Finding the Best Photo Booth Company
Digital Photo Booth services have quickly become the must-have item for weddings, birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, quinceaneras, high school reunions, charities, expos and corporate events! Everyone from DJs, photographers, videographers, event coordinators, hotels and venues are all scrambling to find ways to incorporate this exciting and unique new concept into their own service offerings. With so many styles of photo booths (of varied quality) and so many companies in the market, it can be very daunting for consumers to pick the right photo booth and the right company to be part of their special event.
Tip #1 Research the Company
Who are they?
We know that in the event industry, there is no do-over or second chance to get it right on your wedding day or other special event. So you need to do your homework carefully before you pick your vendors. Research the company to make sure you want them to be there with you and your guests at your very special event. Can you trust them? Are they reliable and experienced event professionals? Do they specialize in just photo booths? In other words, you need to ask the right questions to your potential vendors beyond “How much does it cost?”
Does the company have a good reputation?
Check legitimate wedding directories and wedding vendor sites such as WeddingWire.com or EventWire.com. If the vendor isn’t listed or reviewed on reputable sites, you should ask why not. If they aren’t advertising their business, perhaps they don’t have a good reputation or worse yet – they don’t have the money to reinvest in their own company. You might be thinking “So what if they aren’t spending money on advertising themselves” but instead ask if they don’t have the funds to properly advertise, then who’s to say that they will still be in business by the time your wedding arrives? There have been clients in the past needing a last minute booking because they originally booked with a fly-by-night company that ended up going out of business before their wedding date. So do some research and speak with event coordinators, wedding planners and venues to investigate their experiences with the company in question
Tip #2 Will the Photos Last?
What equipment are they using?
Many companies would have you believe that the bigger the mega-pixel the better the quality. On paper this would seem to be the case, but the reality is that no matter what the mega-pixels are, most photo booths are designed to take advantage of space constraints and a limited depth of field, so proper lighting and the printer’s DPI (dots per inch) are much more important factors to consider when finding the right photo booth company. Therefore, a more important question to ask if whether or not the company can deliver professional lab quality photos? Do they have to manually cut the photo strips with a scissors? How fast is their printing process? Some companies use inexpensive printers which give sub standard print quality and are likely to fade, smear or do not last. These type of companies may not want to mail you sample prints either.
Tip #3 Not all Photo Booths Are The Same.
Does the Company have a professional photo booth?
Some companies don’t tend to show good quality images of their photo booths online. We ask why not? Are there issues with the booth that they don’t want you to see? These ‘quick-buck’ scam artists are not helping anyone but themselves. The client is not getting what they want and deserve, and the photo booth industry is also being tarnished by poor quality attempts at photo booths. One client told us that a DJ had buried a clause in the fine print of their contract that stipulated the client could not use any other vendors if their own company offered a competitive product.
Remember, you and your guests will see and remember the photo booth for years to come. Make sure your memories of the photo booth experience (including the photo and booth quality, the customizations, and the attendant) are all good ones. Does the booth look and function as good in person as it does on paper? Is it made of professional and high quality materials? Will it complement your event or stick out like a sore thumb?
Tip #4 Can You Personalize Your Photo Booth Experience?
Why Only Plain Print Layouts with Black Backgrounds?
Does the company offer true customizations? Do they provide truly custom designed print graphics or just simple name and date captions at the bottom of the photo strip? Don’t be fooled by companies that claim they do custom graphics and then show you simple captions on a photo strip. They either do not have the know how or they do not use professional software. Some companies use cheap tent and pole tripod setups that do not provide anything but the black background from the inside of the tent. Is coordinating the colors of the curtains a important factor for you? Are professional graphics and matching elements a deal breaker or a deal maker for your event when finding the best photo booth company?
Tip #5 You Get What You Pay For
What is the Real Cost?
Everyone knows that price may be a factor in your event planning, but if price is your only consideration then unfortunately you may just get what you pay for (or didn’t pay for).
Ask yourself not just what are you paying for, but what are you missing out on. What are your must-haves and priorities with your photo booth? What are your expectations of your photo booth? You need to check what is included in any price quote and what is not included as well. How long is the true rental period? Do you have to pay extra for options such as graphics, online galleries or other standard customizations? Is there a travel fee or any other hidden fees? Beware of photographers that will “throw in” a photo booth. These companies do not specialize in photo booths and are not doing you any favors. Also beware of florists that will “throw in” a DJ or photographer.
Some companies offer very confusing pricing structures that make it difficult to compare their options against other photo booth companies. They purposely advertise low pricing with minimal options and then try and up sell to you after. This may end up costing you more than you expected. Some companies tell you they will match any price, while they more than likely won’t be matching the quality, service and reputation of their competitors as well? Do they have the experience in the event industry so that your event will be treated as it should be? The reality is that it’s hardly ever compares when you are finding best photo booth company.