Valentine’s Day has become a multi-billion-dollar business with US$18.2bn spent on cards, chocolates, flowers and a variety of other tokens of affection.

Apple Industries

It is also a time of year that sees couple flock to photo booths, reports manufacturer Apple Industries, which shared some of the romantic tales it has received on the back of its seasonal marketing drive.

“My wife and I mark all our big occasions in photo booths,” Aaron from Cheektowaga, New York, US, told Apple. “Today my wife gave me the biggest surprise ever in a photo booth. She told me she was pregnant by holding up a sign before the first picture. It was amazing. I was so shocked!”

Face Place photo booth owners saw a boost of 100 per cent in sales last year thanks to the Valentine’s Day art updates and their own marketing efforts. Users can choose from a variety of romantic backgrounds and print valentine’s photo strips or send personalised greeting cards to loved ones.

“I had no idea he was going to propose,” said Stephanie from Manhattan on her first kiss with her husband-to-be in a Face Place photo booth. “Then when the flash went off, he was not looking at the camera but looking at me with a box in his hand!”

An attract mode feature in the company’s booths automatically displays Valentine’s Day art to consumers to boost revenue as they pass by, which becomes more effective in the lead-up to February 14 and particularly the day itself. The updates for artwork are loaded directly into Apple’s Smile 2.0 software, so operators do not have to worry about preparing their machines.

“Couples love kissing in front of a camera on Valentine’s Day,” said Apple CEO Allen Weisberg. “What better way to show someone how much they mean to you than with a customised, online Valentine’s Day card? They also make great greeting cards to send to family members and close friends as well.”