These days photo booths are an essential element for many types of events. They’re a must at Weddings, Bar-Mitzvahs and Proms. But that’s just the beginning! Photobooths also hugely popular at Birthday Parties, Marketing events and University Events.
If you’re looking for a photo booth for your event, finding the right fit can feel a little overwhelming. Since we’re experts on event photo booths, we’ve put together a helpful list of things to look for in a photo booth company:
(1) Type of Booth:
First, you’ve got to decide which type of booth you want. The most popular type (by a wide margin) is called “open air” or Kiosk style DSLR Photo Booth. This is actually not a booth at all – it’s basically a DSLR Camera + Pro Strobe Lighting + Printer facing a backdrop. The reason these are so popular is because they usually create great photos and allow many people to get into the shot at once. They also bring a fun vibe to your event since most guests will love performing for the camera. There are still enclosed booths out there which do offer some privacy but limit the number of people and are not really as engaging for the whole party. There’s also an increasingly popular option: “Ring – Light” iPad based photobooths. These general use the tablet (usually iPad Pro) camera with flattering ring-lighting in a very portable format. Very often, these are digital only (no prints) but provide boomerang gifs, videos and other fun options. The photo quality is not as good as DSLR based systems but these are usually lower cost and great for outdoor events. For Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and “once in a lifetime” events, the DSLR based booths are the best. You’ll get great photos and hi-res digital copies to capture the event.
Nowhere is the expression: “You get what your pay for” more accurate than choosing a photo booth provider. There are certainly cheap companies out there.. but the fact is, you will never get the same quality. The cost for photo booth rental varies by city – for big metro areas like NY and L.A. – a 3 hour event can range from $800-1400. For smaller markets it can be closer to $600-900. Anything under $600 and the quality is certain to be sub-par. Risks of hiring “cheap” photobooths companies include: no-shows or last minute cancellations, substandard equipment, limited prints, unprofessional attendants
Once you’ve googled and found a few options in your area, be sure to check out several review sites. A few we recommend: FaceBook, Yelp, WeddingWire. And of course: Photo Booth Rental Directory 😉 Be sure to read the reviews carefully – you’re sure to find valuable information. Any reviews under 3 stars are “red flags” and should be taken seriously. Also, look at the dates of the reviews. That will tell you how long they’ve been in business and also if there have been recent reviews. You’ll want to see some “fresh reviews” so you can be sure that they’re still providing great service.
I’m going to focus on DSLR “Open Air” photo booths, since those are the most popular. You want to make sure that the booth rental includes: delivery/set-up/tear-down, an attendant, DSLR camera, Pro Strobe Lighting, Dye Sublimation Photo Printer, Unlimited Prints, Texting and Emailing of digital images, Animated GIF’s, an online Gallery, Props, Graphic Design of the photo layout, Choice of backdrops. These are “must-haves” in any photo booth package. PRO TIP: Be wary of companies that have low “base” cost but then add on for every little thing. Your total can end up being more than an all-inclusive package
(5) Web & Social Media Presence
Obviously a company’s website is important: if their website isn’t attractive then it’s highly likely that aesthetics are not a priority. It’s also important that you checkout their FaceBook Business Page and Instagram Feed. You should be looking at image quality and examples of the types of events that they do. Read the reviews on FaceBook – these are very credible since they’re associated with real FaceBook accounts. (Note: Photobooth companies do not tend to be on Twitter)
(6) Customer Experience
Once you’ve found a company or two that you like, the next thing to do is reach out for more information. Many companies only provide quotes after you’ve provided details of your event. That’s because they often have discounts for slower times (weekdays, off-seasons) and pricing can vary due to location and other factors. When you make contact either by phone or email, pay attention to their knowledge and professionalism. Do they know your venue? Are they happy to answer your questions? Do they “add-value” by giving you suggestions? Are they clear about pricing? If they’re friendly and professional on the phone then chances are high that this will translate into your event experience.
Well, that about wraps up the six key factors in choosing a photo booth provider. If you do your homework you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your event and end up hiring a terrific photo booth company!