Introducing: Tahoe Photo Bus

KeriAnne Forbes had always wanted to own a vintage Volkswagen bus. Not long after hiring a converted VW photo booth for her wedding, she decided to buy the very same vehicle and begin a mobile business of her own!

The VW Bus (or the VW Camper as it’s referred to in the UK) is an iconic automobile first introduced by German manufacturer Volkswagen in 1950.

The bus gained popularity on American shores in the '60s.

A perfect combination of being relatively easy to maintain, an ability to carry large groups of people, a fresh, rebellious image compared with other models of the time, and a blank canvas to fill with flowery art and custom slogans made the bold import a hit with families, beach bums, hippies, and protesters alike.

It’s hard to catch a glimpse of a classic VW bus and not feel a pang of nostalgia.

Whether your mind is drawn to images of Flower Power and Woodstock crowds, Californian surfers and coastal road trips, the record sleeves of artists like Bob Dylan and Johnny and the Hurricanes or the vehicle's starring roles in cult films such as Back to the Future, Field of Dreams and Forrest Gump, there's no denying that this particular VW is a classic.

KeriAnne Forbes is definitely somebody who felt the pull of that nostalgia.

She had always admired VW buses and had long dreamt of owning one.

In 2022 she made that dream a reality by purchasing a 1974 Kombi VW Split Window.

But this particular model had a twist that was in keeping with the radical, unconventional spirit of its predecessors.

Fully restored with a custom built, professional quality photo kiosk inside, this Kombi was already a photography business on wheels!

After seeing the very same bus-turned-photo-booth that they had hired for their own wedding come up for sale, KeriAnne and her husband Andy knew that they had to buy it.

And so began a foray into the events industry with Tahoe Photo Bus.  

We caught up with KeriAnne to find out more about how her business got started, overcoming the elements of Northern California and her very unique plans for expansion!

A converted Photo Booth VW bus
Lit up and ready to climb on in!

Hey KeriAnne, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, we can’t wait to hear more about this unique photo booth on wheels! So, first up, what's your background and how did this adventure begin?

"I had worked in corporate sales for an outdoor retailer and also as a project manager for a digital marketing company but never really felt fulfilled.

I had recently left my job and was trying to figure out what was next.

I've always been driven, organized, and creative.  

So, when I saw the VW bus for sale, I did everything I could to make it become a reality.

I knew I could make it a success and create a fun and memorable experience for every client."

"I have always loved and dreamed of owning a VW Bus and now I’ve made it my job!"

A VW bus driving through the mountains
The beauty of running a mobile business? Traveling to events far and wide!

What was it like actually starting a mobile business?

"Along with my husband Andy, I bought the Tahoe Photo Bus officially in October 2022.  

We worked closely with the previous owner, learning the ins and outs, doing some event training and we actually became good friends along the way!

Fun fact, we had the Tahoe Photo Bus at our own wedding on June 23rd 2018!

The bus was a huge hit at our wedding, and we still love to look through our guest book and see all our friends and family that snapped a picture!

I have always loved and dreamed of owning a VW Bus and now I’ve made it my job.

We are a family owned and operated business - I run all the business side of things and Andy is a mechanic extraordinaire (which you definitely need with these old buses)!"

A young girl pretending to drive a VW bus
Starting them young! The bus is great fun for guests of all ages

What have you enjoyed most about running the business? Any favorite milestones or steps of the journey so far?

"Getting creative and making connections!

We have loved taking the business to the next level, creating custom packages for each event we're hired for and building partnerships with clients and other vendors along the way."

A custom photo guest book for events
A personalized photo guest book is the perfect way to commemorate your next celebration

What has been your biggest challenge in launching and running a mobile photo booth?

"The biggest challenge was our first winter in charge of running the business!

We unfortunately had some local events get canceled and we weren’t able to make it to a wedding due to a blizzard.

But, these are all challenges that we have to overcome and we are hoping our summer will be filled with sunny days and more parties!"

Three ladies sitting inside custom VW bus photo booth
Custom decor makes the bus a hit whatever the event theme

"We are hoping our summer will be filled with sunny days and more parties!"

What are your upcoming plans for the business and what are you most looking forward to this year?

"We are currently building out a second photo booth from an old ski gondola!  

We had had an epic winter up in the Reno/Tahoe area that has caused delays on our build out, but we are hoping to have it complete and ready for hire in summer 2023 (fingers crossed)!"

Husband and wife in Photo Booth with props
Tahoe Photo Bus owners Andy & KeriAnne

Wow! That might be the most unique mobile business conversion we've ever come across!

Finally, when can folks book you this year?

"2023 still has a couple weekends available sprinkled throughout August, September and October and we are starting to book out 2024.

Reach out to let us know more about your event and we'll do our best to squeeze you in!"

Awesome! Thanks for your time and the insight into what it takes to run such a unique company. And we cannot wait to see that converted ski gondola finished up and in action!

Whilst they call northern California home, KeriAnne and Andy love to travel far and wide, serving all types of events (if you own a rad VW, why wouldn’t you!?).

The Tahoe Photo Bus is available for hire in Nevada, Napa Valley, Northern California, and beyond!

Every photo booth package includes props, personalized photo prints, and your choice of custom add-ons.

And whilst the idea is for guests to jump inside and snap photos of themselves, as you can see from the pictures included in this feature, the bus looks just as good from the outside, making it a perfect backdrop for weddings, birthday parties, graduations, and all types of outdoor events.

Check out the Tahoe Photo Bus profile on Roll To to submit your event details and allow your guests to mark the big occasion in the most memorable of ways!

Front of a classic VW bus
The unmistakable face of a classic VW bus

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