Step Right Up

A tradeshow booth design assignment takes large-format photographer Billy Elkins to the Florida State Fair.

I was commissioned by a client to create an image for their carnival-themed tradeshow booth. The booth itself was 50 feet wide and they wanted the photo to be the entire backdrop. The installation would be printed on vinyl and then installed on the back wall of the tradeshow exhibition floor. The final image ended up being 50 x 25 feet. When you entered the tradeshow floor, you could see the “carnival” in the background and smell the popcorn from the booth.

wide format

So, how did we do it? We visited the Florida State Fair and spent most of the day capturing different scenes that were potential backdrops. I brought my full bag of lenses and we decided on a focal length of 50 millimeter, the closest focal length to what we actually see. I made very tight overlapping images so that we had as much resolution as possible, knowing that final image size needed to be so big. And because the marketing team was going to experiment with the concepts after the fact, we had to capture as many different and large scenes as possible. The idea was to give the feel of walking directly into the carnival. 

Check out more large-format photography tips from Billy Elkins or dive into another of Elkins' large-format photography case studies.

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