Photo booths have become a staple of weddings. It is rare to attend a wedding without a photo booth. This is because they add a way for your guests to interact and create memories with something for them and you to take home. It is really a great addition to any party.
However, if you are on a budget, they might seem expensive and so you may be tempted to try a DIY photo booth or selfie station. And that can be nice, but it does not recreate the photo booth experience.
Hiring a cheap photo booth company can also be dangerous for several reasons. Be sure to read their reviews, look at samples of the strip or photo quality and look at their equipment. You want a real DSLR camera. Pictures taken by a tablet are not always the best. You want to make sure they use a professional grade flash and a dye sub printer. And you want to make sure they can and will personalize the photo strip with your information, and I prefer when their website or company name is not on the front of the strip. It is your event. You should be front and center.
If you are looking for ways to save money on a professional photo booth, here are a few ways:
1. Limit the hours you have the photo booth for. Most companies can get through 30 pictures an hour. Remember that is not 30 guests. People use the photo booth in groups!
2. Start later. Most people do not use a photo booth in the first 1/2-1 hour of the event. First, most people do not show up at the exact start time. Then they spend the first part of an event mingle, getting comfortable and getting drinks.
3. Simplify the booth style. There are so many different types of booths out there. There is the mirror booth. The LED inflatable. The trailer booth. All of these are so cool! But you can still have a wonderful time and get high quality pics with a Open Air/Step and Repeat booth.
4. Go with a small business. Larger companies that have multiple photo booths and services have many employees and lots of overhead. Smaller companies most likely have the owner as the operator and maybe a handful of part time employees. The photo booth is probably kept in their house or a small rented space. Plus small businesses are much more personal and easy to work with much of the time.
5. Just digital. Photo booths have the capabilities of printing on the spot and sending it electronically. Typically, sending it electronically costs pennies, but the prints cost a bit more. Can you forgo the print? Your guests will still have the experience and the giggles and a little something to take home--a digital copy. Before you make this decision you need to know your crowd--tech savvy early adopters and green leaning guests will love this option. Older and more traditional guests might not.
Before you DIY a photo booth, call your local photo boother and see if they can think of ways to work within your budget. Remember, asking them or expecting them to lower their price will not win you favor. This is their living and their art; respect it. But maybe they can talk with you about your specific needs and visions and make some suggestions.
I write this blog to combine my 2 favorite things- writing and partying. I believe parties are meant to bring people together for fun, and really nothing else.