How to Find the Best Photo Booth for Your Event, Wedding, or Party
Someone once said that the photo booth is “the greatest gift known to weddings since the open bar.” We couldn’t agree more, and it’s probably true for a lot more events too. However, when you spend a lot of money on a special event, the last thing you want to see in the middle of your banquet hall is an eye sore that breaks down half way through the evening. We’ve put together this concise guide – and this website – to help you avoid a calamity like this. Instead, we should be able to help you find the best photo booth possible for your special event whether it’s a wedding, company party, birthday party, seasonal party, trade show or corporate event.
Related: If you’re looking for ideas for our next party, check this out: 27 party ideas for adults
Make Sure You See the Photo Booth Before Your Event or Wedding
It’s surprising how many photo booth companies don’t provide pictures of their photo booths on their websites, but you’d be crazy to rent one without first seeing what you’re buying. Make sure you see pictures of the booth that will be at your event, and if you haven’t left renting the booth to the last minute, check it out in person.
Make Sure to See and Feel Real Sample Photos from the Booth
A lot of companies boast about how high tech their booth and equipment is. However, high definition screens, high resolution cameras, a flashy booth, and cool software mean nothing unless the booth prints professional quality photos that meet your standards. Imagine how embarrassing it would be if the ink on Uncle Frank’s photo runs when he puts his sweaty hands on it? There’s no way you’re ever going to live that down!
There really isn’t any way to know if you’re going to be satisfied with the finished product unless you get a chance to actually touch and feel it. So either ask the rental company to send you some actual samples in the mail or better yet, arrange to see their photo booth in person.
To reserve a photo booth for your wedding or special event, you may be tempted to pay the full amount of the rental months in advance with a credit card. While this may seem to make life easier, it will only complicate matters if you have a problem with the photo booth company and ask your credit card company to reverse the charges.
Most credit cards will only reverse a charge that was incurred within the last 30 – 60 days. So if you paid months ago, you could be out of luck. We suggest that you only pay a deposit to reserve a photo booth, and then make the remaining payment within 30 days of your event. Many photo booth companies do business like this anyway, so doing this shouldn’t be a problem. If it is, find another company that cares about protecting its clients.
Try Out the Photo Booth Before Your Event
Any rental company that wants your business will be happy to let you try out their booth before you commit to anything. You’ll want to check out a few things when you test drive the booth:
- Does the booth look right for your event? If something is not quite right, can they modify the booth for you?
- Ask the booth’s owner not to explain anything to you about how the booth works. Instead, imagine that you are one of your guests who walks up to the booth while the attended is busy and tries to use it on his or her own. Is it easy to figure out? Is it fun, or is it complicated and frustrating? What you feel and experience is what your guest are going to feel and experience. Make sure you’re paying for something that’s going to enhance your event and not detract from it.
- Get your picture taken in the photo booth and print off the photo strips. Did they print off fast enough? Do they look nice? Lick your finger and rub it on the photo strip to see if the ink smudges. Will you and your guests be happy with what you see?
- While you’re checking out the photo booth, ask yourself if the equipment and booth construction look like reliable, or are they cheap? Cheap equipment can overheat and break down in the middle of an event, and a cheap looking booth won’t reflect well on you or your event.
- Check out their props. Are they nice and clean? Do they have a good selection of fun stuff like mustaches, goofy hats, sunglasses and other items? Will your guests be happy to use the props or are they tired and old looking – or worse yet, grimy and dirty?
If you’re not satisfied with any aspect of a photo booth you’ve tested out, then try another company. There are tons of photo booth companies with many different types of booths. Don’t settle on anything until you’ve found what will work best for your event.
Check Out the Company’s Commitment to Quality
When you speak with a photo booth company, do they seem to genuinely care about your event or do they seem to be more interested in making money off of you? There’s nothing wrong with making money, but a service provider needs to earn your business and ensure they are doing their utmost to make sure their service is provided flawlessly. Here are some things to check out to make sure you’re hiring a quality company:
- Do they have a good reputation? Check out our listing for the company in your city and see if the company has a solid reputation on internet review sites like Yelp.ca and Google Places for Business. See if the Better Business Bureau has published any information on the company on their website (if they have, then we’ll also have it listed on our company listings).
- Ask the company how many booths they have. If they have only one, ask them what they will do if it breaks down the night before your event.
- Ask them what they will do if something on their photobooth breaks down during your event. Make sure you’re satisfied with their response. Some companies take backups of every vital piece of their photo booth with them to each event to ensure their peace of mind and a flawless experience for their paying client and their client’s important guests.
- If you took the time to check out the company’s photo booth, then you probably also got a good sense of how committed to their business the booth’s owners are.
Choose a Booth that Will Suit Your Event
Today there are so many choices when it comes to photo booths. You can rent open air photo booths that can capture from 1 to nearly 20 people in a photo as they pose in front of a backdrop, or you can ditch the backdrop and give your guests the option of photobombing their friends’ pictures. Some open air booths are so compact, it seems more appropriate to call them photo stands rather than booths. Some of these photo stands are sleek and narrow while others are very large high definition screens with enough photo editing options to keep your guests busy customizing their photos all night!
Open air photo booths are great for more formal functions like red carpet events, corporate events and some weddings. You can fit a lot more people into a photo with one of these booths than you can with more traditional enclosed photo booths. Everyone at your event can see what’s happening at an open photo booth. However, if you really want your guests to cut loose for a minute and really have some fun acting goofy for a few pictures, then an enclosed booth may be what you’re looking for.
Traditional style photo booths use walls, a curtain, or a combination of the two to create a more intimate, private space where people can feel more free to be themselves or allow the kid in them to emerge with the aid of some fun props like mustaches, Viking hats, over-sized glasses, or a feather boa. With no one watching, even the most reserved people can really have some fun and have a good time they’ll long remember.
While any type of photo booth can work for almost any event, it’s wise to consider your guest list, check out the photo booths that appeal to you, and make sure to select the one that will work best for everyone. If children will be attending your event, you’ll want to make sure that they’ll be tall enough to be photographed and that the photo booth is easy enough for them to operate.
Make Sure You Can Add Your Personal Touch
With any event, it’s nice to theme it and personalize it. Your photo booth rental can really add to this experience. Most photo booth rental companies allow you to add your event name, company logo, or the names of the bride, groom, and date to the photo strips the booth prints out. Some companies also offer amazing photo booth template designs and layouts that are themed for events such as Christmas, birthday parties, and weddings.
Some companies allow you to brand the photo booth itself for no additional charge. This can include putting the event name or company logo on the photo booth screen that guests will interact with or even putting the event name on the outside of the photo booth. If you want to go all out, for an additional cost some photo booth companies can create a wrap for the outside of the entire booth that will completely integrate the booth and your brand with your event.
Props are also an excellent way to personalize or theme your wedding, party, or event. A lot of companies with a well stocked supply of props should be able to offer you props that will match the theme of your event whether you’re doing a 1920’s themed wedding, a tropical themed family reunion, or a scary Halloween party. If the company you’d like to work with doesn’t have the right kind of props, you may be able to find some fun stuff at a local dollar store.
For whatever kind of event you’re hosting, if you check out the photo booth you’re going to rent in advance and inspect the quality of the photos their booth prints, you’re likely to find the best photo booth rental company for your event and ensure a ton of fun and great memories for everyone who joins you on your special day.