Dpicboxbn was late to the photo booth market. Here’s how they edged their way to the front

Hj Hassan wasn’t a pioneer to Brunei’s fledging photo booth scene, but he’s managed to assert and build his brand into one of the main providers

It all began with a gift to his aunt for her wedding in the middle of 2016.

An amateur photographer working for a local IT company, Hj Mohd Hassan Hj Mohd Gafar shelled out more than a thousand for a DNP RX1 – a high-speed dye sublimation printer – paired to his Canon DSLR and laptop to set up a photo booth for her wedding.

The 33-year-old didn’t think too much of it at the time – it was purely intended as a wedding gift – but seeing crowds of guests hogging to take pictures and play with props, a seed was planted which would eventually grow into Dpicboxbn.

“Seeing my nini laki (grandfather) who is notorious for being grumpy during weddings, having fun and getting people to take pictures with him made me think, ‘Hey this could be something,’ said Hassan.

However, other photo booth business had already begun to emerge – and knowing that they had a head start, and feeling that the market was already beginning to saturate, Hassan decided not to pursue it further.

Not long after, a couple came to him in a desperate search for a photo booth for their wedding, having exhausted all other options.

“They told me that they heard about me setting up a photo booth at a wedding from a friend of a friend and came to me as a long shot,” said Hassan. “They told me that all the other photo booth businesses were fully booked.”

He took on the couple’s request, and later learned on the ground that there were photographers from neighbouring countries – Malaysia coming to Brunei just to provide photo booths.

On average, Dpicbox caters to eight events a month, with Hassan dividing a third of the sales for salary, another third towards future expenses including expansion and saving the rest for any emergencies such as equipment failure.

Towards the end of 2016, he decided to throw his hat into the ring and turned his hobby into a registered business, recruiting his friend who helped him build his initial photo booth as a partner.

Since then, his business has grown from just two people to a team of nine who are dispatched across the Sultanate – mostly on the weekends – to set up photo booths at events, which now have a host of customizable features from props, to different photo strips to guest books.

For $350 clients get two hours and unlimited photo prints on two by six inch strips along with a dedicated assistant, going up to $550 for four hours with a larger four by six-inch photo strip.

This Tuesday, Dpicboxbn will turn two-years-old, and Hassan is looking to offer new packages, including an hour-long session for shorter functions.

“When we began we were the last option,” said Hassan. “In the photo booth market here, the prices and features can be similar. So we focused on consistently delivering what matters; making sure that in the set up, the lighting was always good – cause that’s the most important thing in getting good photos. Making sure the printers always function smoothly, with back up. And for each and every session to have an on-site assistant that is always courteous.

“Over the past two years, we have tried our best to be consistent. It sounds simple, but with many events and initially only having a set amount of equipment, there are many things that can go wrong. For each situation, you must have a plan of what you will do if something fails, instead of just hoping nothing will go wrong. Today, I’m proud that we’ve become one of the most demanded, and we will continue to build by offering customers quality with reliability.”

To learn more visit @dpicboxbn on Facebook or Instagram or visit www.dpicboxbn.com. To get in touch directly contact +6737191408.

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