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Photo Experiences With Say Fromage

TOAST.Life gets snap happy with Say Fromage

Everybody say cheeeese! Or I should say - Say Fromage – as they are the masters of interactive and completely brilliant photographic experiences. TOAST.Life chats to founder and creative director Oliver Reed to learn how it all began, what’s hot and what’s next, plus his top tips on how to choose the right photographic experience for you. He basically invented the photo booth, by the way.



Guys, I’ve got news. It’s 2018 and it’s time to seriously up our game when it comes photographic fun at events. Forget bog standard photo booths and get rid of that basket of tired, tacky old props – it’s time for snazzy GIF booths, state-of-the-art bullet time and leaf blowers. Yes, leaf blowers. Let me introduce you to Say Fromage – the leading experts in unforgettable, cutting edge, snap happy experiences.

“You could argue that having any photo taken is ‘an experience’, that’s one of the key things I learnt on my degree - how the act of how a photograph is taken or created has a dramatic effect on the outcome of the image, and also on the experience of the subject being photographed” explains Oliver Reed, founder and creative director of Say Fromage.

“To put it into plain English – at Say Fromage  we conceptualise, design and build a set way of how an image will be created. Obviously there are endless possibilities! But in the end the experience of the person using what we create is the most important aspect - we want it to be simple, exciting, easy to use and most importantly easy to interact with and see their final image” he adds.

“Also I think standard photo booths still have their place at weddings and parties! It’s only a bit of fun isn’t it?! They allow people to escape, so I hope they continue…”

Oliver Reed Outnet Say Fromage

Say Fromage was born in 2007 – Oliver had been working in event photography whilst also studying for a degree in Photography at LCC UAL (The London College of Communication at University of the Arts London). He describes this moment of his life as the time when digital cameras had ‘just gone mainstream’, and so the novelty of seeing an image of yourself just moments after it had been taken was still fresh and exciting.

“People wanted to see their pictures immediately and so I would spend ages flicking through the shots I had just taken” he explains.

“So I came up with the idea of making a photo booth specifically for events. From my research this hadn’t been done before, so I built a prototype for £250 and tested it at a friend’s party. Soon friends of friends were calling me to have it at their events, and things just snowballed from there....” 

So it seems that Oliver basically invented the much loved and completely brilliant photo booth phenomena and is singularly responsible for the creation and preservation of many happy and often hazy party memories, and so it only makes sense that now, over 10 years later, Oliver and his team are still the very forefront of photographic experience innovation. From enticing GIF booths to mind boggling multi camera setups, Say Fromage had their finger firmly on the technical pulse.  

“We’re always researching, experimenting and working with new ways of creating imagery. Photographic technology is developing at an increasing rate more than ever, so there’s always something new to explore” Oliver explains. 

“We normally look at a new piece of technology that might not have been used in our industry yet and have a play with it, and see what kind of images can be created with it. At the moment GIF booths and multi camera setups are very popular, and we’ve also just developed a VR photo booth which is very unique!” 

Custom Built Creative Booth For Synergy Global At The Xfactor

(Custom creative experience for Synergy Global and Just Eat)

A GIF Booth, in case you were wondering, is basically an animated photo booth. It takes multiple pictures (from 4 to 10) in quick succession and then combines them into a GIF, so there is movement in the image – ‘that’s the fun bit’, Oliver explains.

“People can make up all sorts of animations! They are small stories in a way, that’s why people love them!” he smiles.

Multi camera photography or ‘bullet time’ (as it is known in the film industry) works by having anything between 10 and a whopping 100 cameras all taking the same picture but from different angles; the pictures are then animated together like a GIF which produces what looks like a fun and futuristic 3D photograph.

“It was made famous in the film the Matrix  - the Neo and Agent Smith fight scene!” Oliver enthuses. “It is not simple to produce though – it takes a lot of tech and knowledge…”

Bullet Photography Say Fromage  (1)

Bullet Time Say Fromage

Tech and knowledge is undoubtedly something that Say Fromage have in bucket loads, but their expertise does end there, oh no. They also design the overall experience i.e. all the things that happen before, after, and surrounding the tech. For example, THE OUTNET were recently in need of a lavish photographic experience for their VIP guests attending several festive events in London and New York, and so Say Fromage  designed a unique bullet time experience complete with a swishy monochrome balloon wall background and plenty of confetti, capturing the spirit and sparkle of the holiday season.

For a recent Clinque Crayola event, they developed a photo booth experience where, instead of a standard photograph, a colouring-in style image was printed, allowing the subject to colour in their own portrait using the crayons provided.

Crayola Booth

Clinique Crayola

(Clinique Crayola Booth)

Say Fromage The Outnet

(The Outnet above, Dyson pictured below)

Dyson Timelapse Beauty Mirror

“We also worked with Dyson recently to help promote their new hairdryer - we created a time-lapse beauty mirror for people to have their hair styled in front of. It created a ‘before and after’ time-lapse video that people could share. Dyson were really supportive of allowing us to develop our ideas, which was great!” Oliver explains.

“When it comes to inspiration I think having a broad interest in many things always helps, whether it’s high art or social media – there’s often something that can spark an idea! And, like everyone, it’s just about keeping your ear to the ground and constantly scanning those websites, blogs and Instagram accounts - you soon start to see a pattern before a trend appears!”

Bullettimephotobooth Say Fromage

You And Me Booth Say Fromage

Just a few of Say Fromage’s other clients include Vogue, Panasonic, Burberry, Spotify, Urban Decay, Perrier,  Nike  and more – I ask Oliver what it takes to be the go-to photographic Gods tasked with the all important responsibility of not just entertaining guests, but creating a keepsake of the night, digital or otherwise?

“Well we had our 10th birthday in August so I think having been around for 10 years helps. A lot of our work comes from word of mouth. We’re a relatively small team so we try and provide a very personal service to our clients – we’ve worked with many of them for years so a trust is built...” he explains produly.

“And we work hard and we really care about what we do - so I am sure that helps too!”

Say Fromage have recently restructured the company enabling them to focus on their bespoke work, so rather than offering off the shelf products alone, they can now deliver a personalised service for every client. Just a quick scan of their website provides a multitude of entertaining examples of their ingenious work including my personal favourite - the ‘Leaf Blower Portraits’, developed for the ultra hip launch of Converse's newest shoe. The results, needless to say, are hilarious, and took social media by storm. And so I wonder, in this digital age of Instagram, smart phones and GIFs - are physical photographs still an on-trend memento of a good night, or is it now more about what can be downloaded, saved, and instantly shared?

“A photographic print has always been special – it’s a tangible object that people can cherish. The printing paper we use will last at least 45 years so it’s the complete opposite to a shared image, which is designed to be ephemeral. I think they compliment each other really!” Oliver explains.

“As for the future, I think the incorporation of virtual reality and augmented reality are waiting to be utilised...we are certainly playing with them both!”

Leaf Blower

SAY FROMAGE’S TOP TIPS ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT
PHOTOGRAPHIC EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR NEXT EVENT

  • Budget: Work out your budget first as that will help us give realistic solutions

  • Space: Work out how much space you actually have so we know what the restrictions are

  • What's Your Aim? Figure out what you want to achieve from the experience; is it the spectacle you want, the sharing numbers, or do you want to use the images for something post event?

  • Draft A Brief: Write a clear simple brief of what you want to achieve

  • Creative License: Give us some creative license and trust, this is what we do every day and have done for the last 10 years!


For more inspiration and details on Say Fromage, check out their page in our Little Black Book. 

 
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