Socialite Studio offers interactive photo shoots even for amateurs
If you’re ready to increase your social media presence, Allyson Washington can help.
She’s the owner of the new Socialite Studio on Sweeney Drive in Hagerstown, where you can take your selfies and videos to a whole new interactive level.
It really is several studios in one, with a series of themed pieces ranging from vintage to pop to urban, and plenty of themes in between. There’s even a 360-degree video booth to help you step up your dance and music game – or whatever.
“I will give you all the tools to do it,” Washington said.
This is not your average photo booth. It’s entertainment, Washington said, and “it’s a creative outlet. And I’ve tried to give creatives a sense of how to use it.
“It’s really considered a creative content studio on social media.”
And since opening on Thanksgiving weekend, Socialite Studio customers have gotten creative with family photos, music videos and birthday parties. Here they can get special effects for their photos and videos that would be difficult to achieve on their own.
“People are looking for these creative ideas for their content on social media,” Washington said. “Everyone wants a cooler image and experience at the same time. So not only are we providing a cool place to be creative, but an all-in-one experience.”
Each room has special lighting, ready for you to use your smartphone and get to work.
“Lighting is huge in photography, for creating different feelings, different vibes,” Washington said. “So each room is also creatively staged in this way. I let the creator decide when he comes in, how he wants to create.”
Washington connects your phone to a Bluetooth-controlled remote so you can take your own photos and videos while interacting with friends or the included accessories.
“Interactive Art Museum”
Washington updates the themes in turn, so the offers will be fresh. She also furnishes seasonal rooms. When the Herald-Mail visited last week, she was swapping Christmas decorations for a Valentine’s design at one of the stalls.
“It’s an interactive art museum,” Washington said.
One of his favorite booths is “the Money Room”, which features green lighting, gold ingot props and a fancy “money gun” that spits cold cash and hard when you pull the trigger. In front is a model of a 1950s restaurant with soda accessories and bottles of ketchup and mustard.
Do you like bubble baths? There’s a clawfoot tub filled with bubble balls you can sink into; a bubble gun provides a bit of the real thing. And if you ever wanted to be king for a day, Washington has you covered. There is a throne and crowns are available (“You cannot not have a throne,” Washington says).
And if you like The Herald-Mail (and of Classes you do!), you can live out your fantasy of “meeting the press” with a vintage typewriter and camera in a room papered with your hometown newspaper.
“It’s classic, you know, the newspaper, the black and white. The newspaper itself,” she said. “It’s fun for all ages.”
Bring a change of clothes if you wish – the large washrooms double as changing rooms.
You don’t have to be an accomplished photographer or have a lot of gear to get great, imaginative photos and videos, Washington says.
With “all the effects we have on our phone now, people don’t need to have the biggest and best,” she said. Socialite provides a creative space to enjoy. “You can create funny effects with it. And people have fun with it…it’s huge for kids coming on ‘TikToking’.”
“Content is the novelty”
But Socialite is not limited to children and families – the studio can also accommodate companies and professional artists.
“We could have modeling auditions, voice auditions, any type of audition,” Washington said, “or they can have a show, you know, maybe a local comedian wants to have a show. but has no place.
“It’s just a different way of interacting and again, creating content. Content is new. I mean, everyone needs it, whether you’re a business — I’d love to work with brands, big local brands… How cool would it be for someone like a local beer company to sit at the 1950s table?And that’s cool content for their social media, in a place different from theirs. This attracts people’s attention.
But the price to pay for all this must be quite high, right?
Well no. You can access all rooms for $25 per person per hour; $10 more gets you the 360 experience. Not sure about your photography skills? A $50 “mini-session” gets you the services of an in-house photographer and five edited images.
Socialite Studio is pet-friendly, so if you want a photoshoot with your four-legged best friend, let the studio know when booking.
Washington and her husband, Mark, also want to use Socialite Studio to “give back,” so customers have the opportunity to donate to the Wounded Warriors project (Mark Washington is an Army veteran) and other organizations in non-profit.
The company is giving Washington, who is a hospice nurse, a chance to indulge her lifelong passion for photography.
“My goal is to be a nurse; I’ve been a nurse since I was very young,” she said. “My passion is the arts. I’ve been an actor, I’ve been a model. Until I had children, I was very drawn to the visual arts. And that was my life.”
The single-lens DSLR camera that was a graduation gift when she finished nursing school spurred her interest in photography. And when friends and loved ones told her that “nobody knows how to create content,” something clicked.
She knew how to do this, but she didn’t have a good place to do it.
“And then the epiphany came where I was going to create an area to create content. And it just took off from there.”
Washington said she “wanted to bring something fun to Hagerstown that’s different.”
So…ready to rock your Instagram? You can book the studio online at https://socialitestudio.co/.