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March 4, 2014

Cut and Party with Cut + Paste

About the Author
Erica Minutella

See the exhibition here

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We can’t all be in that Ellen Degeneres selfie from the Oscars, but that doesn’t mean we can’t all take an epic party photo. With a bit of confetti, a fake mustache, and a unicorn head (yes, you read that right), the possibilities are endless.
Cut + Paste Photo Booth takes the traditional claustrophobic camera strip and rocks it like an Illuminati Ball, thanks to the use of outrageous props and an open air setup to pack in the people. They joined InLiquid for Benefit v.14 in February, splashing dressed-to-impress guests with backdrops of color. An interview with co-founder Christina Overbagh cuts into the inspiration behind it.
Can you give me a bit of background on how Cut + Paste started out? How did you come up with such a fun spin on event photos, and what process was involved in turning this dream into reality?
I actually started out under a different name with a different partner. We had two separate visions of how the business should be and parted ways, which ended up being for the best.
Cut + Paste was created from my own desire to design fun things and then to share and enjoy them with other people. I saw what other photo booth businesses were doing and wanted to show that it doesn’t have to be all feather boas and clown glasses. I love being there from start to finish, seeing how people interact with the props and backdrops I put together.
I also have to say that I couldn’t have done this without my partner James. We have collaborated on a lot of the components that make up our business and we work most of the events together.
Where do you get the inspiration for the props you use?
Everywhere – Pinterest, local stores and thrift shops, movies, music, and my family and friends. I grew up with a mom that was into going the extra mile for our parties and a family who liked to make each other laugh – I am definitely a product of my upbringing.
Do you think the interactive nature of your photo booth elevates it from memory capture to participatory artwork?
I don’t know if I would classify it as “artwork”, maybe just an opportunity to participate in something fun and interactive. Photo booths are very popular right now and everyone has their own spin on it. You can capture images from an event on your phone or through a professional photographer, but a photo booth is intended to be part of the party. It should be entertaining. Rather than just standing there and posing, with Cut + Paste you have the opportunity to turn into a character, fill your photo with confetti, write a message etc.
Do you have any event stories that really stick out?
Some of my favorite moments include people bringing their dogs in for a picture (we were at a black tie event and a couple had a dog that they wanted a photo with). As a bystander, it is fun to watch people push the envelope – whether it is by someone picking their girlfriend up and putting her in the air or an all male revue at the end of a wedding reception.
How do customers usually react to your finished product?
They laugh – you don’t realize how you really look until you see the photo printed out.
If you could pick three celebrities to snap in your photo booth, who would they be and why?
1) Our Bowie mask is pretty popular and I think it would be fun to have David himself make a guest appearance.
2) Pee Wee Herman – I feel like he would really use our props to their fullest potential.
3) Instead of a third celebrity, how about a cool animal like a cheetah?
What were your impressions of the crowd at Benefit v.14?
James and I had a blast at the Benefit. I love being a part of`art related events in Philadelphia because it is a guaranteed good time – people aren’t afraid to be themselves and let loose.
What were some of the most popular props that people chose at the benefit?
The confetti was definitely a favorite. Other props I saw pop up a lot included the Hooray megaphone, the glitter microphone, and the pink flamingo sunglasses.
Will you be participating in any events in the near future?
Yes! As far as public events, I will be at Art Star Craft Bazaar on May 10th and 11th. I will also be at Inliquid’s Art for the Cash Poor on June 14th and all proceeds from our booth will be going to Fresh Artists. If you are planning a wedding, you can also check us out at The Not Wedding at Power Plant Productions on July 9
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