Selecting a Photo Booth Company and what to look for.
Selecting a Photo Booth Company and what to look for.
There is many companies now days offering Photo Booth services, however not all Photo Both services are the same. Keyword “Service”. Now a days you can find them from $295 up to $2000. I get asked frequently “What Makes you better?”, “What are the differences in Photo Booths?”, “What should I be looking for?”, and my favorite “Why do you cost so much? So here I break it down to help answer some of these questions starting with the basics:
Does your Photo Booth company have Insurance and a business license?
This may seem basic, but this roots out a lot of the hobby Photo Booth people that do it on the side or are not true professionals. Some venues also require that your Photo Booth provider provide proof of insurance before performing and in some cases the Photo Booth provider has to do some additional paperwork to add the venue on their insurance for your event.
Do I get prints and what is all the social media sharing?
Yes, some companies offer a hot price because they are not offering prints or offer limited prints. You should look for a company that offers prints and unlimited sessions as well as prints. Sessions means times your in the booth. So they could offer unlimited sessions, but not unlimited copies. You should also look for a photo booth company that offers social media sharing. This is so your guests and yourself can share images you just took via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, and Text. The top two sharing methods though are Email and Text. Most people don’t remember their passwords for the other accounts. So they can share those images to themselves and share with the world. Please remember the share feature only works in areas where the photo booth operator can get a good internet signal. Most good operators bring their own Hotspot for internet, however it’s important to place the booth in a area that has at least 3 bars of signal on your phone.
Differences in Photo booth design.
Now a days photo booths come in many different shapes and designs. At Y-it Entertainment we offer two different Photo booth types. A traditional Pedestal style and a Mirror Booth. Both units offer picture taking in an open configuration style so everyone can see what you’re doing. This offers many benefits of having group photos, different backdrops, and in some cases rapid changing of props. This also can give you the red carpet feeling.
Camera Technology and Lighting.
There is many ways to capture images. Different Photo booths use iPads, Web cameras, and DSLR cameras. We recommend the DSLR camera out of the three. Gives you the best picture, however iPad works well for being portable and small. If you are really focused on quality DSLR is the way to go which is what we use in Y-it Entertainment Booths.
Lighting also plays a big role. Color of lighting or lighting temperature. Constant lighting vs flash. We have moved to flash lighting as it requires less setup time and less equipment. If you are doing a lot of video and green screen then constant is the best way to go which requires additional lighting fixture for setup. Most better photo booth companies come with everything they need. If you decided you want the photo booth outside there may be a little more down time to adjust the camera as the sun sets and changes throughout the day.
Difference in Mirror Booth vs Pedestal.
Both booths use the same camera and social media sharing software. Mirror booth offers lots of animated visual affects and of course it’s like looking into a mirror. The mirror booth though is limited to being in a shady area or covered space due to the mirror and reflection from the sun. The mirror booth also takes a vertical shot or what we call head to toe where the Pedestal booth takes a horizontal shot. Mirror booth also produces 4×6 pictures where the pedestal is setup to do strips. Both Photo booths come from award winning companies in the industry.
Most budget companies have what we call templates where they just drop your name in and the date and there you go. Better Photo booth companies actually have a designer on staff and can do many different things. The only template is number of pictures and the size it prints which gives you endless possibilities. So if you are looking to match a theme and be consistent at your event this is the way to go.
Backdrops & Props
This is my favorite topic. One thing that sets a lot of Photo Booth companies apart is backdrops and props. We offer many different choices in backdrops for your pictures and we even offer to do custom backdrops or even source a backdrop if we don’t carry it. All of our backdrops go all the way to the floor. It’s not just about the look in the picture we want our event space to stand out. Many budget companies offer limited basic options and presentation is less than desirable.
Props is another hot button for me. When selecting a photo booth company look at the pictures with props. Many companies claim to offer lots of props or nicer props, but when they show up it barely fills the table. Better Photo Booth companies arrive with a full 6ft table of high quality props. Instead of the cardboard signs they use pic hard plastic signs. More durable and look professional. Having options to work with adds more excitement and more visits to the booth.
Technology in Picture making.
Photo technology has grown in recent years and we see it to keep going farther. Technology options are: Green screen. This is where you stand in front of a green backdrop and based on the images you selected we can put you in that picture. Animated GIF. This is where you take several photos and then the computer animates them in a small video to share. Morphing: This is where we take your picture and then show a animated photo of you morphing into someone else or thing. Slow Motion. This is where the camera shoots video then slows the video down. This works great with more interactive props such as confetti, water, or streamers. Light painting. We take photos in the dark and we use a special light saber to make light images in the photo. All these different options are typically provided by your better Photo Booth operators.
Service at the event.
Better Photo Booth operators have a Photo Booth Attendant during service. This is to help your guests with taking great photos and insure a great experience. Better operators have attendants that show up on time, dressed professionally, smile, and are eager to help your guests take photos. Better Photo Booth operators also don’t show up in the middle of your event to setup. They are setup and ready to go before your event. Presentation means a lot and seeing up during is just distracting to your event.
How many Hours do I need?
Many Photo booth companies offer 2, 3, 4, and 5 hour services. We offer two packages 3 hours and 4 hours. 3 hours for corporate or life event parties such as Birthdays, reunions, etc… 4 hours for weddings. We have tried 3 and 5 hours. 4 hours is right on the money for weddings. We recommend if possible to start photo booth service during cocktail hour so you finish one hour before the party ends giving your DJ or Band that last hour for dancing! If you are thinking 2 hours. We believe thats just a gimmick because you are going to trade up to 3 or 4 hours anyway. That’s where experience pays off. 5 hours is way to much unless you’re doing a huge event such as trade show or festival.
We always recommend you pick a company with great reviews. Don’t just look at the overall score. Read the comments so you know what to expect. We recommend WeddingWire.com or TheKnot.com for real reviews. You may not be looking for a Photo booth for a wedding, but these two sites are trusted in the industry for real trustworthy reviews.
What should be my photo booth budget?
If you are below $500 for 3 or 4 hours of service I would say buyer beware unless you’re getting a deal for getting other services. Most good photo booth companies are going to be $795-$995 with great results. It also depends on how many extra features you added such as green screen, animated gif, premium custom backdrops, etc…
Need a Photo Booth? Contact us via email, use the short form on the bottom of this page or call us 805-200-4044.