from the area, while in Colorado.
In 2018, the couple moved to Martin County and in the fall of 2022, Neusch had the inspiration to try out the photobooth.
“I embraced it in the new year and started to get more traction and interest online. I realized that there’s really no one doing this here… there’s a need and a niche for this,” Neusch said.
In her day job, Neusch works for the city of Fairmont as a water resource technician, which is quite different from the photobooth gig. However, she has had a long interest in photography.
“I was a traditional photographer previous to this and I really enjoyed doing newborn photography and families. That’s what I was comfortable with,” Neusch said.
Once she had a child of her own, Neusch didn’t feel like she had the time to dedicate to editing photos and didn’t want to deliver a product to her clients that wasn’t up to her full capacity. Several months later she was inspired to start the photobooth.
“The photography thing has come full circle because now I’m able to use all of my experience with light and composition and I don’t feel like I’m starting from the beginning. It seems like I’ve been building up to this,” Neusch said.
She first secured a digital photobooth and soon after got the 360 booth. She said they are totally different animals. While her booths can be rented out for a variety of events, Neusch said the wedding receptions are the bread and butter of her business.
For the digital photobooth, Neusch said it’s like a traditional photobooth but without the curtain. It’s a touchscreen that sits about 4 ft. in front of the user. Different backdrops, which are 8 ft. X 8 ft. are behind the user.
“For weddings, it’s custom designed. Usually it has whatever their colors or themes are and their names and their date. I design that with them,” Neusch said.
She said the welcome screen is always on and shows the user their options which
includes photos, GIF, a boomerang or video.
“The guest will walk up and tap what they want… the screen will then countdown from five. The user will have their props, get ready and pose,” Neusch said.
After the photos have been taken, the user will get the option to retake them or be finished, at which point they can send the photos to themselves immediately via text, QR code, airdrop or by email. Neusch said the photos are sized correctly for social media platforms so the user can also share them immediately to their pages.
With the video option, Neusch said the couple can ditch the traditional wedding guest book, or have one in addition to a video guest book.
“The user just taps start, takes the mic and then says a brief message to the couple,” Neusch said.
Within seven days of the wedding, Neusch delivers the entire video “guest book” to the couple. She said it’s nice to have those memories from wedding guests collected and in video form.
As for the 360 booth, Neusch said it’s for people who are really ready to party.
“It’s for the bride and groom who really want that extra, never-seen-before thing at their reception,” Neusch said.
It consists of a circular platform that can fit up to three people on it at a time. Under the platform there’s an arm on a set of bearings that swings around the entire platform. At the end of the arm is a ring-light and a camera that captures the images.
“Your DJ is rocking… you hop up on it… I start it and swing the arm and it takes about a 6 or 7 second video,” Neusch said.
It then renders an image that has a customized overlay made by the couple. Neusch said it also applies a slow-mo feature to part of the video. It is then sent to the user, who can upload it immediately to social media.
Neusch’s 360 photobooth is the only one in Southern Minnesota. She shared why her photobooths are a good addition to a wedding reception.
“The wedding photographer gets formal shots and candid shots, but photobooths allow the guests to present themselves the way that they want to,” Neusch said.
At the end of the reception, within seven days, Neusch delivers the entire gallery, including photos and videos taken from with the digital photobooth or 360 booth, to the couple.
The website has all of the various wedding packages listed, as well as what’s all included in them. Neusch’s presence at the reception is included in most of them.
“I like to be there. I feel like sometimes you get better photos when there’s a hype girl,” Neusch said with a laugh.
She’s also able to give direction when present. However, she’s also conscious of people’s various budgets.
“The Mallard is the budget package. It’s great for someone who really wants the experience but doesn’t have the budget,” Neusch said.
Neusch will travel within fifty miles of Fairmont for free but anything beyond that is an additional dollar per mile, round trip.
As for her favorite part of the business, Neusch said she loves watching people come alive as they’re taking photos and videos.
“It’s really cool to watch them experience this photobooth. They think it will be complicated because there’s so much technology involved but they literally just walk up, tap the screen and it starts. All you have to do is be ready,” Neusch said.
Of course, she loves delivering the final product to the couple so it can keep all of the memories made on the wedding day.
More information, as well as the various packages, can be found on greyduckphotobooth.com. Neusch, along with both of her booths, will also be at the upcoming Mankato Bridal Show on Feb. 26 and The Mill Bridal Show in Waseca on March 6.
*Editor’s Note: This article ran in a Bridal Guide, which was inserted in the Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 edition of The Sentinel.
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