Pinball Wizardry

Flipping Out in Manchester

  • Jan 25, 2020
  • Paul Richardson

It's a two-hour drive from Montpelier to Manchester, Vermont, but I love a good road trip, even a short one.

Pastime Pinball is a new business in downtown Manchester owned by Beth and Marty Friedman. They were having a slick new website built by Eternity and needed images that showed the cool space, people playing games, the food they will be serving, uniform shots of every one of the 60 machines, environmental portraits of the owners, and some close-up macro shots that could be used for future blog posts and marketing.

Beth and Marty

It was a broad brief, but that's our specialty. In all, it was a half-day of shooting, and filled with conquering unexpected challenges (another specialty).

One of the biggest challenges was getting clean, uniform shots of all the games. They are all glass-fronted, and since the light was streaming in from everywhere, it was a reflection madhouse. After a bunch of experimentation to figure out the best approach, coupled with a few strategically placed flags, we got down to shooting. Even so, the reflections were so crazy in many cases that the final images had to be built from multiple exposures, so that we could shut down all the various reflections. Here are some of my favorite machines. They really are works of art...


Food photography and shots of the space (inside and out) followed, along with environmental portraits of the owners.

But by far the most fun and challenging bit was shooting close-up macro photos of the art and mechanisms inside the games. In some cases, we removed the glass from the tops in order to get down inside the machines and shoot at ball level.

No place like home

There's no place like Pastime Pinball, there's no place...

Rod Serling

You are stepping over into a new dimension...

In all, this was exactly the sort of job we are best suited to tackle: multiple types of commercial shots, from product to people to architectural photography; unusual and unexpected challenges; and a mini-road trip mixed in. Plus clients Marty, Beth, and Kolby at Eternity were great to work with.

Family fun