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Flash from the past

At one point, photo booths were fairly common in five-and-dime stores and amusement parks. While the booths have disappeared from many of those venues, they're resurfacing in an unlikely place - wedding receptions. Inspired by a trend they notice...

Annie Perrin

At one point, photo booths were fairly common in five-and-dime stores and amusement parks.

While the booths have disappeared from many of those venues, they're resurfacing in an unlikely place - wedding receptions.

Inspired by a trend they noticed in the Twin Cities, Tim and Tammy Smith - owners of By Request DJ Co. in Dilworth - recently built a photo booth.

Because they made it themselves, with the help of a neighbor who is a welder, the booth is larger than a traditional photo booth. It can hold up to nine people and is wheelchair-accessible.

The booth, which uses a digital photo printer, is made of shiny aluminum floor plate and the velvet curtain is interchangeable.

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"It's not just a black box that says photo booth on it that's kind of ugly," Tammy Smith said. "We've made it so that it's elegant, classy and pretty."

The booth recently debuted at a Dilworth Loco Lions dinner. It was such a hit that community members are thinking about renting it for post-prom, said Diane Hauglid of Dilworth.

"It's just as I remember the old photo booths in the malls," Hauglid said. "You try to make faces and hold rabbit's ears up behind people's heads. You just hear everybody laughing in there and the curtain's shut so you can't see, but you just know it's fun."

The booth was also part of the Fargo Playmakers Halloween bash.

"Everyone who's been in it, you can hear them laughing," Tammy Smith said. "It's been received well."

The booth is used at wedding receptions for its entertainment value and as an accompaniment to the guest book, she said. A copy of guests' photos is attached to the guest book along with their written messages.

The photos can be immediately posted in an online album if Internet access is available.

"Before your photo strip even prints, you could be online viewing the pictures," Tim Smith said.

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By Request DJ Co. also provides props such as crazy hats for the photos if requested.

"It's one of those unique things," Tammy Smith said. "It's intriguing. It's just kind of fun. It's nostalgic."

The photo booth can be booked by itself or in a package with the DJ service. It rents for about $600 to $700 for four to five hours, depending on the date. By Request DJ Co. is willing to travel 300 miles for an event.

"It's a nice wedding trend," Tammy Smith said. "It's something that can make any wedding event just a little more fun."

Business profile

By Request DJ Co.

- Locations: 900 W. Highway 10, Dilworth

- Ownership: Tim and Tammy Smith

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- Contact info: (218) 359-3535

- Web sites: www.byrequest.dj www.fargophotobooth.com

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526

Flash from the past Tracy Frank 20071102

Annie Perrin

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