The life of the party
Locally owned & operated by Calgarians FOR Calgarians

See the Hip Image story
“The Hip Image photo bus was a huge hit at our event. With both print and digital images instantly available, guests had a blast capturing pictures with friends, and could instantly share the good times on social media.”

- Chris Doyle
Chris Doyle

Photo marketing solutions to connect brands with your customers

Our fully branded photo activations will maximize your marketing campaigns, transforming customers into brand ambassadors by creating capitvating user generated content.

Hip Image has quickly become Calgary’s premier photo booth service with the most unique options in the city and province. We offer a creative approach and multitude of technologies that will both engage your guests and build on your brand.

We create and execute engaging event and brand experiences that guests are magnetically drawn to, we can help build brand loyalty, create digital and physical visual memories worth sharing all while producing dynamic and interactive event entertainment.

Each of our services offers a completely customizable experience to fit your event theme or branding.

Meet Buttercup the VW, Bert the Boler & Vintage Open Air Photo Booths

Meet Buttercup, our charming 1972 VW Bus. She’s had a good life enjoying time on the road and plenty of starry nights. After a little makeover into the ultimate custom photo booth, she’s starting on her next journey as “life of the party.”

Buttercup has just been joined by Bert the Boler this year to add a little spice to the party. Bert is of similar vintage and brings a Canadiana flavour.

Lovingly restored, our VW bus and Boler will take your photo booth experience to the next level. We’ve combined our love for the vintage VW, Boler and fresh ideas for events and a passion for photography to bring you Hip Image—Calgary’s most unique and memorable photo booth experience.

We are excited to announce our new vintage tripod open air photo booth for all of those indoor experiences where the VW or Boler are just too big. It allows for more people to be in your photos and also the exciting green screen option.

Social Media Savvy

Launching a new product? Want to up the style-ante in your themed event? We’re all about creating stylish and interactive experiences with you.

Getting noticed in the social media space requires superb creativity. That’s where we come in. With creative, personalized events made visual, you’re bound to get people talking on the social grapevine with our images.

Our booths are social media enabled, allowing users to email or upload photos to their Facebook or Twitter accounts, text message or email direct from our units—live at your event.

And learn more about our freshly launched Hashtag Printer here »

The Hip Image Story

Alberta Metis Works and Indigenous Made and Certified Aboriginal Business logos We all know and love that one friend. The one you check with first when you’re planning a bash. The one whose charisma and fun-loving energy lights up a room. The spark that sets the mood for a great evening ahead. The life of the party (LOTP).

It’s this LOTP energy that Hip Image Founder Jo Williams brings to everything she does and every project she touches. So when Jo discovered a creative business model during a trip to California – based on turning a VW bus into a mobile photo booth – Jo fell in love. She knew, she wanted to bring a similar business to Alberta and inject a whole lotta of love, fun and LOPT energy into celebrations across the province.

Back home in Calgary, Jo’s first call was to friend and photographer Monique de St. Croix with the unusual proposal to buy a VW bus and partner to launch a photo booth business – the very first of its kind in Canada.

The Beautiful Buttercup

Soon after that call, the search for the perfect VW was on. Enter Buttercup, a 1972 VW Bus whose beauty was waning after years of neglect and an unfortunate incident with some screws and the upper half of her gas tank. Monique and Jo saw Buttercup’s inner beauty and created a makeover worthy of an 80s teen movie. The end result? A cute and sassy photo booth ready to bring the joy and be the life of the party at events from Fort McMurray to Fort McLeod.

Not Just a Pretty Face

Bringing a retro 80s ski party to life at Trapper’s Lodge While Hip Image launched with Buttercup as the attraction for clients and events, it wasn’t long before the business-minded and tech savvy entrepreneur partners grew Hip Image into a premier offering, serving corporate Alberta – adding pizazz to brand launches, engagement to social media campaigns and memorable stories for organic sharing and word of mouth buzz.

