Monday, January 27, 2014

Bring on the photos!

Most couples hire a photographer to capture the moments of their special day. Some couples take this desire to capture everything a step further and rent a photo booth.

Photo booths are typically a major attraction for guests: they’re entertaining and provide mementos of the evening, especially if a guest manages to pull one or both newlyweds into the booth. However, choosing a booth isn’t as simple as deciding that one is wanted. Due to increasing interest in these booths, manufacturers and rental companies have created a variety of types, giving couples several options from which to choose.

In general, there are two main types of booths: open and closed. An open booth has no walls, while a closed booth does.

  • A closed booth typically allows only 3-5 people inside, while an open allows much more.
  • The background of a closed booth may not be easily changeable.
  • A closed booth may produce double photographs, one for individuals in the photo and another for the couple. 
  • Depending on what the vendor offers, both types of booths can provide two copies printed images, one for individuals in the photo and one for the newlyweds. Some booths even create online galleries for the couple to peruse after the reception. 

Open booths come in one main form: “walls free”. This type of booth consists of a camera trained on an area designated by the couple. The area usually contains a background that may be changeable during the reception. Sometimes, this type of booth is called a “studio style” booth.

There are more types of closed booths available. A closed booth can be constructed of a hard shell, like a traditional booth, or a soft shell, meaning made of curtains or another fabric or structure that is created specifically for the event.
Antique booths: this booth not only creates black and white images, but also looks antique itself, displaying rounded edges adorned with art deco décor and porcelain doors and seats. It typically produces black-and-white images, but at a much faster pace than would an actual 1960s booth.

Digital booths: these photo booths contain a camera that shows photo-takers the image they’re going to create. This option allows for adjustment before taking the photo, meaning that nobody is left out of the picture.

Slideshow booths: these booths may be hard or soft-sided. In addition to creating a printed photo, they boast an LCD screen outside so that other guests can view the image being created inside. They offer a fun way for every guest to get a peek inside the booth.

When choosing your photo booth, consider:

The size of the space: each type of booth has a different shape and dimensions. Identify exactly where you want the booth placed and ensure that the one you choose will fit in that area.

The visibility of the booth: don’t waste the booth’s rental fee by hiding it in the corner. Make sure that guests can both see and have ready access to the booth at all times during the reception, and possibly the cocktail hour.

Your wedding’s feel and décor: match the booth’s appearance and the photos it creates to your wedding. For example, an antique booth will look out of place in a modern wedding and create images that don’t mesh well with your décor or other photos.

The length of your reception and typical booth rental time: many booths are rented on an hourly basis. Not renting a booth for the same amount of time as your reception means having it removed in the middle of your reception. This not only causes a commotion (booth are rather large and bulky and require several men to move), but might also leave some guests disappointed because they missed their opportunity to partake in the fun.

Additionally, we recommend:

  1. Viewing the actual photos the booth will produce. Don’t just take the vendor’s word for it; see what you’re purchasing.
  2. Inquiring into available props. Guests love using hats, fake mustaches, and glasses in their photos. Don’t assume that a booth comes with these extras. Ask what is available and if props are included in the rental price.
  3. Asking about the company’s licensure and insurance. Closed booths are electronic machines and quite heavy, thereby carrying a risk of injuring someone. Additionally, some venues require that all vendors be insured. Check into this early to avoid problems later on, after you’ve already made a deposit.

Happy photographing!