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Enclosed vs Open Air

What is an enclosed photo booth?

Before debating the battle between enclosed vs open air, let’s define what these are! An enclosed photo booth highly recognized as the “classic” photo booth.  It will have 4 walls, that are either fabric or solid material.  These are “private” booths where you can enjoy photos with family and friends without outsiders being able to see what you are doing.


A large number of enclosed booths, such as those seen at the mall, can hold up to four people comfortably.  There are much larger booths (6′ x 8′) available that fit up to 10 people in a picture.

Advantages of an enclosed booth


In an enclosed booth, you step inside and it feels like you are in your own world.  This can create more intimate photos, especially if you’re introverted or shy.  On the flip side, it also allows you to make goofy faces that you may avoid if a crowd is watching.  A classic booth would provide you endless creativity for you and your guests!

Easy to find

It’s hard to miss the 4 walls of an enclosed booth in any venue! Professional booths will have signs and other indicators so that guests are aware that there is a photo booth at the event!  If you’re worried about matching with your event colors, photo booth vendors will usually have multiple sets of curtains that can best fit your event.

“Feels” like a photo booth

When you step inside a classic photo booth, you can sense the change of environment.  Even in a crowded venue, you will feel as if you are the only one there.  This is often one of the most powerful things that an enclosed photo booth offers.  The feeling of entering a photo booth helps drive traffic to the booth, and makes it worthwhile for everyone!

Disadvantages of an enclosed booth

Space Requirements

The enclosed booth often requires a little more space than it’s open counterpart.  Even the smallest booth you can find would require about 6′ x 6′ in space, and some of the larger ones will require 8′ x 8′.  This may not seem drastic, but some venues may only have hallways or small rooms to set up in, which are not ideal.  Other space considerations include prop buckets or tables, and space for a line to form.

“Color doesn’t fit”

Color schemes are important, especially at weddings and corporate events!  It is vital that you find out the curtain color availability beforehand if you are needing any specific colors.  Booths will often have black or white curtains, but if you need something specific, this may not be the best route.

Old school

Let’s face it, enclosed booths are traditional by many standards.  Even with some of the most compelling advantages that they offer, they may not fit with the vibe that you are wanting to bring to your event.  Check with the booth you are using to get a good visual of what the enclosed booth will look like before writing it off though!

Best Event Types

  • Private parties
  • Weddings
  • Indoor corporate events

What is an open air photo booth?

Open air photo booths typically will only have a backdrop, but there are no side walls.  It’s even possible that the booth will have no backdrop at all.  The booth (the part that houses the camera and screen) itself is usually smaller than the enclosed photo booth, and the design will generally be more sleek.

Advantages of open air

Space requirement

Open air photo booths typically only require a backdrop, and the booth itself will be smaller.  If you have a smaller space, these types of booths will typically be ideal, as they use space much more efficiently.


The sleek style reigns supreme if you are going for elegance.  The open air booth is perfect to match any event where elegance is key.  You won’t have a bulky photo booth to worry about, and many of the open booths are colored white.

“Fits everyone”

If you and your friends can fit in a camera shot, then you will fit in an open air booth! The greatest benefit of this booth is the openness, due to not having any side walls!

Disadvantages of open air

No privacy

When you want to take a picture making a silly face, or even kissing someone you love, privacy is always the best.  With open air, the whole world will be able to see you from beginning til’ end, and there’s no way to get those intimate pictures.


It’s very easy to overlook one of these booths.  They are usually smaller, and if there’s no backdrop you could walk right by it and not even know!  If getting multiple shots is important to your event, you may consider passing on this type of photo booth!

Feels like a selfie

There’s not much that separates an open air photo booth session from your phone camera (except you don’t have to hold it).  These photos can feel like glorified selfies, and are not ideal for all situations, such as private parties or weddings!

Best Event Types –

  • Public parties
  • Block parties
  • Grand openings
  • Marketing events
  • Modern-style weddings