Raising children in the digital age takes a lot of creativity and flexibility. Being there to support them as they grow into responsible adults and help them as they plan for their future is typically hard work. Consider a not-so-typical situation where you’re raising a child with special needs. These teen years require even more flexibility and creative planning for the future. Especially as your child approaches their senior year of high school and you both start asking, “What’s next?”
This scenario is familiar for 3 Dudes Photobooth founders, Iris Adayan and Brandon Zamora-Adayan. We recently had the chance to discuss the inception of their family-owned business and to learn the deeper reasons behind their ultra-fun and wildly successful photobooth operation, 3DudesPhotoBooth.us. Iris explains that their journey into small business began with their son, Brandon, who is autistic, and was approaching his senior year of high school. They had begun considering employment as a way to learn responsibility. Brandon had suggested getting a job at the local mall but both mom and dad were concerned about the possibility of someone taking advantage of him, and also wanted him to have a job he could enjoy and be proud of.
Both parents had to get creative:
“We kind of thought we could just start a business for him. Something we could take part in and would teach him, guide him and get him to learn different work ethics." -Iris Adayan.
There are many options out there for first time workers but none of them seemed right until they considered the photobooths they had noticed popping up at local parties. So the idea came and they put their creativity to work.
You’re likely aware of the photobooth phenomena and its popularity at almost every social event in the USA. If you’re not, the effect is similar to the booths you and your BFF’s would pile into at the mall or at the county fair and take 4 silly quick pictures. You would then stand outside the booth and wait three minutes for a machine to drop out the most awesome set of images you ever laid your eyes on. Instant photos and instant fun.
3 Dudes Photobooth is an authentic family-run business comprised of Brandon, his father, and his uncle. If you call or email them, you’ll almost always speak with Iris and not a machine or auto-responder. Technology makes the photobooth possible by providing the same instant photoshoot but in more customized fashion. But the photobooth experience isn’t just about the pictures. There’s a lot to capturing the moment that goes on behind the scenes.
When you’re in the business of being the life of the party, you’ve got to give the customers what they want, and when it comes to photobooths, that means backdrops and props! Iris has a sewing machine and has even created some of her own sequins backdrops for parties, weddings and corporate events. And they’re always adding to their inventory to keep up with trends, like their recent purchase of flower backdrops you can preview on their website.
Brandon’s expertise in finding props makes 3 Dudes Photobooth stand apart. She and Brandon scour the stores to find the best props and this really pays off and makes their service stand apart from the competition.
“Every time we go to an event, everyone tells us that this is the best selection of props they’ve seen. And when we looked at other businesses, they charged for more props. I’m super proud of Brandon and the way he cares about finding his selection of good props.” -Iris Adayan
When it came to representing their business online, Iris knew she wanted a professional looking website for their company. Further explaining, “You don’t really see us in person until the day of the event, so our website was going to be our most front-facing thing for our customer,” and the completed website is welcoming and offers the best representation of the backdrops and sample photobooth templates and pictures.
“We went with.US because it’s more of a family company vs a .com which is more about business and higher up companies and corporations. But we’re not a higher up company we’re a family company.” Mom puts it best - Iris says, “...because the business is “us”.
We like that explanation a lot!
Meet the 3 Dudes Team: