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Photo Booths and Me

As a kid the world seemed like such a fun place with very little to give me any serious worries. Of course as we grow older we start to find plenty of things to give us worries. Whether it be our health, finances, relationships or career there is a multitude of things that if you let them can make the world seem far less fun than it had when we viewed it through youthful eyes.

One of the most fun memories I can recall from my childhood in the 80’s involved a photo booth at the local shopping centre. The booth looked huge but most of that was the cabinetry hiding away the chemical printer. In reality it was only a small by todays standard one seater and my friend and I had to fight to get our heads in the shot but it was so much fun! The passing shoppers must have wondered what was going on inside that booth. Just two little kids having a blast without a care in the world nor an inkling that the outside world even knew they were in there as we were hidden by the tired old curtains. Ah, if only I could bottle that sense of youthful fun and carefree abandon we felt at the time!

As I head all too fast towards 40 I can look back at my career to date and see 4 main constants and they are all interlinked.

  1. Customer Service
  2. Travel
  3. Autonomy
  4. Photo Booths!

One thing I have always been good at is helping people so it was always a given I would be good at Customer Service based roles. I love the sense of satisfaction it gives when you help someone achieve a positive outcome. This saw me working in a variety of retail roles (department stores, mobile phones, travel agencies) as well as for a law firm and a business networking site. Many of the customer service roles weren’t so interesting to me. For instance I had no great love for mobile phones at the time (Nokia 5110’s and Philips Savvy’s weren’t half as fun as today’s mobiles) and would often take a job as it was available and I had bills to pay!

My first plane trip was at just a few months of age and by the time I was 10 I had already been on a dozen flights including one trip overseas. I especially loved flying solo on East West airlines down to Tasmania to visit my grandmother. It was such an adventure and I loved looking down on all the mini buildings and people like some intricate Lego display as we cruised over the world below. Since those early trips I have lost count how many trips I’ve made but needless to say it’s quite a lot but nowhere near enough!

In my early to mid 20’s I got my first of many travel agent gigs. Whilst travel and customer service was entirely the reason I decided to be a travel agent it quickly became apparent it was more about sales and meeting targets and reporting on KPIs than helping people and travelling. I did however really enjoy working autonomously within a team framework. I worked my way up to Team Leader/Store Management roles to make it more challenging (and more autonomous) but after a time I lost my early enthusiasm but I stuck it out for quite a while longer as once again the bills needed paying.

In my early 30’s I bought into a Photo Booth hire franchise and finally I was truly content with my career because for the first time all the stars aligned and I had everything I wanted in a job. I got to run my own show, help people by bring fun into their lives and travel all over the place delivering photo booths week in and week out and have fun doing it!

It was a sad day when the time came to sell that photo booth business but more about that another time….

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