Choosing & Booking A Photo Booth

Which type of booth?

The first thing you will want to decide upon when contemplating hiring a photo booth, is which type of booth you want to hire. Open booths (as opposed to the walk in pod type) are becoming very popular of late. The advantages of an open booth over the enclosed type include the option to fit more people in the photograph, the social element of friends and family being able to watch the posing, and ignominy cases, the visual aesthetic of the open style booth. Open booths are often an attractive addition to the function room, which helps to add interest, and creates more interest in using the booth than a closed in booth would.

The closed in booths are still great addition tot he party, and many businesses offering photo booth hire will compensate for clients who’d like a more private set-up, by offering an enclosure in the form of a blow up walk-in pod. 

So its up to you to first decide if you’d like a more sociable open-booth style, or the more private capsule type.

How long will I need to hire the booth for?

This usually comes down tot he amount of guests you are expecting at your event. A wedding of up to 150 guests, should be fine with a three hour hire (which is the standard hire period in the UK). Any more guests, and you may want to consider a four hour hire to give everyone a chance to enjoy the booth.

Level with me.. how much?

Lots of shrewd business props get you into the buying funnel, convert the click, pull you in with a slogan, obtain a contact initiation, then tell you a price.

Me, I’m less subtle:

In the States, boothers will be gasping at how low these prices are, but in the UK they’re just a tad below average in a competitive market. The American service usually includes custom templates (and usually costs an average of $1000 for a 3hr hire), which as you read on, you’ll realise why the price difference is so drastic.

Keep it local!

Fuel costs money. Booths can’t be transported by horse and cart. Vehicles need fuel. Fuel costs money (did I already say that?)… Ah look, I’ll stop trying to be smart: Less distance = Less fuel surcharges.

Backdrops.. Do I need one?

If you have opted for a closed in booth, you won’t need to consider a backdrop. If you are hitting up the on trend open booth style, then personally I would always answer this question with a big YES. There are exceptions, when space is limited or ceiling height is shallow, but in general, your photographs will look so much better with a nice backdrop. When backdrops aren’t used, the photos may contain your aunt Jean chewing your brothers ear off, or the bar staff pulling a frothy pint. Backdrops keep the photos clean, and a good hire firm with a pro quality backdrop set up will still keep the set-up looking neat and tidy. Pillow-cover tension frames and backdrops are my personal favourite for their tidyness and crease free appearance. 

What is a template?

Templates are the background of the photographs themselves. Good suppliers of photo booth hire will usually give you some options on templates. Typically you would choose a colour and they would offer you a selection from their catalogue. You should also be able to add your chosen text, such as your names and wedding date, or Happy Birthday Jack etc. This should all be included in your chosen suppliers package.

Custom design templates (designed just for you) will incur design charges. If you imagine a photo booth hire business sending 4 booths out, 3 times per week, its easy to understand why fully custom templates involve design charges. You could expect to pay upwards of £150-200 for custom design as a basic service. If you wanted multiple edits, you’d probably be looking upwards of 400-500. Not worth the money in my opinion, but some folks have more money than me!

OK, break it down for me...

Right ok, ill get to the nitty gritty. As a boother (a business hiring out photo booths), I would recommend the following, and I’m amazing.. so……

  • An open booth – either a mirror, or a pod style. Id personally want prints of the photos (as opposed to just a media booth (one which just takes a pic and lets you view the photo on a screen/phone etc)
  • A backdrop – Block out venue clutter.
  • A colour customised template with your message or logo integrated onto the template.
  • 3 or 4 hours of unlimited visit (to the booth) hire.

What about guestbooks etc?

Sure, pick a provider that offers a few incentives to sweeten the deal. A lot of UK boothers offer a free USB stick with the photos from the event in jpeg format (no template background) & a free photo album (slip in style) guestbook.

But I totes wanna share my pics online..

Modern booths have sharing options built in, but they are completely dependant on wi-fi connections, so check with your venue if you can connect and if so… Facebook is a go-go!

You haven't mentioned green screens?

Im detecting a little attitude in your questions…ha, green screens can be used instead of the backdrop. Boothers (you’re talking the lingo now) will often use the same set-up for green screens as they do for backdrops, so pop your request in and you’ll be posing in front of mount Everest before you know it!

Im bored now.. too much writing on this page!

Ok fine! here are some pics then.

Good luck in booking your booth. Oh btw, make sure you pick a hire business who will offer you a contract for the agreement. Deposit average in UK is £50 and the remainder of the balance is usually due on the day of the event.

I hope you’ve found this useful. Comment any more info you’d like and ill make some edits!

Heres a video!