Part 1: The Truth Behind The Booth
The wedding industry is a unique environment unlike any others. You have many different companies competing to work at the lowest cost to you. These businesses each have their own specialty – entertainment, floral, venue, dress, cake, and limo services just to name a few. Without one, the other could fail. You could have the most beautiful venue (like the Cuyahoga County Courthouse), but without proper lighting and audio, it will be drab and unappealing. You can have bridesmaids dressed in the perfect color to match your motif, but if the flowers clash, what good is it?
There are a lot of factors that play into making your wedding successful. Based on what we have learned from being in the wedding industry for over 25 years, we can pin point what you need, who you need, and what to avoid when it comes to bringing your perfect day together.
It is now time for Selective Sound to share these years of knowledge with you. Why would we do this? Because we want to have just as good a time at your wedding as you do! Of course we will be working, but who is to say you can’t have fun at work? It is a wedding after all!
This post is going to focus on a part of the wedding that has seem to become a staple in recent years: The photo booth.
Why A Photo Booth
A photo novelty (photo booth, green screen, slow motion booth, video booth) is a great way to provide an alternative form of entertainment for your guests. If they aren’t big dancers, they surely will have some fun behind the curtains.
Three Most Common Types of Photo Booths
- Standard 2 person seated photo-booths (enclosed)
- Open air (no drape) photo booths
- Open air (draped) photo booths
Open Air Photo Booths
One of the things most open air (no drape) photo booth companies don’t want you to know is that guests don’t frequent the photo booth until later after dinner, generally after a few drinks. This means that you are paying the same rate for minimal usage during the cocktail hour and dinner. When you have an open booth without any drape, guests can see you posing and messing around, which decreases the chances that they will want to visit the booth at the fear of embarrassment.
If your wedding reception has roughly 150 guests, you can figure nearly half of them will want to take a photo. Some companies limit the amount of prints you are allowed for the night. Older photo systems and cheap booth printing can limit the amount of prints, which is why they may stop you at 80-100 photos. Most entry level companies will use a standard ink jet printer, which is not ideal for photo booth printing. Imagine if you brought your home printer to the wedding to print 100 photos. It can already be a nightmare just trying to print a few pages in your office let alone full resolution pictures on photo paper. The time it would take can be up to two minutes per page. And we have all been there when you run out of color ink at home…
When it comes to the camera, what do you think is the best option? Would you use a tiny webcam to take a photo that you want to look professional? If your photo company uses a $20 webcam, how do you think the photos will look? You already know the answer. You want a company that uses a high pixel per inch DSLR camera and external flash. This way you get the photos that are professional lighted and in focus.
Photo Booth Prices
The cost of your photo booth is important. Price also reflects quality. If someone is charging $395 for a photo booth, you can bet they are using a cheap camera, cheap paper (possibly not real photo paper at all), cheap ink, and low-resolution printers.
Placement Of The Booth
The venue will generally tell you, “Just place the photo booth in the back corner so it is out of the way” when they generally do not have an interest in where you want the booth to be. They are looking for functionality of their services, food, and drink. The best place to put the photo booth hands down is right next to the bar. This will be the most trafficked part of the venue. After all, you did pay for the booth, you need to get its moneys worth! Always remember the old saying – out of site, out of mind.
Be careful as some photo booth companies will tell you there will be someone there onsite, but how helpful are they really? What training do they have? Do they know how to fix the machine if/when it goes down? Do they know how to interact with the guests and step inside the booth each time and assist them with setting up the photo-booth system? Do they know how to print extra photos and how they can get the guests to add them into the scrapbook? If you have an experienced technician, you are going to get a ton more pictures and happy guests.
We will make this one easy. You need some props. Props are what make people laugh! Giant sunglasses, wigs, signs, hats, etc. It makes guests feel like they are someone else hidden behind a mask – and that’s when the fun pictures start to develop!
How To Find The Best Value
First: Look for a booth that is enclosed and that can provide privacy for your guests so they can be themselves behind a curtain. Make sure that the booth can be built onsite so you can fit it just about anywhere. Some older booths have issues with being able to fit into spaces and elevators.
Next: Look for a booth that fits your décor. This is important that you make sure it’s elegant and classy as well as extremely efficient.
Lastly: look for a photo-booth company that has printers that are dye sublimation vs. standard inkjet as printing will be extremely efficient and fast. The printers we use produce two prints at a time that are each 2×6 inches with up to four photos per strip. Average print time is six seconds for a photo strip. This means less waiting for your prints, and more guests can enjoy the booth.
Make sure you get a copy of your digital photos. The photo booth company should be able to provide you with a UBS drive or DVD disc with your images. In addition, make sure your service posts the pictures for free downloads for your guests. Don’t forget to make sure your guests know where to download the pictures.
These are the Selective Secrets to choosing a photo booth. If you have any questions or want to hear more about the photo booths we offer, feel free to contact us. There are always more secrets we might reveal!
This article was written by Jeremy “Jay R” Rich – VP of Sales & Founder of Selective Sound Entertainment. Selective Sound Entertainment is the sister company of Rock The House. This article was written on opinions from being in the business since 1987 and is not based on exact facts.