Public relations guru Jo credits her leap into this space to lessons learned at the knee of her Métis father. From him, she learned to knock down walls – literally and figuratively – to explore beyond the confines of her imagination, to love ideas and the challenge of making those ideas reality. So while maintaining her media relations and event planning company, Jo worked to grow Hip Image into much more than a simple photo booth company – all through the challenges of a serious economic downturn and COVID-19.

Meanwhile, photographer Monique researched the details to bring world-class technology to Alberta. Technology that turns average photos into living breathing stories. Monique not only equipped Buttercup with the leading-edge photo booth gear, she also set up Bert the Boler, and an Open Air Booth and their latest addition, a 360 degree slow motion video booth often seen on the red carpet.
Custom-built cloud photo activation for AWS
But there are no limits to the ingenuity of this team. They know how to create the right solution for any challenge. This team creates sets for client events that movie crews would drool over– including giving Major Tom in Calgary a full makeover for an Amazon holiday event.

Whatever event you’re planning, Hip Image will bring its unique brand of LOTP energy to captivate hearts and make memories that last a lifetime.

Who We Are

Warming hearts, telling stories, making memories

This Alberta-grown, Métis and LGBTQ+ women owned company has turned the standard photo booth industry on its head since Buttercup arrived on the scene in 2015. What began as a fun party favour side gig has evolved into a brand and social media experience sought after by corporate Alberta, non-profit organizations, and the public sector. Photo booths aren’t just for birthdays and weddings anymore.

Using unique backdrops from a vintage VW Bus and a freshened-up Boler trailer to green screen back drops and full set design, Hip Image serves turns an average event into a bash for the books.

Every staff member brings that unique life of the party energy to their job ensuring the Hip station is the hippest element of every event. And no aspect is left to chance. Branded templates and a hashtag printer help to amplify the photos in the social media space providing ROI and brand recognition for your investment.
Jo and Monique ham it up at a Stampede staple event
Jo & Monique ham it up at a Stampede staple event
There’s no better team for your event than the Hipsters who bring it all!
There’s no better team for your event than the Hipsters who bring it all!
Hip Image supports a number of local charities including Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids
Hip Image supports a number of local charities including Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids

Don’t just take our word for it...

“Hip Image not only deliver with their eye-popping VW and Boler trailers, but bring a total sense of fun and joy to the event - even the most reluctant guest will be drawn in. The photos are always sharp, colorful and fast to print, and will be great reminders for your guests.”

- Jane
“Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing the extra glam, fun and good times...

Always a pleasure to work with the Hip Image team!”

- The Alex
“Hip Image does not disappoint. Their service, props, personality & high quality immediate print outs are second to none! They were the hit of the day at our Stampede breakfast and their ability to adapt to the different level of needs of the guests at the event was incredible. Thank you Hip Image, you will absolutely be part of events in our future!”

- Erin
Association of the Rehabilitation of the Brain Injured
“Great props and wonderful service. They made everyone feel comfortable and encouraged the guests to participate. Each person got a fun photo collage of 3 pictures to take away - and it had the client’s logo on it, for additional branding. Fun experience! I will work with them again. Highly recommend!”

- Five Star Events

It Takes a Village

With a background in photography, events and all things PR, we are excited to share this adventure with you. Learn a little more about the people behind the bus.
MoniqueMonique de St. Croix, Partner

First, a degree in French, then a degree in Education.  During her first year of teaching, Monique discovered her passion for photography - capturing the essence of the moment.  After a few years of doing both, she finally took the leap and left full time teaching behind to duck behind the lens and let the camera earn her living. She has been able to travel all over the world with her photography kit: Bosnia, Italy, Poland, Israel, France, Texas, Norway, UK, Colombia, The Bahamas, Germany, Thailand, Denmark, and as far North as the Arctic Circle. She is still a guest teacher in Calgary, bringing her visual world into the classroom. Jo and Monique have worked on many projects over the years, and when she brought this crazy idea forward to step back in retro-time, Monique gladly hopped in the time machine. 

