Photo Booth 101: What to consider when renting
So, you have been planning a wedding for months now and you have done a lot of research to find the right vendors. By now, you have checked off important items such as your reception site, photographer, DJ, limo service, and all the other components that make your dream day a success. Now it comes down to the icing on the cake – a photo booth. Maybe you have experienced one at someone’s wedding or at a bridal show. Either way, it seems apparent that renting a photo booth is a novel and worthwhile way to spend your wedding dollars and treat your guests to a night of memorable fun. Fortunately for you, there aren’t too many of us around. We photo booth companies are still somewhat a rarity within the wedding industry. That means you don’t have to search high and low to find the right vendor amongst dozens of choices like you would for say, a photographer. With that said, here are some aspects to consider when renting a photo booth.
Ask for samples from your vendor.
Believe it or not, there is a distinction in paper quality. True photo stock paper is thicker and glossier than less expensive varieties. Compare the sample paper to pictures you may have had developed at Walgreens or Target, which use the highest grade papers from Fuji or Kodak. Second, find out HOW the pictures are printed. Dye sublimation is the key work here. In basic terms, a picture that is printed through dye sublimation will not fade over time because color is thermally absorbed INTO the paper rather than “spread” on the surface. Here is a good litmus test: Hold the picture sample up to sunlight. If you can see blotches in the ink, that’s most likely a laser jet printer at work. Why is this important? Your photo booth pictures better stand the test of time, as your wedding day is a very important day in your life. You assume the photographer you hired will deliver quality prints to last a lifetime. Why should you expect anything different from a photo booth scrapbook? This will be your visual guest book after all!
Can the photo booth get into your reception venue?
Photo booths vary in size, so make sure the machine can gain access into your venue. For example, check to see that your venue has a handicap ramp and that doorways are wide and tall enough for the machine to pass through. The “pipe and drape” variety of photo booths do not encounter this problem because they can be set up on site. However, set up requires time, and that may add to the cost of rental. Assuming the photo booth can fit into the room, consider how much space it will require. Understand that you may need a table dedicated to making a scrapbook and that a line of people will likely form throughout the night. Combined, these factors can lead to a crowded space, so make sure your floor plan will properly accomodate this reality.
How is the booth constructed?
Camera and printer technology are important. There are photo booth rental companies out there using “off the rack” components to keep costs low. For example, a commerical grade printer can handle a more demanding workload, printing pictures faster with higher resolutions and hold more film. Also, it helps if your photos will come out pre-cut, so the attendant on hand does not have to do so manually. All of this adds up to more pictures taken with less wait for your guests. A Say Cheese photo booth prints and cuts two identical copies in only 11 seconds, allowing hundreds of pictures to be taken during the allotted rental time.
Also consider the mobility of your photo booth. For example, can the booth be moved for a cocktail hour? If the booth requires assembly, then the answer is likely to be no.
How far away are the people in the picture?
This is important to consider because the closer the face, the more “personality” you will see in your guests’ pictures. Otherwise, it can look more like a posed picture with a digital camera. It’s important to control how far away people are from the camera. Otherwise, you can have pictures with miniscule heads and bodies. The magic of a photo booth lies in its uncanny ability to elicit silliness, romance, and unique faces from your guests. This is the “fun factor” of renting a photo booth, so you want to maximize what that looks like. In other words, it’s all about the face. That is where the personality of your guests shines.
Read the contract.
Do your homework and look at the details before you committ to any one company. Some companies advertise a low rate and add on charges for items such as set up, idle time, extra prints, CD’s, scrapbooks, and travel. Also, pay attention to the deposit. Some companies may require a 50% deposit upfront to secure your date. This can affect your budget by taking hundreds of dollars away that were meant for other items. We only require a flat $100 deposit to secure your date, not a percentage of your total rental cost.
Experience and reputation for quality service are vital when choosing any vendor. Speaking for ourselves, we have serviced hundreds of weddings and other events like corporate parties, mitzvahs, proms, and the like. This is our sole focus and we have gained a lot of experience over the years. Therefore, we can give competent advice and tell you what to expect. We promise quick correspondence to emails and phone calls. Also, we have 14 photo booths to provide greater availability for your rental date.
Article Written By: Patrick Callahan
Company Name: Say Cheese Photo Booth
Company Phone: 513-256-3460 (business)