As the popularity of photo booths at weddings and parties continue to grow more and more companies are entering the market, this is good and bad for you the consumer. More companies mean a wider selection of services and price ranges however, it also means there are many more less than reputable companies entering the market as well.
When selecting a company to provide a photo booth for your event you want to find a vendor that will deliver a quality product at a reasonable price. Keep in mind that price should not be the only determining factor. Cheaper companies are often cheap for a reason. If you do your homework and research your photo booth companies well you should have little to worry about at your event.
Things to ask before renting a photo booth?
1. Do they have insurance?
What can go wrong? Oh, please! This is probably the most important event of your life. Your Venue, Caterer, Coordinator, DJ, Photographer and even your cake vendor will most likely have insurance. It is just as important that your photo booth entertainment does as well. Are you hiring a professional or an amateur?
2. How do I know what package to choose?
Although you might think that you need 5 hours of photo booth at your event, the package you choose should be determined by the number of guests that you are inviting. If you have less than 100 guests attending, it is NOT a good investment to pay for 5 hours. If your guest list is over 250, you really should provide two booths. Because of their popularity, lines for photo booths can be very long. No one likes to wait in lines, especially guests at a wedding who have had plenty to drink and their feet are killing them. The following rule is industry standard for bars as well.
Here is a rule of thumb for number of guests or attendees:
30-125 people = One Booth, three hours
125-250 people = One Booth, four hours
250-500 people = Two Booths, four hours
500-1000 people = Three Booths, four-five hours
3. What is included in a rental package?
That depends on the vendor, but as a consumer you can request all add-ons be included in the quoted package price. Such add-on items are props, guestbook, online hosting, social media, and customized headers. However, many companies charge extra for these items and that is why you should always ask upfront about what exactly is included in that promotional price. Individually these add-ons can bloat the end cost of the rental package. Price shopping is not always a guarantee of saving money.
4. Can the photo strips be personalized?
Yes, most vendors customize the photo strips with names and date. This is called the Header or Strip Design. But here again, ask to see what this looks like. You can request a sample of what the end product will look like. It may not sound like a big deal but these strips are the one thing that guests hold onto long after your wedding or event. It leaves a lasting impression and a reminder of this perfect day…so why not give them the best.
5. Do you offer unlimited photos at the event?
Again, most vendors advertise unlimited photos at events but it would be smart to have “unlimited” defined. Here is why…
If 5 people are in the booth, 5 people should get a copy. For some companies, unlimited means 2 copies per session. That means that out of those 5 people, 2 will get photo strips. Ask the vendor to be specific.
6. Is there an attendant operating the booth all night?
Many clients assume that there is an attendant included and just as many assume that the booth runs itself. It’s a machine! There should always, always be an attendant. That’s like setting up a bar and not including a bartender. Someone needs to be responsible for and maintain the product you are paying for.
7. Is there a contract? Will you receive a written contract stating the responsibilities of both parties?
If your event is important, then your contract should be important as well. We've had calls from frantic clients trying to book us last minute because the photo booth they hired bailed on them 1 week or even days before their event. We have been doing this for the last 4 years and have not had to cancel an event.
8. What kind of back up plan do you have in place in case there is a problem at my event? What will they do if something goes wrong on the day of your event or at your event?
Do they have a backup of their equipment? Extra cameras, extra printers, extra flash units, extra paper. These are just some of the things that can break or run out during the event. We have done hundreds of events and believe me things break, computers crash, and printers jam.
9. How busy is their business?
The most successful booth companies are booked constantly. Ask to see their work. This will give you an idea of the quality of the work that they do for their clients. The kind of clients they work with and locations determines their capabilities.
10. What kind of equipment do they use?
Do they use a DLSR or a webcam? Do they use a dye sub printer or a home inkjet printer? How fast does it print? How does their setup look like? Equipment and setup makes a big difference in the quality and overall experience of your guests.
Remember price is a small factor when you consider how important and priceless your event will be. Don't take a chance. Shop smart.