Bringing Smiles Across Town
ometimes great businesses are sparked by merging two loves together. That’s exactly what happened with ShutterBus when co-owner Travis Ramos pitched the idea to his wife (and current business partner) Laura Ramos regarding combining their joint photography business with their love for VWs into one entity.
Laura and Travis had, after all, spent many hours during previous years traveling inside and renovating (mostly outside or under the hood) Guanella—a vintage orange 1974 Volkswagen Bus. Guanella came with an orange plaid interior, a camper setup complete with a pop-top roof containing a bunk bed, and a price of only $400. Travis thought she would be the perfect wedding present to give to Laura, feeling it epitomized their future endeavor together. Never mind the fact that neither knew anything about VWs at the time. Soon—after multiple putters, sputters and breakdowns—that became history.
“VWs have always been really special to us and a part of who we are,” says Laura. “We’re not your average photo booth.”
And she’s right. I mean, how cool could The ShutterBus be? It’s a photo booth tucked neatly inside a vintage VW bus. This one is called Nelly and she’s a spunky, vintage-modern 1978 Volkswagen Bus-turned-Mobile-Photo-Booth, which they’ve restored. ShutterBus launched in the spring and has been bustling around town snapping photos of friends and families at weddings, graduation parties and street fairs.
Here’s how it works: partygoers hop in the bus (alone or with friends or family), push the “go” button and voila—the camera takes a series of four shots and high-quality photo strips print out. The bus can fit six people into what they consider a decent picture to be, any more and it’s just too crowded. Everyone who is in the pictures receives their own photo strips, and photos are also uploaded to a Facebook (private or public) gallery.
“It really helps people loosen up and can take a dry event to the next level,” says Laura.
There’s also an ever-growing bag of props, complete with funny hats, glasses and mustaches to help aid in the silliness. The bus is available to book for Denver, Boulder and the Colorado Front Range area. In fact, it’ll even travel into the mountains for an event depending on the date and distance.
Laura says, “When you are dressed in a funny hat and making silly faces…you just can’t help but laugh!”