Photo playground now open for Instagrams

BRIDGEWATER – Posing for that selfie or group photo on the internet just got easier and a lot more fun.

Open since Black Friday, POP! at Bridgewater Commons is an interactive photo playground with 15 Instagram-ready rooms to explore and capture shareable photos and videos.

Located on the lower level across from the Build-A-Bear Workshop, the themed rooms are both modern and retro and feature four different “photo booth” decors. The painted walls and hallways that lead from one room to another also make for good photo ops.

A first for the Garden State, POP! is the brainchild of Scot Redman and BAYMO, his group of creators in Texas, where the first POP! opened in 2019 at Galleria Dallas.

“We wanted to provide people with professional photographs and the ability to take fun photos with their phones,” said Redman, a professional photographer who was inspired to create POP! after a similar road trip experience. “We said ‘do it’ and now New Jersey is our second place.”

As visitors make their way to the pop-up installation, built by Bayer Brothers Sets, they find themselves in a mint-green 1970s laundromat with mock machines and black-and-white checkerboard floors.

Around every corner are photo moments, like a crisp white curved photography studio or a vibrant tunnel of music and light a la The Weeknd at Super Bowl 2021.

There’s a disco room with mirror ball and tiles, a room of color changing lights, an arcade area with mini-games, a black light, and a space covered in crumpled silver foil.

POP! visitors receive an activated bracelet and connect their phone and email before entering.

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Once the ‘photo booth’ shots begin, they can see their shots processed in real time, instantly upload them to a running gallery, and be ready to publish and share. Scanning the bracelet enables ‘photo booth’ style photos to be taken in four sets – nightclub, laundromat, beach and studio – which have built-in cameras and lighting. For an additional $ 5 each, 6 by 8 paper prints can be purchased.

Redman said some people stay two hours, others 20 minutes. Some want to flesh out their Instagram posts, while others come to use the backdrops for their greeting cards or milestone announcements. Experience is what you make of it, he says.

Sweeping the bracelet allows you to "photo booth" stylish photos to be taken in four sets - nightclub, laundromat, beach, and studio - that have built-in cameras and lighting.

“We wanted to create something that wasn’t just for millennials – we wanted families to come and have a good time. So, POP! at Bridgewater Commons, it’s all about color, fun, art, lights and cameras, ”said Redman, whose concept team is made up of 30 designers, artists and photographers.

“The experience is full of pop culture references, multimedia visuals and more,” said Redman. “… Guests can change their individual experience each time. People get so creative – it really surprises us.”

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Bridgewater Commons says POP !, which runs until May 31, 2022, is a perfect fit for them.

“… The opening of the new activation in a 5,000 square foot space has given its creators the opportunity for even more whimsy and innovation, which we know will instantly wow thousands of Bridgewater Commons guests whom we hope to entertain during this limited time commitment, ”said Marketing Director Tom Kovacic.

POP!  visitors receive an activated bracelet and connect their phone and email before entering.  Each photo shoot, complemented by lighting and sound, allows photos and videos to be shared.

Special POP! events are in the works, said Redman and Kovacic. These could be pet-friendly days and seasonal or themed activities.

COVID-19 security strategies are in place for POP !, including high frequency cleanings, face shield requirements (except when taking photos), contactless photo booths (through bracelets) and a space designed to allow distance between each group of guests.

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“You don’t need to interact with anything other than wave your bracelet in front of the sensor,” Redman said. “It’s like the old photo booth but updated for today.”

There is no time limit once inside, but reservations are required at www.bridgewaterpop.com. Tickets start at $ 22, $ 8 for children under 12.

Email: [email protected]

Cheryl Makin is an award-winning reporting and education reporter for MyCentralJersey.com, which is part of the USA Today Network. Contact: [email protected] or @CherylMakin.

Jack C. Nugent