5…4…3…2…1 Pose and—snap! Change your pose—snap! Change again—snap! One last time—snap!

Remember squeezing into a tiny booth with your friends—or maybe even a crush—and posing for the camera? For a long time, you couldn’t walk through a shopping mall without seeing a photo booth, but it seems they had fizzled out in recent years. Today, they are making a comeback, but not where you might expect. In 2011, you’re more likely to find one at a wedding reception than at the mall.

Photographer Scott Schilling first saw the craze in action at a wedding he attended in Galesburg. The bride, a wedding planner from Chicago, had rented a photo booth from a Wisconsin-based company for her reception. Amazed by the large crowds it drew, Schilling called its owner the following Monday to learn more about the operation. After some quick research, he discovered that no one in central Illinois had a photo booth available to rent—and that was an opportunity he couldn’t resist.

On the way to purchase his own booth, Schilling ran into Ryan Jeffrey, a graphic designer and DJ he knew from working the area wedding circuit. Hearing Schilling speak excitedly about his new venture, Jeffrey suggested a partnership, and together, they are bringing the most advanced photo booth available to central Illinois events. “It’s really fun for the guests,” noted Schilling. “They have an absolute ball with this thing.”

For $1,295, you can rent the YouShoot photo booth for four hours of unlimited use at your event. The team sets it up before guests arrive and stations an attendant with the machine throughout the night. Taking four shots per strip, the booth prints two copies of each—one for guests to take home as a keepsake, and one that the attendant puts into a scrapbook for the guests of honor. Guests can then sign the scrapbook, creating a fun, one-of-a-kind reminder of the special day.

“There was a trend for awhile where everybody would leave disposable cameras on every table,” noted Jeffrey. “I think this is kind of replacing that.” Some couples are even deciding to forego wedding favors in light of these unique mementos.

Those hosting the event can choose to have their photos taken in black and white or in color. To add interest and energy to the proceedings, some couples and wedding coordinators leave a box of props outside the booth that guests can put to use as they strike their poses.

Your own guests could be picking out their accessories as they crowd around the photo booth, waiting for their turn. With bookings already well into 2012, it’s never too early to reserve the booth for your wedding, class reunion or corporate party. Call (309) 645-3838 or visit peoriaphotobooths.com for more information. iBi