Second only to the DJ, photo booths are rapidly becoming the must have guest entertainment at parties. However it is not just a case of googling or ringing round a few booth companies and going with the cheapest price.
There are a few things you need to consider when hiring a photo booth for a party. In this article I aim to give you a checklist of all the key things you should be looking at when hiring a photo booth for your next party.
Things to consider here are:
Size Of Your Booth
Will it fit in a suitable space in your chosen venue?
Is it a portable booth the can be easily moved up and down stairs and then assembled in situ?
Will it fit in enough people – some have seats that will only cope with 1 or 2 people. Others can cope with up to 10-12 – ask your potential supplier
What type of crowd are your guests? There will be a complete difference between the guests at an 18th Birthday and a 25th Anniversary Party.
You need to check with your booth supplier how sturdy the booth will be and even if they are willing to do the booth for that type of event. 18 year olds can get a little excitable!
Linked closely with the section above about size your venue are also likely to ask to see a copy of the following:
- Confirmation that the booth is fire-proof, especially the curtains etc. Be wary of any booths that incorporate materials such as MDF for foam padded seating.
- A Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) certificate
WiFi – does you venue provide free access to a wi-fi link – this will be a requirement if you are having live posting of the pictures for Facebook if a hard wire ethernet connection is not available (and in most cases ethernet is not).
Following on from the last point – ask your provider if the booth has an option for live posting of the images to Facebook – this doesn’t have to mean all the photos are automatically posted to Facebook but it will allow you to give your guests the option from within the booth.
In most cases you will also have the option to post either to your own Facebook page or that of your booth supplier.
Share Pod – Does your booth supplier provide the option of a social media share pod? This is an interactive stand that sits outside the booth and allows your guests to view and share the photos outside of the booth during your party. It will also give more options such as post to Twitter or pin to Pinterest.
The Photo Booth
I have already mentioned the size of the booth, safety and social media. Other things you need to consider when hiring a photo booth for a party include:
The colour – do you want a plain white booth – very popular for weddings? A black booth? Or are you happy for the booth to have the branding of your booth supplier on it?
Do you want your own branding, pictures or messages on the booth? Although likely to be an extra cost if this is something you would like and have the budget for it is worth asking your booth supplier if this is an option they can provide, whether a single panel or the complete booth.
External Screen – Does the booth you are booking have an external screen? These can be great for guests mingling around or waiting to go into the booth to see the photos of the people already inside the booth – very much worth asking for if available from your booth supplier.
Green Screen – this is the feature that allows your guests to choose a digital background to be pictured in front of. Essentially your booth with have a green curtain or panelling on the inside and your guests will see a range of backgrounds to choose from on the touchscreen, which will appear on the photo in place of the green screen that is behind them.
Digital Props – props can be great fun for your guests but there is a limit to the number and type of props that your booth supplier can bring with them. Digital props on the other hand can enable your guests to choose from a larger range of fun props that through the use of facial recognition can be overlaid on, above or to the side of their eyes, mouth, head or indeed whole face.
Digital props are one of the latest developments in party photo booths and definitely worth asking your booth supplier if their booth has the option.
Photo Booth Options
When hiring a photo booth for a party you should also consider some of the options that might be available or that come as part of the package:
Guest book and second set of prints – does your booth provider give this as an option? If available I would recommend it as it will provide you and your family with many weeks, months and even years of great memories of your party.
Delivery and use times – are you limited just to when your booth company say they can set-up the number of hours they will provide the booth? If there is a period of time that the room will be in use before the party i.e for presentations, speeches or even sit down meals that you do not want to be disturbed by the setting up of the booth ask about an earlier arrival and set-up time and what is commonly known in the industry as “idle time”.
Keyrings – these are a great option, especially for your guest to take away with them. Depending on your booth supplier you will likely have the option to be able to purchase a number of keyrings as part of the package which your booth attendant will make-up from your guests photos or allow your booth supplier to offer them to guests as something they can pay for during the party.
Some people when hiring a photo booth for a party have even been known to do a deal with the booth supplier whereby the keyrings are purchased by the guests and part of that income is offset against the cost of the booth – it might be worth considering asking the question.
Dressing up Props – I’ve already mentioned digital props but physical props can also be great fun for your guests. Check if these are supplied with your hire or if they are an optional extra.
Also if you are having a themed party ask if a set of themed props would be available or if they hirer is happy fo you to bring along your own. The only thing you need to be mindful of is if you are using green screen – it’s not a good idea to have props with green in them – although it can lead to some pretty unusual pictures.
I have already mentioned greenscreen backgrounds but there are also other things to think about ahead of your party:
Photo layout – do you want your guests to have a choice of layouts i.e. a single image or one with 2,3 or 4 smaller photos on it. For multiple image photos do you want them to be square to the edges of your photo or at different angles.
Background – Do you want a bespoke background to your photo onto which the picture of your guests will sit – what do you want on this background? It is possible to have a bespoke background for the overall photo and also to let your guests to choose a greenscreen digital back ground for the image they take in the booth.
Text – Do you want any text overlaid onto your photos i.e Cara’s 21st Party, Rob & Ali’s 20th Anniversary etc? Where do you want this text – in the middle or elsewhere on the photo?
All these things should be agreed in advance with your supplier when hiring a photo booth for a party. The last thing you want to do is find that you have last-minute changes that need to be done but eat into your hire time or in the worse case can’t be made on the night.
Your Photo Booth Attendant
When you are hiring a photo booth for a party it will likely come with what is known as a “photo booth attendant”. This will either be a professionally trained individual or the booth owner. Things you need to confirm with your provider in advance include:
Dress code – most will come smartly dressed as a matter of course. But do you have any particular requirements for dress i.e dinner jacket, theme dress, colours etc – again make sure if you do you agree these up front with your supplier.
CRB – is this a requirement for your party? Can you supplier provide an attendant who has been CRB checked – again if it is a requirement ensure that you check this well in advance to ensure that particular attendant is available for your event.
Other Booth Styles
Are you looking for something a bit different when hiring a photo booth for a party? Is you party themed? It’s always worth asking if your hirer has any other booth types available. These can range from Taxi Cabs, Rickshaw Booths (tuk tuk), A-Team Vans, VW Campers and Retro Caravans.
I hope this post has given you a useful list of things to consider and ask your supplier when you are looking at hiring a photo booth for a party or other event.
Please feel free to use it as a checklist and share it to anyone else you know who might be thinking or interest in hiring a photo booth for their party.
Also if you have any questions or are not quite sure about anything mentioned above please let me know by leaving a comment below.