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Local Couple Grew Successful Photo Booth Company from Home

Rock the Booth came out of Tyson and Mara Navarre's frustration when trying to find an affordable photo both for their wedding.

Rock the Booth, started and owned by husband-and-wife team Tyson and Mara Navarre, is a Michigan-based company that provides high-tech photo booths for clients to use at weddings, birthday parties, corporate events and more.

"The software we have is different," said Tyson Navarre, 33, of Westland. "We have the capability of doing almost anything you can think of."

He said clients can select from a variety of print-outs, props, add logos and, often for corporate events, brand the photo booth from the inside and out. Using the touch screen photo booth is simple, and the booth will take four photos that will be ready in about 30 seconds, according to Rock the Booth's website

The Navarre couple purchased software for the photo booth and Tyson, an IT professional and entrepreneur, customized the features. Features include a green screen, the option to email photos after they're taken and a music video slide show. 

An Idea for Their Wedding

The Navarre couple searched for an affordable, quality photo booth to have at their wedding in 2008 but weren't satisfied. They then had the idea to build their own.

"We built our first photo booth for our own wedding," said Mara Navarre, 30, of Westland. "A lot of the electronic and computer parts, Tyson used from things we had laying around."

She said they began selling right away.

"Initially we were just going to make back some of the money that we spent making it for ourselves. But word spread from there," she said.

Because people in the wedding industry book months in advance, the Navarre couple had plenty of clients.

"Two or three months after our wedding we realized that we needed to establish a company for this," she said.

In January 2009, Rock the Booth, based in Westland, was established as an LLC. 

"We used to run it out of our home," she said. "We used to do demos in our living room. It helped us keep costs low in the beginning."

Mara Navarre said the design changed to make the booths more transportable. They are manufactured by another company but the couple still handles all of the technology, she said.

Rates and Packages

"We may not be the least expensive, but we think we're the best value," she said. "We've tried to stay as affordable as we can."

Rock the Booth rental packages range from $500 to $800. Rock the Booth also offers special rates for charities and has worked with the American Heart Association, St. John Providence Health Foundation, Athletes Adopting Families on THAW, Ronald McDonald House, Forgotten Harvest and more.

Tyson Navarre said they do plan to grow the business, including in areas like corporate events and advertising. 

"The wedding business is the butter for our bread right now," he said. "But we need to service our other clients more efficiently than we do today."

He said he is proud that they, as small business owners, started their business in the metro Detroit area, a place he said has a lot of drive.  

Rebecca Stojcevski January 16, 2013 at 05:38 PM
We rented one for our family reunion last year. People loved it!
Tyler Stintson January 18, 2013 at 07:09 AM
Renting out photo booth is indeed a great idea.But the problem that arises with the rentals is that in most cases the photo booth doesn't come up to your expectation.We always feel that if certain features had been tweaked,it could have been even better.Rarely does one come across such entrepreneurs like Tyson and Mara.I wish them all the best for all future ventures. http://www.creativeeventservices.com/photos.html
Amanda Williams January 19, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Mara and Tyson have changed my view about photo booths being a fad. Their dedication to ethics, customer service and quality is unsurpassed. As a business owner myself, I know the importance of excellent people skills- and these two are excellent in this area. Rock the Booth is great value for the money, and I'm lucky to call Mara and Tyson friends of mine.
Tom Stubbs June 11, 2014 at 12:49 PM
I rented a photo booth for my daughters birthday party and it was such a big hit. The little girls loved seeing themselves all dressed up and cute for the pictures. I don't know how many pictures we took, but it was such a fun night. The pictures were perfect as part of their party favor gifts. So much fun! Tom Stubbs | http://flipnamazing.com/locations/las-cruces/

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