A photo booth can be a fabulous way to capture the fun and excitement of your big day, but there are certain topics every couple should consider before signing on the dotted line.
Kate Austin, from In the Booth, an Australia-wide photo booth franchise with more than 8000 events to their name, answers the most commonly asked questions by couples wanting a photo booth at their wedding receptions.
“A traditional photo booth typically offers just a head shot,” says Kate. While these are fun mementos, and popular at many weddings, they do crop out a lot of detail, so keep that in mind if you are looking for something more.
“The bridal party and the guests at weddings have often put a lot of effort into what they are wearing, so some couples want a booth that captures a bit more,” says Kate who started the business six years ago. “We realized that many people might want an almost full-length alternative, and when we couldn’t find one, we decided to build our own.”
Some booths are also larger than others, perfect for couples wanting to capture lots of group shots and, says Kate, she offers booths that can comfortably fit up to eight people – “and more if you don’t mind a bit of a squeeze.”
The photo quality will vary with different photo booths. Some booths print the grainy black and white images that you might remember from shopping centres as a teenager, others take glossy-style colour prints. Different couples will prefer different styles, and it’s always a good idea to ask to see samples from real weddings.
“It is also worth checking if the photos are printed on photo lab quality paper and that they come out dry, to avoid finger prints,” says Kate, who is, herself, a photographer.
“It was important to me to design a booth with diffused lighting to create really flattering images,” she says. “It’s what we stake our reputation on.”
While many couples are happy to have a friend or family member keep an eye that things are running smoothly with their photo booth, others prefer a totally hands-off approach.
“Not all photo booth packages have an attendant included in the price so it’s a good idea to check,” says Kate who adds that In the Booth’s packages include delivery, setup “and a friendly book assistant for the duration of your photo booth hire, which can help get the most out of your booth.”
Photo booth packages can be complicated with some vendors including the booth, and attendant and props, while others will charge extra for personalized print layouts, extra hours or online galleries.
Make sure you have a really clear idea of exactly what you are paying for before signing on the dotted line.
Props can be a great idea to add some fun to your photos but Kate suggests carrying the wedding theme through with the props. “We recently had a couple that had an amazing woodland theme and they carried it through with these beautiful woodland animal masks as props in their booth. We like to provide a booth that people can personalize.”
When choosing props, a simple blackboard and chalk can encourage a lot of creativity with guests.
That is unlikely. Photo booths are like the dance floor. People may be shy at first, but by the end of the night everybody wants to join the fun!
A photo booth offers great entertainment value, as well as a truly special memento for the couple, but, certainly at first, you may need to encourage everyone to use it. “A good idea is for brides and grooms to ask their guests to do a table shot with their table number. It’s a good way to ensure they end up with a photo of every guest and it’s a also a good ice-breaker for people who may not know each other well,” says Kate whose business has more than 180 five-star reviews on Easy Weddings.
Once guests figure out how it works, they tend to go crazy!
Photo booths capture moments that other photographers may miss and, the best part is that the photos from the photo booth are instant and will, often, be the very first photos that the bride and groom see after their wedding.
“Weddings and receptions go very quickly, and often the bride and groom are so busy that they don’t get to see the fun everyone is having. The photo booth images can really give them an fly-on-the-wall experience of their special night,” Kate says.
“People are also very relaxed in the privacy of a photo booth and we get some really hilarious images of people acting in ways that they might otherwise not.”