By Muhammad Riaz Usman Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Fishfayce, launched in 2010, is the first photo booth concept of its kind in the region. It caters to every kind of event with portable services, including customized digital photo booths, GO-Mobile (instant social media uploads from booth) and video booths.
Zeina Abdalla has scripted her passion into a business success story as the founder and managing director of fishfayce, a photography and video event solution company.
The idea of fishfayce was born when she was planning her wedding and brainstorming for alternatives to traditional photography.
"I wanted an interactive photo booth where guests could photograph themselves and instantly project the photos on screens throughout the reception venue for all to see. Frustrated that no product on the market met my needs, I contacted several tech-savvy friends who helped design the first ever fishfayce photo booth, which debuted at my wedding," Zeina recalls.
"When enthralled guests started asking how they could have the technology at their own events, I knew I had a business model on my hands," she says.
Fishfayce, launched in 2010, is the first photo booth concept of its kind in the region. It caters to every kind of event with portable services, including customised digital photo booths, GO-Mobile (instant social media uploads from booth) and video booths.
"All services are managed by specially trained on-site staff members. Fishfayce is one of the most trusted photography and videography solution companies in the region that delivers magic the creative way," Zeina elaborates.
Fishfayce has grown not only to be a conversation-starting attraction at weddings and corporate events but also as a valuable viral marketing and social networking tool, reaching far beyond the initial photo booth concept.
"When fishfayce was launched, I was running it on my own for the first couple of years. Today, we are a team of talented photographers, videographers and designers. We are a small team but everyone helps each other. We are easily able to manage up to five or more events per day. We just launched our long-term booths so clients can book our photo booths for as long as they like. Recently, we had our photo booth in Sephora for one month for Lancome and for a few weeks in L'Occitane in Abu Dhabi," she says.
Zeina is looking forward to being the dominant event-oriented digital photography company in the UAE. That's why she has been continuously expanding her menu of services.
"Aside from the popular photo booth offering, we offer a host of other products and services, including Flip Book, Video Booth, Animation, Lightbooth, GIF Booth, Cinemagraph booth and fishfayce," she says.
Zeina considers herself a trendsetter and says: "We offer a wide variety of services and are able to create bespoke services for clients depending on their brief and requirements. As the digital world is changing fast, we are evolving our services and adapting to keep up with all the new trends. All of our services are seamless and advanced so we can be as efficient as possible at events."
She believes in organic growth and wants to concentrate on her present business and has no plans to explore new areas to expand her business.
"I like to stick to what I know. I don't think we will expand our offering to other sectors any time soon. The only thing we would expand on is the list of services within the photography, videography and photo booth realms," she says.
Zeina says the UAE is a great place to start a business. "There are a lot of incubators, hubs for entrepreneurs to work out of and individuals that mentor budding entrepreneurs. Also, getting a licence is fairly straightforward if you are in the service industry," she says.
However, Zeina says that entrepreneurs must do a lot of research before starting a business. "Ensure that you are getting the right licence, taking the right approach and working with the right companies," she says.
"It's also very important to spend your money wisely. There are free social media platforms that you can use to promote your business so use them wisely and learn about each platform. Branding is extremely important. Make sure you seek advice from people in your industry who you trust to make sure that what you are creating is appealing and professional."
Zeina attributes her success to many people in her life. "My parents for teaching me to be independent and hard working, my older sister who always made sure I was on the right path and kept me on my toes and finally my husband who I learn from every day," she says.
Zeina believes that adapting and consistency is key. "I learn something new every day even though I have been doing this for seven years," she concludes.