What I’ve been surprised with about Hip Image: The best part of Hip Image is the relationship with all the clients we meet.  It is SO FUN, and that is a great way to live!

Favourite Prop: My favorite prop is the google-eyed glasses + Viking helmet + fox pelt ensemble. 

Best Song: Hmmmm… being a Calgary Folk Fest volunteer for over a decade, I certainly have my favorites from there.  I have been a Kate Bush fan since the late 80s. A song that will get me up every time is Dancing Queen by ABBA.  A more this-century song that appeals to my creative sense of possibility is Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. I’m a sap for hopeful lyrics! 'Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten. Oh, Oh, Oh.'  The 'oh, oh, oh' part gets me every time.
JoJo Williams, Partner

With 20 years experience in the PR and event biz, Jo of Not Your Average Jo Communications, is always on the lookout for new ways to spice up special events. The VW Photo Booth bus (and expanded fleet) seemed like such a natural evolution of the photo booth, she had to jump on the opportunity. Teaming up with Monique to pull this idea off just seemed like a natural fit. Jo is inspired by the ability to do colour outside the lines with this venture—particularly in coming up with unique and crazy props! 

Favourite Prop: Velvet sombrero + animal mask + maracas 

What I’ve been surprised with about Hip Image: The insane positive energy we’re able to draw from our guests. Plus everyone’s on the same level when you put silly glasses, hats and moustaches on.

Best Song: Try Everything by Shakira
RebusRebus Liu, Chief Technician

Rebus is the go-to guy for everything tech related at Hip Image. Rebus came to Canada from China in 2008, and his background ranges from marketing, environmental science, and photographer.  A man of many talents, he’ll magically appear when he hears his name called combined with the phrase “What should I do?” Rebus has a passion for science and a large knowledge of pop culture.

Favourite prop: Curly hair wig

What I’ve been surprised with about Hip Image: The unstoppable creativity, fast growing capacity and how much joy we bring to people.

Favourite song: Whatever the mood is that day!
NicoleNicole Halverson

Nicole was born and raised in Calgary, and graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She majored in photography in 2000, and has had her own Photography business since 1999. She is married with two sons. Her favourite car is a VW beetle, and in her spare time, Nicole renovates vintage trailers.

What I was surprised about with Hip Image: I was most surprised about how great the VW bus and Boler trailers are!

Favorite prop: Feather boa and sunglasses

Best Song: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper
MichelleMichelle Janzen

Fashionista extraordinare and choreographed fun-maker, Michelle is super with props and getting all ages and group sizes smiling. With her flair for drama and love of dancing, she is the "go to girl" to put the energy into your event

What I was surprised with about Hip Image: How the craziness of the Hip Image scene and team can break down barriers between people of all walks of life.

Best song: I had the time of my life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes

Favourite prop ensemble: Pink feather boa with diva glasses
HelenHelen Ellis

Helen’s experience is in accounting and finance. For her, Hip Image is about getting out of her box and doing something fun. Jo and Monique are two incredibly talented and creative people who she says have given her the opportunity to explore her not-so-creative side.

Favourite Prop: The money boa of course

What I was surprised with about Hip Image: The way it inspires people to let go and have fun, which creates a whole lot of laughter and memories.

Favourite song: Alberta Bound by Paul Brandt
AnnaAnna Black

Anna has a wide range of experience in the service and hospitality industry. She moved to Calgary from Edmonton in 2015 and now spends most of her time caring for her three young kids. She loves all things creative and is excited to be able to share that passion with Hip Image!

Favourite Prop: Big sunglasses and you always gotta have a sign

What I was surprised with about Hip Image: How much fun it is! Thanks to all of YOU, you make it a blast!

