Reasons to smile: Fishfayce interview

Founder of Fishfayce, Zeina Abdalla.

Founder of Fishfayce, Zeina Abdalla.

When you hear the words ‘photo booth’, what do you think?

If your mind conjures up images of claustrophobic boxes which serve only to give forth stony-faced passport photographs, then you’re living in a bygone world.

The recent advancements in technology have helped photo booths to become so much more than photo booths. Digital, interactive photo and video options have developed the market beyond all recognition, and at the forefront of the modern photo booth movement in the region is fishfayce.

Founded by Zeina Abdalla, the photo and video solutions company has become the go-to place for party planners and event organisers looking to add a layer of interactive fun to their occasion, allowing people to star in their own photo shoot whether individually or in large groups.

Rather than coming out of an in-depth study of the market, key performance indicators, and likely trend, the concept was born much more organically.

Abdalla explains: “The idea was from my wedding. My husband and I wanted a fun photography idea that was interactive and captured all our guests – not just bride, groom, and their family.

“At a lot of wedding the guests get forgotten and we didn’t want that.

“So we put together an idea for an open photo booth where people could go and take photos in a fun and engaging way.”

It wasn’t until after the wedding that Abdalla recognised that she had a potential business on her hands, as friends asked to have the open booth at their own weddings and events.

“I realised there was something there,” she says.

“We looked for a similar thing in Dubai but there was nothing in the local market.

“There were photo booths but not open booths. It’s a more interactive idea – you can see what people are doing, and include lots of people in one go. But it wasn’t anywhere to be seen.”

Building the booths and the business from scratch with the help of her husband “and his techie friends”, Abdalla says they were able to design it exactly how they wanted, especially as there was no precedent to stick to.

“There weren’t any risks attached to it,” she says. “There was nothing else like it, so we had a fairly blank canvass. The worst that could happen would be that it didn’t work out.

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