Featured Articles

Stories about real people and real issues in our communities.

Specialized Occasions

01 June 2017 Written by  By Scott Nelson
Published in June 2017 Articles

Specialized Occasions provides a set of resources enabling clients to offer fun and memorable experiences at almost any event including wedding receptions, fundraising events, galas, reunions, anniver­saries, and parties.

We provide a professional high quality version of the increasingly more popular Photo-Booth Industry. Our keepsake photographs are as vivid and compelling as state-of-the-art photographic equipment and professional-quality studio lighting can make them.

People are photographed against a huge 8’ x 8’ green screen that in the final photograph appears with whatever background the people wish. Seascapes, sunrises, Hawaiian beaches, flower-covered deserts…. We put people in any environ­ment of their choosing.

We can print the resulting picture and create a digital copy that the guests can text to themselves, post on FB, display on Instagram, or send it to their friends and family through an email distribution.

Specialized Occasions offers more than a photo-booth to entertain guests at an event. Our portable slot-car racetrack breaks down into four easily assembled and disassembled parts. I’m providing adults with an opportunity to recapture some of the joys of their youth and providing an opportunity for young people to enjoy something that provided so much fun for people in my generation. We provide a genuine old-school slot-car racing experience with six lanes on a 10’ x 12’ layout. Up to six cars can race together. Digital lap counters and lap-time displays provide a competitive element that is always fun and sometimes thrilling.

Slot-car racing provides a welcome break from the world of digital entertainment. You can touch the lovely little cars, hold them in your hand, turn them so you can examine them from various perspectives. You are watching something real as the cars race around the track. The visual, tactile, and auditory components make for a memorable and fun experience. The track can be set up anywhere. Assembly halls, backyards, garages…. Wherever the fun is going on.

The third item in our Specialized Occasions portfolio is an Under The Stars piece. We have a mobile hi-quality outdoor screen with professional projection and sound equipment that permits users to set up their own temporary movie theater in the venue of their choosing — outdoor movies in their backyard actually viewed Under The Stars or at some gathering place. The 200-watt sound system and digital Blu-ray projector provides a viewing experience as close to being in an actual theater as you could be. The system can show anything from Hollywood movies to digitized home movies that were shot with grandpa’s Super 8 camera. Under The Stars is an ideal entertainment product for anniversaries, parties, or any event that has a particular theme. The technology is wonderfully portable. Setup and takedown are done in an hour or so. The equipment is easy to operate. For a small fee, we provide attendant service with an on-hand operator.

For people who simply want background music for an event, we also offer an inexpensive deejay-free professional system capable of performing a fully customized playlist over hundred watt speakers. Clients can select music from any period and genre. The service is absolutely flexible — from a prearranged play list to simply renting the speakers and playing their own music. The system is available for any special occasion including corporate events, anniversaries, kids’ parties, quinceañeras, and weddings.

The Legion recently used our equipment at their crab feast fundraiser. We’ve served birthday parties. We were at last spring’s Chamber of Commerce Gala and the Brides Day Out event at Oakley’s La Grande Event Center.


Christine Morris and I met in San Jose at one of her family events. Her cousin, who had invited me, introduced us. It was love at first sight, at least on my part. The two of us were married February 12, 1983. Christine and I moved to Brentwood 20 years ago to be closer to my San Ramon commute. We loved Brentwood and have been at Hawthorne Landing ever since. We raised three kids, all of whom are now college graduates. They live nearby and assist us in making Specialized Occasions a family business.

Specialized Occasions began as a concept last year when I was leaving a 37-year networking career. I had finally grown tired of the commute, the 16-hour days, and the middle-of-the-night responses to some loss-of-service emergency. The need became critical last year when Dad died and I became Mom’s caregiver, which required me to be close to home and flexible.

I did a lot of research on the Internet for possibilities. A light went on when I found the selfie-event station online. I liked the technology because their proprietary software integrated with Windows and was the kind of product that would let me get my hands dirty. I could use my technical skills to unleash my creative spirit in making imaginative customized backgrounds. I thoroughly mastered the product and got the functions and properties working together.

The selfie-event station was a great product, but I wanted to offer more to my clients. I added the portable slot-cars racing track, my Under The Stars personal movie theater, and my virtual deejay music service.

Specialized Occasions is a partnership between my wife Chris and me. Chris provided essential support in getting the project off the ground. She supplied wise guidance when making key decisions. She has always been good with arts & crafts and makes thoughtful suggestions and supplies creative ideas for amazing Photo-Booth backgrounds and out-of-the box marketing ideas.

Specialized Occasions turned out to be a great solution to the challenge of starting a business. It was fun. The work was usually on the weekends, giving a lot of time to be together with my family. Our three children Angelica, Jason, and David live in the area and manage the marketing, customer service, and operations departments of our business. They walk the guests through the photo execution process. David also keeps our Facebook information up-to-date. The involvement of the whole family provides cross-generation breadth to our choice of products and the manner in which we implement the business.

It’s been a pleasure to be in the business of helping other people have a good time. I’m not done yet. I’m looking for other products to add to the portfolio and provide clients with unique and memorable ways to enhance their events and bring even more joy and fun into their guests’ lives.

Read 2575 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 June 2017 15:28
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

Subscribe to our virtual magazine


View our Walnut Creek sister magazine