Arts & Culture

Picture this: affordable professional headshots in a snap

"Iris Booth" makes its way to Dalhousie

written by Heather Aipperspach
September 16, 2016 8:15 pm

A Halifax-based photographer has designed and launched a user-friendly photo booth that allows individuals to take professional business headshots in under ten minutes.

Sue Siri, creator of the Iris Booth, has specialized in taking high-end business portraits for the past ten years, but she is now stepping aside to let her clients do the work for her.

For those looking to add some personal flare to their resume or LinkedIn profile while saving on hefty studio fees, the Iris Photo Booth is an ideal option.

Located in the basement of the Student Union Building at Dalhousie, the Iris Booth provides students with an interactive way to take their own professional headshots.

Each booth is equipped with a professional camera and lighting, but you don’t need to be a professional photographer to achieve high-quality results. Sue believes in making her photography accessible to as many people as possible.

“The accessibility of photography has exploded, so I decided to create something where it empowers people to take their own best picture,” she said.

The booth’s key features include a large touch screen with step-by-step instructions to guide users through the photo-taking process.

Students are able to create an Iris Booth account on the spot by providing their name, e-mail address, and a password. The booth even has tips on how pose for the most flattering results.

Unlike a traditional photo booth, the Iris Booth gives the user the option of when they would like to take a photo. A foot pedal on the floor activates the shutter which allows for a more natural pose than if there were a button in front of the user.

Each Iris Booth session allows for six photos to be taken. Once all six photos have been taken, the user is able to select one photo to edit on the spot. Some of the editing features include: teeth-whitening, blemish-fixing, and basic changes to lighting and colour.

There are currently two Iris Booths in Halifax and a handful more scattered across Toronto, but Siri plans to add to that number.

“The immediate goal is to put ten units in Toronto. We have a newer model that’s very slick and high-tech and it’s in Toronto right now. We are going to bring one of the new designs here to Halifax,” she said.

In her Halifax studio, Siri charges anywhere between $200-$500 per portrait session. The Iris Booth charges each user $20 if they decide to purchase their photo set. Additionally, 10% of gross revenue from the Iris Booth goes back to the Dalhousie Student Union and another 10% goes directly to a scholarship fund administered by the Student Union.

For Siri, her satisfaction doesn’t come from the money she makes in her downtown studio, but from the service she provides for people across Canada.

“I’m far more motivated just by the idea of success. Someone that I don’t know, who I’ve never, met goes in and uses an idea from my head. There’s a thrill for me that has no monetary value.”

Siri is currently working to bring her Iris Booths to other parts of Canada and eventually to the United States.

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