Chances are, that if you are considering the rental of a photo booth for your event, then that event means a little something to you. There's also a good chance that the reason you are renting the photo booth is that you want to increase and enhance the level of fun of the event that you planning, whatever type of event that may be. Now if I had to guess what you were thinking, it would be something along the lines of 'tell me something I don't know'....And to an extent, you are correct. However, as someone watching the event planning and photo booth rental process from the other side (bussiness' perspective), it's amazing how quickly these things become lost or dismissed. That's why I've compiled this list of 7 things to consider when renting a photo booth. Some of this stuff may seem obvious, but stick with me until the end, and hopefully you'll have a clearer sense and be able to apply these things to not only booth rentals, but the event world in general.
So let's get one thing out of the way, and I've written about it before. If you are planning an event that means something to you, it's going to cost. It's going to be an investment in time and money. That said, you NEED TO PRIORITIZE YOUR BUDGET. I want to write that again so it sinks in. Do you know how many times I have spoken to someone inquiring about my photo booth rates, and they balk when I tell them, saying 'well I already spent this on the caterer, that on the venue, this on the cigar roller, and that on the custom ice cream artisan mermaids from the underwater city of Atlantis...My point is, don't put the photo booth at the bottom of your budget priority list, even if your instincts tell you to. Photo Booths are expensive, and my feelings on Groupon are clearly outlined in a previous post (I get unbelievable amounts of emergency requests because Groupon is not worth it for booth providers, and they back out....In the end they don't want to take the hit to their profit margin). If it's the interactive, memorable, and fun experience that you want, you will have to invest a decent (not crazy) amount of money out of your budget. You may get the same or more from a $650 rental that you would from a $1,000 rental, but chances are that you will not get the same from a $200 rental, and I've explained that in past posts as well. Don't go just go for the cheapest or lower price automatically, not without looking into what their capabilities are, and what they offer first. People are going to keep these photos, and they'll most likely be what they remember your event by, so see how you can get the most mileage from your booth before you jump at a rental.
One may think this goes without saying, but one would also be surprised as to how often this detail is overlooked. Ask yourself this question: Why are you renting a photo booth? Sure, it's a popular fad right now, but is that why you are spending a significant amount of money on a booth? On top of the fun, it's most likely because you want to capture the memories you create in a fun way. You want these photos to last-not only just last, but be usable beyond just the photo booth. Low quality photos do not capture memories well, nor are they usable beyond the photo strip they are printed on. Most photo booth providers offer digital copies of the photos you take in the booth, but what good are they if they are low quality, far away, blurry, dark, and/or unfocused? No good, no good at all. A question I like to ask people as a standard for the quality of photos from a booth is: Would you make it your profile photo on social media? If the quality of the photo is low enough where you find yourself answering 'no' to that question, then I'd find a higher quality provider- even if it means spending a bit more money.
A good way to ascertain whether or not a photo booth provider is worth the money, is seeing how much knowledge they have about their craft. Photo booths are about capturing memories in a fun way, and a great way to make your event stand out even more is by getting creative. The more knowledge your prospective photo booth provider has, the more creative they are able to be. Many people are in the photo booth business because it's perceived as a quick and easy way to get paid. Those are the people that find themselves using ready made templates, and are very limited in their abilities to make your event stand out, and make your memories last for years to come. Beyond being creative with the rental itself, your provider should be able to do things with your photos after your event, if they do so choose. Slideshows, custom guestbooks and galleries, GIFs, things like that. If your provider does not or cannot provide those things, then you may want to question their ability to make the memories you capture at your event last. With the right provider, there are ways to re-live your special event for years to come.
What equipment does your photo booth provider have? Most photo booth providers have sufficient equipment, but some do not. A good photo booth provider will be able to provide dry-to-the-touch, high quality photos within a matter of seconds from the time you exit the booth. The photo booth should also be automated with a touch screen or button, with a good camera and proper lighting. With today's technology, there's a wide range of options out there. Just be sure to pick the right one.
This dovetails off of creativity and quality, but the additional features and products offered by your photo booth provider matter. The more they can do to enhance your experience before, during, and after your photo booth rental can be a huge difference in the memories created, and how long they last. Different people have different tastes, and the more ways that a company is able to use your photos to enhance your memories and make them last is best.
If you are having a photo booth at an event (one worth having anyway), then you are making at the very least a substantial investment in it. That said, you are more than likely having it for a meaningful occasion, and furthermore, you want the people there (especially working) presenting themselves well. This seems like it should go without saying, but one would be surprised. Staff should be dressed appropriately for the occasion, and be outgoing and friendly- making people loose and comfortable as they enter the booth. Relaxed people take the best photos.
7) Speed & Punctuality
It goes without saying that a photo booth company needs to be on time, especially if there is something like a wedding ceremony set to happen before the rental begins. If that's the case, then the photo booth provider will have to arrive early to set up so as not to interrupt things (be sure to outline these details with your provider, as there may be an idle fee involved). In addition to being on time, your photo booth provider's staff should be able to set up and take down the booth in a timely manner. It does not have to be instant, but it should not take too much time to get up and running. Taking that thought a bit farther, it should not take long to perform routine maintenance or solve a technical issue. Be sure to outline what portion of the rental the booth is to be up and running (many companies will build time for maintenance into your rental, although they may not need to use it).
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Click here for our Photo Booth Provider Profile PDF Sheet. A great resource for comparing Photo Booth providers as well as guiding you through the process of renting a booth for your special event.
Thanks and have fun creating memories!