Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Little Green Booth that snaps big parties around Wilmington

A 1969 VW bus and a twist of fate have brought Wilmington its first mobile photo booth

Jason Ward has renovated a '69 Volkswagen bus into 'Wilmington's first photo bus,' the Little Green Booth. (Port City Daily photo /JOHANNA FEREBEE)
Jason Ward has renovated a ’69 Volkswagen bus into ‘Wilmington’s first photo bus,’ the Little Green Booth. (Port City Daily photo / JOHANNA FEREBEE)

CAROLINA BEACH — Jason Ward has transformed his hobby of collecting old Volkswagens into a bonafide business on wheels.

In the Little Green Booth, partygoers can pile in, throw on a goofy prop, and have printed out 2-by-6 or 2-by-4 photo strips within seconds.

Along with fiancé Rita Poole, Ward tricked out a ’69 Volkswagen bus into a mobile photo booth that has been rolling onto the Wilmington wedding and events scene.

‘Wilmington’s first photo bus’

Ward fused his background in photography, his knack for collecting old Volkswagens and ingenuity to bring the Wilmington area its first photo bus.

“It sat in Calabash for years with no engine,” Ward said of the bus, that had been used as a sitting advertisement for Life is Good.

I have a picture of me standing in front of this bus, 5-6 years ago,” Ward said. “I had no idea I’d own that bus.”

At the time, Ward saw its condition, and thought, “Poor bus, that’s going to end up in the junkyard.”

In the Little Green Booth, partygoers can pile in, throw on a goofy prop, and have printed out 2 by 6 or 2 by 4 photo strips within seconds. (Port City Daily photo /JOHANNA FEREBEE)
In the Little Green Booth, partygoers can pile in, throw on a goofy prop, and have printed out 2 by 6 or 2 by 4 photo strips within seconds. (Port City Daily photo / JOHANNA FEREBEE)

Years later, he noticed it sitting in a car shop on Market Street. He traded in an old Volkswagen that had been giving him trouble to reunite with the fateful jalopy.

Bus for a bus, the Little Green Booth is close to permitting Ward to transition away from his full-time gig to one where he man the wheels for a living.

On one of the back windows, Ward even kept one of the original Life is Good flower decals in the final design of the booth.

“It found me. I feel like,” he said.

Motion picture

“It was completely rusty,” Ward said. “I did all the interior, the paint job, the bodywork.”

“I came up with the name,” Poole said.

The Little Green Booth is rigged with a professional ring light, that helps partygoers look their best. (Port City Daily photo /JOHANNA FEREBEE)
The Little Green Booth is rigged with a professional ring light, that helps partygoers look their best.
(Port City Daily photo / JOHANNA FEREBEE)

The couple worked with the Sweet Carolina Photo Bus in Raleigh, whose owner felt inclined to pay it forward after owners of a photo bus in Kentucky had shared their startup tips with her.

Fit with a professional ring light, photo booth printer, 35mm camera and custom bamboo interior that lines the ceiling, the bus is always photo ready.

“It’s a professional, strictly photo booth printer,” Ward said. It only prints 2-by-6 and 4-by-6 and they shoot out like a vending machine.”

The bus can be booked for a flat rate at a wedding or event or can be tried for single use if you happen to find it parked at a local event or business.

People who stumble into the bus during a given event can email images to themselves, but in a digital world, it’s offering the real thing.

With stops at several local breweries and events behind them, Poole and Ward are grateful to the people and businesses that have been open to their venture.

Booking information for the Little Green Booth can be found on Wedding Wire as well as its website, at The Little Green Booth website.

The Little Green Booth is Wilmington's first photo bus that has made several appearances at weddings, local breweries and events in the Cape Fear region. (Port City Daily photo /JOHANNA FEREBEE)
The Little Green Booth is Wilmington’s first photo bus that has made several appearances at weddings, local breweries and events in the Cape Fear region. (Port City Daily photo / JOHANNA FEREBEE)

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