Best Song: Mr Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra
In the News

When a photobooth goes mobile
A photo speaks a thousand words, especially when it is branded and styled unique to your event, and instantly shared on social media! As an event planner, an important step in the planning process is figuring out what makes your event different and better yet, figuring out how you will get people talking about it. Keep Reading »
In the News

Photo Buses flash onto Calgary streets
A year after converting a vintage VW bus into a mobile photo booth, the co-owners of Hip Image have snapped up a new vehicle for their growing fleet. Keep Reading »
In the News

This VW Bus puts the ‘photo’ in photogenic
Everyone loves a VW bus. Driving one of these bread-loaf-shaped vans is guaranteed to make people reach for their phones and start photographing the bus. But what about a VW bus that takes pictures of you? Keep Reading »

Frequently Asked Questions

Does an attendant come with your photo booths?
You bet. Our certified Hip Image attendant will be on site for the entire duration of the time booked for your event making sure all goes smoothly.
Do you print the photos on site?
After your take your photo, you’ll have your picture in hand within approximately 10 seconds. You’ll also be able to email or share your pics via social media, email or texting, have access to your private online gallery so you can share, and download the hi-res images as you wish.
What does “unlimited printing” mean?
Unlimited printing means every guest will receive a single copy of their Hip Image session. But don’t despair, we’ll send you digital access to your photos so guests can print additional copies.
Do you need Wi-Fi?
We need Wi-Fi to run our most amazing social media kiosk. If Wi-Fi isn’t available, you can access and share your photos from your digitally stored files on our network after the event.
How about power?
Yes please. We will need you to provide power. We need that essential utility to power up the photo systems in the bus. If we can’t access power, then we can use a gas generator.
Do you travel (far)?
We can, but it might take us a while to get there! If you have an out-of-town event (outside of Calgary), we will do our best to make it. Let’s talk about how this can happen.
Can you personalize photos with our logo?
You bet. We always include our funky logo and a link to access your digital photos on the bottom of the photo. We can customize your photos to include your logo and some other aspects of the bus as well. Get in touch with us to brainstorm over some creative signage ideas.
What about weddings?
Hello… yes, we do weddings. We have some great ideas to ensure your guests have a great time at your wedding!
How does the Green Screen photo booth work?
We can place your guests in any situation by shooting on a green background. Then, we automatically replace the background with a custom one using state of the art Green Screen technology. Our photo booth system is powered by the latest in technology that makes up for poor lighting and wrinkled backgrounds for perfect results.
How many people can fit inside the bus or Boler?
Good question. Big people or little people? Four is a good number to start with, but we have squeezed a couple more in on occasion.
Can you bring the bus or Boler indoors?
Yes we can. We’ll need to talk specifics, and will need permission from your venue as well, but if you want to catch people’s attention, there’s nothing better than Buttercup! Again, we can have some fun with signage, so give us a shout and we’ll do some fun brainstorming.
Are you insured?
Absolutely. For up to $2 million.
What if there are mechanical or weather challenges?
If Buttercup is unable to make it to your event because of mechanical or weather issues you will be given a full refund.

Keep in mind that we can still operate with light rain. If it is impossible to operate the booth due to severe weather determined by Hip Image staff, and the bus has not arrived yet, customers will be given a full refund. If weather strikes during an event, the customer will be partially refunded if a large timeframe of the event was not used, determined by Hip Image and the customer together.
What if the bus, equipment or props are vandalized?
Who would want to damage Buttercup? If it does occur, the customer booking the event will be responsible for any vandalism guests perform toward the bus/equipment/props during the event. Thanks for understanding. We have put a lot of TLC, time, effort and funds into this and do our utmost to keep it in top shape for all of our guests’ enjoyment.
What are the specs of the VW bus?
Our 1970s era VW bus is approximately 67” wide, 83” tall, 178” long and 2,800 lbs (unless she’s had a big plate of pasta, then add a few more pounds and inches).
What are the specs of the Boler?
Bert the Boler comes in at 75” wide, 77” tall, 174” wide and his fighting weight is 1,400 lbs.
Do you rent the bus for a photo or video shoots?
For sure. Give us a shout and we can strike a deal.
Alberta Metis Works and Indigenous Made logos Indigenous Made Ilea International Aboriginal Business
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