So now you’ve decided what size, style and colour you’re after you can start thinking about features! Not all booths are made equal so don’t assume all booths offer the same features. Things to consider are:
- Does it offer colour and black/white photostrips as standard? Can this be changed after each shot if desired?
- Does it print and cut double strips each time?
- Does it have an interactive LCD screen so the user knows what options are on offer, and most importantly they can see themselves in frame during the photo taking process?
- Is an attendant required? If so, do I have to pay for their meals?
- If no attendant is required – are the booths fully automated so you/your venue doesn’t have to worry about anything?
- Do their photo-albums require an attendant to glue the strips into the album or are the albums set up with pre inserted sticky tabs so that this isn’t required.
- Does it have video functionality?
- Does the operator take care of all the venue liaison or is it all up to me?
- How fast is the print cycle and how many strips can I expect for my hire duration?
Attendant versus no attendant?
An attendant is usually in the form of one or two people, whose primary role is to cut and/or paste the photostrips into the album, monitor the use of the props and ensure no harm comes to the photobooth by way of over-excited guests. An attendant is also there as a back-up should anything go wrong with the photobooth. The down side to the attendant, particularly at weddings, is that they require being fed which you need to pay for, in addition to hire cost, so be sure to factor this in when comparing. They also generally set up just before and will pack down straight after your hire so there is a likelihood of interruption to proceedings, which may not be ideal. Also bear in mind that if they run into traffic issues they may not even be set up when your guests arrive! You’ll also want to clarify whether or not the person will be suitably dressed on the day.
A small number of operators offer no attendant, if going with this be sure that they offer automated booths. An automated booth is one that turns itself on and off via an internal timer removing the necessity for the venue or yourself to have to do anything. The advantage of this is that the booth can be set up well before your event and not removed until well after the event or the next day so interruption to your night is avoided. Also, an automated booth means your guests will be less inhibited and free to have fun in the booth resulting in the most candid pictures possible. Be sure to also check that they offer a photo-album with pre inserted sticky tabs so your guests don’t have get messy with a glue stick.
Video messaging functionality
Video messaging functionality can be great especially if you don’t already have a camera-man on the day and want to capture some fun live action! Things to consider though are that video messaging does take up a lot more time than just getting photos taken in the photobooth and will result in relatively less photostrips (close to 30% less photo strips) than if you didn’t have this feature. Also think about the likelihood of you actually watching the videos later. Most people will sit down and look at a filled guest-book as it’s readily accessible whereas the videos may not receive that much future attention. You need to weigh up the worth of this before deciding you definitely have to have it.
Terms and conditions
As you’re most likely going to be booking months or years in advance it’s very important you read the Ts and Cs before handing over any money. Most operators will require a deposit at time of booking with the balance not due until closer to the date. Be sure to read the fine print and understand what portion of the money you pay is non-refundable as this differs greatly from operator to operator. It might also be handy to see if you can pay your booth hire off over time in instalments so you’re not hit with all the big expenses at once.
In summary, a professional photobooth isn’t always cheap but it is worth it. Unlike other aspects of your wedding’s set up this is the item that keeps on giving long after your special day is over. Be sure to research thoroughly before you decide on the right one, and you can’t go wrong. Your guests will thank you for it!
Ms Gingham says: So much to think about but some really great tips and hints in this article. I love the idea of being able to pay the rental in instalments too.
About Flashback Photobooths: Flashback Photobooths was established in 2007 with one photobooth, and through phenomenal growth we have now serviced over 1500 functions in NSW, Victoria and Queensland. There is almost a magnetic force that will draw your guests to the photobooth and strip them of their inhibitions – capture the intimate, hilarious and unexpected!