If you’ve ever researched using a photo booth for your event, you may ask, “Why is renting a photo booth expensive?”. A photo booth price is determined by multiple factors including the basic costs, type of booth, quality of photos, availability of digital files, customer service, custom artwork, and number of attendants. Furthermore, experience, professionalism, and proven delivery of excellence will affect these even more so.  Let’s explore the the factors that drive the price of this industry!

Essential Costs

Photo booths have multiple charges per event.  They have to pay for the photo paper, replacing props, gas, liability insurance, cleaning products,on-site hotspot (for social media), and software licenses just to name a few off hand.  Other charges include replacing cameras, computers, printers, and other technical components.  If you wanted to try to “make” a professional photo booth for your event, you would pay at least 10x-15x the amount it would cost to rent.  Even after these charges, there are multiple configurations that need to be made to get the quality that you will see from the industry leaders.  Photo booths will often bring photo booth attendants as well.  The average cost of attendants is $100-$200 per event so it is a minimum of $200 alone just for 2 attendants (which should be the minimum).

Type of Booth

Mall Style

There are many types of photo booths that you can rent, believe it or not!  You can get the classic “mall-style” photo booths that you will often see…at the mall!  These are best suited for smaller areas where you are looking for a “classic” look.  These will typically seat up to 4 people, and not ideal for huge groups wanting to take pictures.

Curtain Booth

That isn’t the only closed booth though, there are also classic curtain booths that are much larger.  You can find them up to 6′ x 8′ as a standard size.  These will be assembled on site using a rod and curtain system, and the curtains will typically be black or white.  The “backdrop” curtain can often be colored a different color to match a particular theme.  F

Open Air

Furthermore, there are open air booths that offer the sleek style for those looking for a modern look.  These will have only a backdrop, and sometimes not even that! They are smaller booths that can be place almost anywhere that there is space to use.  Ideally, these are best used at open events, such as convention halls, corporate events, and marketing campaigns. While the enclosed booths are typically better for private parties, weddings, and other intimate events.

Since open air booths are the newest on the market, these will sometimes be a little pricier than the others.

Quality of Photos

Your photographer may use a different camera than another photographer, and in the same way photo booths use different cameras to take pictures.  If you’re looking for good quality photos you will want to be looking for a photo booth company that uses a professional camera such as a DSLR.   This a camera that is recognized as an industry leader for taking high quality photos, and you will not be disappointed with the quality that it delivers.  If you don’t have any specific needs for quality, then you will be looking for a photo booth that uses a web cam or IPad.  These pictures are often blurry or fuzzy, as the camera can’t keep up with much movement.  Most of the time these types of booths won’t use a good flash either, which further produces a lower quality photo.

In general, you will get a much higher quality from a photo booth using a DSLR, but it will cost more.  You will get a lower quality photo from a web cam or IPad booth, but it is cheaper.  You definitely get what you pay for either way!

Availability of Digital Files

Not all photo booths offer digital files.  Some booths will offer photos on a flash drive, while others will have a strong social media presence or online gallery to store all of your photos.  The main benefit of the latter option is the availability of sharing with your friends online.  It will allow you to use the photos directly from the vendor, and share these photos with friends and family.  Rarely, a photo booth will require you to pay for digital copies as well. Don’t do this.

Typically it’s best to aim for photo booths that offer digital files through an online platform for ease of access, and the ability to share event photos with friends and family.

Photo booths that offer digital files tend to cost a little more due to having to pay for online storage.

Customer Service

The quality of customer service is often look when choosing a photo booth. You may think that all photo booths are pretty much the same, and there can’t be much difference between them.  Definitely not true!  Photo booths –

  • Have different requirements for deposits,
  • Vary in how fast they respond to questions and concerns,
  • Experience of the vendor, and how easy they make it for you to make payments.

Paying a deposit upfront is a very standard practice in the industry. By paying a deposit, you are letting a photo booth know you are interested.  It’s a handshake agreement that they will reserve your date in exchange for cash up front.  You may also pay up the full amount up front, but always make sure that you are using a trusted vendor.

It’s very important to find a photo booth that will be able to respond to you quickly.  You can expect that most will answer within a few hours.  At the longest it shouldn’t take more than a few days for any given response.  If you’re paying them for service, you should have a standard of quality that you should expect as well! An experienced booth will be able to answer most questions in a very short amount of time.  These industry leaders have seen the in-and-outs of the business, and should be able to help you with just about anything!

Being able to easily make payments through a payment portal is VERY important.  You should be able to log in and make payments any time you want.  Try to find a vendor that will allow you to do this.

A booth with great customer service will usually cost more since they take pride in making sure your event is perfect.

Custom Artwork

Photo strips can be designed to have various artwork.  You can have anything from, “Happy Birthday, Wanda!” to “Smith Wedding 2018”.  Even more than text, you can often specify colors and design.  This is especially relevant for weddings, parties, and corporate events!  A good photo booth will always be able to meet your design needs for photo strips.  Furthermore, this usually doesn’t come as an extra cost, or the cost is very minimal.  It’s a decent investment to find a company that will have the ability to modify and brand your photo strips!

Number of Attendants

One of the largest differences between an average photo booth and a great one is the number of attendants!  If you’re renting, you will want at least two!  Two attendants is ideal to keep the line moving at your event.   It may not seem apparent, but you should always have someone there to help fix the technical issues that will arise!

A more expensive photo booth will usually provide at least two.  A cheaper photo booth will provide 1 or less.  The more photo booth attendants that you have, the less you have to worry!

Conclusion

Although renting a photo booth may seem expensive, there’s a bigger picture to keep in mind.

  • Different types of booths may run different prices
  • If you want a cheaper booth, find those with web cams or IPads. If you want a more expensive booth find those that use DSLR cameras.
  • A more expensive booth will typically offer more options for digital files.
  • If you are needing branding or custom artwork, you will want to find a quality photo booth company.
  • Attendants can make a photo booth more costly, but they will make your life much easier!