The Boothshakalaka Blog
Since this is the first post I guess we’ll start this story from the beginning. My name is Bryan Rupp and I’m the founder and creator of Boothshakalaka. I’ve worked as a professional photographer since 2006, and as I got further along into my career, I saw more and more photo booths popping up. I saw how fun they were, and since I was a photographer, I knew all of the concepts to make a photobooth work, and I had some extra equipment lying around that I knew would at least give me a start on the gear for a photobooth. A lot of the photobooths I saw coming onto the scene weren’t anything fancy, sometimes just a camera on a tripod with a printer, so I decided that I wanted to create something really unique, beautiful and high quality. If my clients were going to have my photobooth at their event, it had to add to the event with it’s looks and functionality.
So in winter 2013 I came up with the name Boothshakalaka, and set out to build a custom photobooth. At the time I was living in Portland, Oregon and I was photographing A LOT of weddings (30-40 per year), and I knew that the photobooth would be an easy add on for my clients, and it was.
Now I love building all sorts of things, but when it comes to finish carpentry, that’s going to be displayed in public, I decided I needed to bring in some outside help. Close friends of ours were the couple behind Ragsdale Design & Remodel, so I approached them with the project idea and they were really excited about it. Together, we started drawing up plans and Boothshakalaka came to life. The first version of Boothshakalaka was pretty massive, but it was beautiful. It was built out of bamboo and I loved that it was an all in one unit (everything was housed inside of the boxes), so the aesthetic was really awesome. Here’s a photo of it:
And here’s a detail shot on it:
There was a few problems with this design, the main thing being that it was so heavy to transport. I always had to find operators who were a). strong enough to carry these massive bamboo boxes and b) had an SUV or station wagon, because Boothshakalaka wouldn’t fit in any smaller vehicles. The other big problem was heat, the box held a lot of heat, I worked this out by adding vents, but I realized it’s better to not have that much equipment putting off heat packed inside a box.
Things were trucking along well with the first version of Boothshakalaka, but it just felt clunky to me. I had an operator drop one of the boxes in an elevator, the damage was pretty minor, but I realized that I needed to do a redesign, sooner than later.
So after three years of operating, I went back to Ragsdale Design & Remodel, and we drew up blueprints for the second version of Boothshakalaka. Our main focus was still creating something beautiful and functional, but this time we focused on keeping it small and nimble, I wanted it to fit in any car and to be able to be carried by any person.
Russ (with Ragsdale Design & Remodel) advised that we have a custom stand welded, and that we use maple for the wooden part of the box. I had never had anything welded before, and I enjoyed the process of working with Jay at Jay’s Custom Fabrication in Newberg Oregon, and realizing that you can just have someone weld anything you want and it’s not all that expensive.
The second version of Boothshakalaka came out beautiful and more functional than the first version, which was exactly what I wanted. It even easily fit in a Toyota Corolla, which is not a large car by any means. For the next three years, until 2019, I had an awesome team operating Boothshakalaka in Portland, and in 2017 I moved my family to Boise, Idaho. Here’s a photo of Boothshakalaka version two.
In 2019 I finally decided it was time to bring Boothshakalaka to Boise, Idaho and that I’d rebuild the business here, in the city my family and I love and call home. I made the trek to Portland and picked up Boothshakalaka and brought it back to Boise. I was excited to debut Boothshakalaka in Boise, and one of the first things I did was donate it to an event for a good cause, a fundraising dinner for Giraffe Laugh.
People had an absolute blast, and I was enjoying having Boothshakalaka back in the same city with me. Bookings started to come in slowly as I spread the word about having a photobooth in Boise, and then of course in spring of 2020 Covid hit and brought everything event related to a standstill. The few events I had booked for 2020 were postponed, and Boothshakalaka sat unused for the entirety of 2020.
Things started to pick up again in 2021, we worked with Totally Boise for an event and they did a write up for us on their blog here. Since 2021 things have continued to steadily pick up for Boothshakalaka and I trust that they’ll continue to. At the heart of Boothshakalaka will always be relationships and a unique experience. In this digital world, I think there’s something powerful about giving people a physical print of them and the people they love, and I watch this happen at every event that Boothshakalaka is at in Boise.
Boothshakalaka is available for hire for all types of events in Boise, Idaho. We do weddings. corporate events, birthday party’s, retirement parties, and anything else you can think of. Contact me at email@example.com or text or call me at 9702167858 to see if Boothshakalaka is available for your event.