Photobooth’s are fantastic fun, and work great to create an atmosphere at a wide range of events. Photo booth companies like ourselves showcase as many features and extras as possible. This can be done in quotes or via websites etc.
However there are always aspects to a hire that could have been forgotten or not even considered a feature. In this article I aim to provide as much information as possible, to help everyone get the most out of their hire.
Most common features should be.
The most common features you should expect to be included in a hire package are:
- Free guestbook.
- Unlimited prints.
- Double session prints, each time guests use the machine 2 prints come out at the end one for the guests and the other for the guestbook.
- Props included.
- Travel costs (subject to a given mile radius).
- No hidden fees.
- Personalised prints (being able to add a message or logo to all prints).
- Photo booth attendant (you really need an attendant with the hire, to ensure the machine runs smoothly, they are also there to assist guests with props etc).
- Access to all digital images either online access or a memory stick.
- A backdrop, it’s hard to control what’s in the background at venues. It’s important that the hire company has a backdrop to ensure your images are professional.
- Legal requirements – public liability insurance & pat testing certificate – the company must have this and be able to both provide this to you and the venue. This is often a requirement before and on the day of your event.
Extra features to look out for or ask about.
In additional to all the features listed above (in my eyes should be standard) it’s nice to know if there are any extras. Here are a list of extras we include:
- Live view, guests can try on props in their own time and use the machine like a mirror before they start a session.
- Electronic height adjustment, this is fantastic for events with people of all heights.
- Online password protected gallery, I listed access to digital images above as standard. If they offer you images to download it should be via a protected method.
- Sharing station, we include a separate area for guests to download images live to smartphones & tablets if a customer are happy to allow this. A separate station helps prevent a backlog of excited guests lining up for the photo booth.
- Animated gif, all individual images are compiled into an animated gif which can be downloaded through the password protected gallery.
- Personalise the machine, adding a special message to photos is great, if you can also add a message to the machine for guests to see. That’s even better!
- Green screen, these are great fun and allow guests to choose a digital background Eiffel tower, surface of the moon, next to a waterfall etc.
- Filters, with the rise of social media apps like Instagram, adding filters to images has become the norm so we think it be on a photo booth too.
Set up and take down.
This is always worth checking with the company providing the hire. This should not be part of the hire time. For example a 3 hour package starting at 7pm and running till 10pm means the company should arrive earlier to setup ready for 7pm start. They should also not start packing up until after 10pm.
You also want to ask how long it will roughly take to setup/takedown. Venues/event organisers also like to be kept in the loop. To ensure everything runs smoothly they should be able to tell you how long it takes.
If you are having extras like a green screen, ask for an idea of space requirements. Some venues can be small or struggle to find a spot for the required space.
You would think this is a given, without mentioning names we have come across some photo booth companies that use web cameras. Whilst you can get some high quality webcams it’s never going to match up to the quality of a DSLR camera.
The most important part to taking good quality photos is the lighting. It’s important to ask if they have different lighting options. Venues change all the time and so will the lighting requirements flash or continuous lights and both good options. Having the choice between the two can fine tweak your pictures for the best quality.
It is a good idea to test this before you place your booking. Ask questions and see how responsive and helpful they are with the replies. Your venue or event organiser could ask you questions about the photo booth company. You need to be able to rely on them providing information to you and the venue/event organiser. This is especially important when it comes to legal requirements like public liability insurance and pat testing certificates.
To summarise check your chosen company has lots of features available included in the price. If you sense any hidden fees that you did not agree to or are unaware of it can be an unpleasant surprise.
We all love free extras and choice, we advise you ask questions and see if they go above and beyond.