Photo Booths
Article thanks to Lauren Sargeant Bride Online Columnist

Photo Booth FAQs

(Courtesy snippetandink.com)

Does a photographer take the shots in the photo booth?

This depends on what type of photo booth you choose. Some are operated by a photographer whilst others are fully automated.

Why should we include a photo booth as part of the reception?

They are great for capturing candid moments – which will turn into precious memories – of your guests in a relaxed light which wouldn’t likely be revealed in regular photos. Automated photo booths are especially great in this regard as guests seem to be more relaxed without a photographer present and tend to let loose and get a bit sillier in front of the camera.

Does the photo booth take the place of a hired photographer at the reception?

This is up to you. Sometimes couples who are having a smaller-sized wedding choose to have a photo booth instead of a photographer. On the other hand, some photographer-operated booth vendors may offer packages where they man the booth for a certain amount of time and then photograph the rest of the reception program (i.e. speeches, dancing, decorations and cake cutting).

Is an attendant needed for automated photo booths? If so, should we provide a meal for them, just like the other vendors?

Sometimes an attendant is needed for crowd control and to make sure that all of the booth features are working properly. If the attendant is present for a number of hours, especially during dinner time, a meal should be provided for them, just like the other vendors who are present.

How will our guests know how to use an automated photo booth?

Most automated photo booths are set up with a monitor which gives guests an image preview before taking the photo. This screen often also gives step by step instructions just in case they have any trouble along the way.

Are guests able to enter the photo booth more than one time each?

Most vendors will allow this, yes. Many vendors offer unlimited photo prints and unlimited entry. This means your guests can snap as many photos as they like, as many times as they want, as long as they aren’t aggravating the other guests who may be waiting for a turn.

I’ve seen props and dress-up costume items used in a friend’s photo booth images. Does the vendor usually provide these or is it up to me? 

Many vendors do provide props so discuss this during your initial consultation. If they don’t provide them, there is no harm in asking if they are okay with you providing your own props for your guests to play around with.

Do the photos print out instantly like the old photo booths or are they only stored electronically?

Most automated photo booths print out two copies of instant photos – within about 10 seconds – as well as saving the images to a memory drive. The guests can take one copy of the prints for themselves whilst the other copy is given to the bride and groom as a fun keepsake in addition to a disc of the digital images. Photographer operated photo booths may not offer instant prints so make sure to discuss this with the vendor before signing a contract.

Can we customise the backdrop?

Most vendors offer a range of optional backdrops which are usually made of fabric or wallpaper. Some companies use green screen backdrops which means that you can customise the background image to your hearts’ content.

How much space will a photo booth take up at the venue?

This depends on the type of photo booth that you choose to use. Most require about 10 square metres with a power socket nearby. Other ‘photo booths’ comprise of simply a backdrop and a photographer, so can adjust to fit the space size you prefer. Check these details during your initial consultation.

Can we use a photo booth at an outdoor wedding?

Many photo booths are made of solid wood or other materials which means that they can be set up outdoors, weather permitting. Alternatively, the photo booth could be set up in a separate marquee for guests to enjoy.

Can we hire a photo booth for the entire length of the reception or only an allotted time?

Most photo booths are available by the hour so the majority of couples only hire them for about two hours. If you would like the booth to be set up for the duration of the reception, you can discuss this with the vendor and perhaps negotiate a discount for booking additional hours.

What is the best time to make the photo booth available to guests?

If you decide to only hire the booth for a couple of hours, it’s important to choose a convenient time for its use during the program. Cocktail hour is a good time because it keeps guests entertained while the bridal party members are still having their photos taken at the ceremony site. It may seem counterintuitive but dinner can also be an ideal time for photos as guests will inevitably finish up their meals at different times. Fast eaters can go and kill some time in the booth while waiting for everyone else to finish. Many photo booth vendors find that guests are most relaxed towards the end of the evening and this is the time that the booths are most popular. If you plan to only hire the photo booth for the last couple of hours, keep in mind that it takes about 45 minutes to set up a booth so if you’re planning to have the photo booth in the dining room, the mid-program set-up could be quite distracting.

How much should I expect to pay for a photo booth?

Between $500 and $1200, depending on the type of booth and the number of hours it is hired for.

When should we book a photo booth?

Photo booths are very popular these days, so it’s important to book one at least six months before your wedding to ensure that you can secure the type of booth that you want at the price that you have in mind.

I’ve heard of photo booth albums. What are they?

These are albums which are usually displayed on a table near the photo booth. As the guests receive their copy of the prints, they – or the booth attendant – place the duplicate copy in the album for the bride and groom to keep and flip through when they get back from their honeymoon. Writing personal notes under the photos is also a fun option. Photo albums often come as part of the photo booth package.

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