7 Things to Consider When Hiring a Photo Booth
We have come a long way in photo booth technology in recent years and with all of the options out there today, which is the best to consider for your event and what should you look out for? In this blog, I will address the 7 most common things to consider when looking for a photo booth for your next event.
When considering having a photo booth at your wedding or party, it is always wise to consider your budget first and foremost. All services come with a charge and when it comes to the events industry, having everything you want can be costly. Of course if you feel the need to have anything at your event, you will make the budget for it. In saying that, before you set a certain budget for your 'needs', do some research on the costs of everything before saying to yourself, "this will only cost $400, that will only cost $200". Everyone has fallen in this trap and soon realises that their assumed value on things are far from the actual cost of them.
You will, of course, need certain services to make the memories last from your big event – the photography and videography. These services are very important to most and will most likely capture all of the beauty and magic from the night, but not so much the fun and silliness that your guests may have. This is where the photo booth comes in! But with all the different options out there, how do you choose.. Read on to find out.
2. Open-air or Enclosed
Photo booths have come a long way since I got married! The only offerings were the enclosed, traditional style booths, where you would cram into it with a handful of friends and squash together to all get in the shot.
These booths are great if you have friends or family who would feel more compelled to use a photobooth with privacy curtains. The problem is that they don’t look appealing from the outside and you have limits with how many people can get into the shot.
Then you have open-air photo booths, which now come in all shapes and sizes. If budget is an issue for you, then the less expensive photo booths are those that incorporate iPads. Although these can be either enclosed or open-air, most of them will be the later. Instapod and hashtag printing became big at one point, as they were cost effective and easy to use without an attendant.
Enter the new age with the Mirror Photo Booth! Mirror Me photobooths were first thought up by foto master and still are the best going around. Why I say this is because they constantly update their software to have the latest animations and features to make any night memorable. Although considerably more expensive than the traditional photo booths, or the instapod and other iPad photo booths, a Selfie Mirror Photo booth would be the perfect addition to any wedding, engagement, milestone birthday party and corporate conference party. It will make a lasting impression for everyone who saw it.
3. Price vs Product
Generally speaking now, you get what you pay for. This saying is consistent in most industries. Photo booths are no difference. When you compare two products, one that will cost you $500 for the night and the other $1500, you must ask yourself what is so special about the high-ticket item. A low end product will be good and it will serve its purpose, but is the quality going to be there? Are the photos taken with an iPad (most smartphones these days take better pictures) or are they taken with a professional DSLR camera?
Photo booths are in the “making memories” market, and as such you would like to have great memories to look back on. If your photographer used their smart phone to capture your memories on the night, would it be as good as a professional DLSR camera? The quality will surely be noticeable..
4. What’s Included?
So you have chosen what kind of photo booth you want? Great! Now how do you choose the best supplier…? Check out each of their offerings and see who gives the most value for the money they are asking for.
Some suppliers charge for guest books and red carpets and some others have them as standard inclusions. Some offer custom designed photo templates that will match your wedding theme while others will just have a standard template they use, full with their own branding on them. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to pay for services that are going to take advantage of me to market their brand to my guests. A simple website URL or a small logo is acceptable, but this night is all about you and what you want. Choose a photo booth supplier who understands this.
Check out the company website and see what their brand is all about. Are there photo's from their past events? Do they look great? What kind of props (if any) do they use? These are all things you should look out for on their website or social pages.
Ask them question's about their service and their products; "Why should I choose you over the other 1000 companies out there?" and see how they respond. You will tell if they are genuine or not.
5. Check the Company Profile
Do your research to see what this company is all about. How does their website look and feel like to you? Do they put a great time and effort into social media posts? Is their content on their sites high quality? The more time they invest in their business means the more they care about making great impressions! If you see great content across their sites, you know they have spent good money on professionals to work on their images and videos.
The costs of running a photo booth business isn’t only buying a photo booth, set it up at events and get paid; the cost's are much much greater than that. You need to consider how they advertise, how much their content costs (photographer/videographer), how much staff they have, quality of their props and quality of their photo booth.
6. Review's and Recommendation's
Check their reviews and see if those reviews are genuine or written by friends and family. Also, if they have a very high number of reviews, chances are they paid some company to do false reviews (yes it exists). Generally, the reviews from Facebook are the most genuine as Facebook has safe guards against paid reviews to try and keep it fair for those who are looking at the business.
Check the bad reviews and see how or if they responded. This is a measure of how much they care about their brand. If they do not respond to bad reviews (or good ones too), then you get a snapshot into their work ethic.
7. Customer Service
That brings us to the most important thing of all.. Customer service! Have you ever done an online enquiry and got a response so general you know it was an automated process done by a computer? These photo booth businesses, or any business for that matter, do not care about you, they just want your money. Of course all businesses are in it for the money, but some don't take the time to see what you want. Some don't even respond to enquiries.
If you enquire to a company who has made a personal response and asks you questions about your event, your venue, your theme or any other details about your needs, then these are the types of people you want to work with. They want to work WITH you to make your special event as good as it can be. They will do everything in their power to make you happy, and this is what you want. You don’t want someone telling you what they want. It is your day and anyone who tries to meet your requirements is a winner.
I hope this blog post was somewhat informative to anyone who wants to hire a photo booth at his or her wedding or any other special event.
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Written by Bill Kontos from @theselfiestandphotobooth