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A picture of fun—Southern Maryland Entertainment

  • Charles County,St Mary's County,Calvert County
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California, MD - It is arguably the hottest new component for planning a wedding. Over the last five years photo booths have emerged as a must have for that special occasion. Other event planners—whether it is for corporate gatherings, fundraisers, school dances, reunions or office parties—have discovered the popularity of on-the-spot photography services.

Virginia Richardson of Southern Maryland Entertainment told TheBayNet.com there’s a simple reason for the photo booth phenomenon. “Everybody likes to get their picture taken,” said Richardson, who along with her husband Michael, owns and operates Southern Maryland Entertainment.

On their web site, the Richardsons state, “we don’t just think outside the box, we eliminate it completely.” This is not the professional photographer who comes to your school to take your picture for the yearbook and you must look nice or you will forever embarrass your parents. This is the try on as many large, crazy pairs of eyeglasses on as you like or select some other prop for your big photo op.

The Richardsons are both adjunct faculty members at the College of Southern Maryland, where they teach business and technology. According to Virginia, a few years ago when her cousin was getting married she wanted a photo booth but couldn’t find anyone local who provided the service. That gave the Richardsons the idea that perhaps there was a niche that needed to be filled in the Southern Maryland area. They started Southern Maryland Entertainment in May 2015 and did their first event the following month.

Everything they need for a gig—cameras, computers, background screens, props, etc.—are packed in several Pelican Cases tm  and hauled in a van. They carry props—“we have a lot of them,” said Richardson. In addition to the aforementioned novelty eyeglasses, the collection includes tiaras, boas, hats, beer signs, empty picture frames and costumes. Richardson said they can work in a 10-foot-by-10-foot space but always love to have more room.

One of the largest events Southern Maryland Entertainment worked was the 20th annual Davis, Upton and Palumbo Christmas Party, an event attended by hundreds. One of the smallest was a birthday party with 20 guests. Richardson said Southern Maryland Entertainment has even done a funeral. “It wasn’t disrespectful,” she recalled. “His daughter was very appreciative.” Richardson said the props were not part of that assignment.

As for weddings, Richardson made it clear that the photo booth is not a substitute or a competitor for wedding photographers and in fact, Southern Maryland Entertainment is diligent in its effort to work with all the other vendors involved at every event.

Most of their events are done indoors and Richardson admitted “outdoor events are a little trickier,” as extreme heat or cold and/or precipitation are not doable conditions.
According to their web site, Southern Maryland Entertainment is registered with the chambers of commerce in Calvert and St. Mary’s and the Veteran Business Owners Association. “We’re always keeping up with the latest in image-capture technology to ensure we stay ahead of the curve,” they stated on their web site.

As far as events go, when the food has been eaten, the glasses and bottles have been emptied, and the music and dancing stops, what’s left? You’ll always have the photos to prove what a great time you had.

To learn more about Southern Maryland Entertainment, visit their web site at www.somdentertainment.com

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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