You’ve seen them in movies, with Vegas Casinos, Disneyland, anywhere there is certainly fun happening! Now, on the many fun day of your life, you too can have your own photo booth. Yes, picture booths are a hot item with finer weddings today. This trend is growing as brides look for methods to make their wedding reception special and fun for all.
Part 1 – WHY A PHOTO BOOTH?
For over 100 years the traditional four-shot photo strip has captured and preserved unique remembrances like no other photographic product. In addition to capturing memories, its real worth is as a form of entertainment.
Not everyone likes to dance at a wedding reception; goofing off in a photo booth offers just enough privacy to allow people to loosen up and play without feeling self conscious.
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What’s more, its appeal is cross generational; everyone enjoys it! If the booth has a gimmick like stage sets, green screen or the booth talks to them, visitors are much more likely to allow their guard down. This creates more spontaneous pictures. There is simply something about getting shoulder-to-shoulder behind a curtain which creates a sense of camaraderie and fun, exactly where people feel they can let go just a little and enjoy a shared experience.
As the photo strip prints out, everybody loves seeing themselves. Most companies include the name and date of the couple towards the top of each photo strip so each goes home with a keepsake from the wedding. In many ways this replaces the advantages of cameras on the tables and usually provides much better and more interesting images. The Bride and Groom typically get a variety of all photos taken by way of a photos disc, photo book or through online access. Not only will this offer them a look at how much fun their guests were having, but it captures those rare moments when family and friends, who are not often with each other, intermingle through the fun of the photo booth.
Part 2 – THE BEST WAY TO SHOP FOR A PHOTO BOOTH?
First understand that not all booths are created equal. There is a large range in pricing, that is usually (but not always), an indicator of quality. A choose few are full-time businesses, however for most this is a side business. While this means that there is a photo booth for each budget, to avoid being disappointed it is necessary that you define which features YOU feel are most valuable and that you compare several companies and ask plenty of questions. Here are a few differences to ask about:
APPEARANCE – There are booths, boxes, tents, pipe & drapes, kiosks and even a “pod”! Some photographers will setup a photo station where they take portraits and call it a photo booth. Make sure you see what the booth will look like; when none is featured on the website, there is certainly probably a good reason. While the rate may be better for your budget, be aware of what will show up at your reception first! Everything you don’t want is a surprise. Many brides spend months creating their perfect reception and don’t want it ruined by an unsightly product.
FUNCTIONALITY – Each company will have their own special features to make their booth stand out. Find out what’s available and decide which features you like best. Inquire what special features come with the booth; Props, Green Screen, Speaking Booth, Video, Scrapbooking, Etc . Furthermore ask how many photos it takes, whether or not it prints single or copy, are props sanitized (there are usually health concerns with reused props) and inquire how the photos are delivered (DVD or online). Be sure and see examples of photos taken in the booth.
DEALS & PRICE – There will be a lot of similarities from company-to-company but every will include different extras for the price. Some will up-sell from a menus of options, some are all-inclusive breaks. In my opinion, best practice is that there should be no extra charge to receive the digital photos from the event. A key feature of renting a photo booth should be that the photos are included. At the very least, know ahead of time what you will be getting. The prices range anywhere from $700 in order to $2000, but a quality 4-hour presentation area rental usually begins around $1200. When choosing, factor in booth design, exclusive features and number of hours integrated. Don’t assume it’s the same amount of hours for each company.
Part 3 – HOW TO USE A PHOTO BOOTH FOR A WEDDING?
Place the photo booth within an area of the reception where it will not hinder other events like the cake slicing or dancing. It should be easily accessible, yet out of the way of the action and service staff.
As is true with a wedding DJ, 4 hours of photo presentation area entertainment is usually just right. I recommend starting the booth during the cocktail hour. This gives people something fun to accomplish and they become aware of the booth which will draw them back throughout the evening. Unlike the dance floor, the photo booth will attract guests throughout the dinner hour. After dinner there is usually a surge on the booth, so starting your four hours at cocktail hour gets the most out of your photo booth.
Generally in the last hour of a reception more desire for focused on the DJ and the dance floor. If traffic to the presentation area is slow, a simple announcement through the DJ will usually get things going. Not all booths look like a typical photograph booth so guests might not be very clear what it is. Once invited, it’s usually a big hit!
Photo booths are fun, they make people laugh and provide everyone with valuable memories! Educated shopping requires a little buyer information and some comparison. If you are working with the planner, be sure and let her know your interest in a photo booth and get her opinion as to which usually companies she is comfortable recommending.
Rest assured that whether your focus is definitely on quality of photos, look of the booth, entertaining features, price or a combination thereof, there is a solution out there which is just right for you. Learn about what you are buying and be sure that you are comfortable with the professionals you’ve chosen to hire, and you’ll have a great experience with your photo booth! For years in the future, you and your guests will treasure your special day each time they run across their photo strips. Rent a photo presentation area today!