Frequently Asked Questions about Photo Booths

Frequently Asked Questions About Photo Booths
We answer the most common questions about photo booths and starting a photo booth business in this comprehensive FAQ blog post.

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The Ultimate Photo Booth FAQ

We often see questions asked in the photo booth Facebook groups, or by customers searching for answers.  If you are considering buying a photo booth for your business, or you are looking to start your own company in the popular and rewarding special events industry, then take a peek and find your answers here.

Table of Contents

How much does it cost to buy a photo booth?

The cost to purchase everything you need to build a DIY photo booth range from $1,200 to $5,000 or more depending on the equipment and kind of photo booth you want to have.  

Turnkey photo booths that are complete with everything you need to run can be bought for anywhere from $1,500 – $10,000+, again, depending on the features that you want.

Booth Masters offers a variety of photo booth shells and kiosks, ranging from $1300 to $11,995.

If you’re shopping for an affordable photo booth for sale, take a look at our most popular model, the Pic Station Mini.

How much money can I make from a photo booth?

Photo booth rentals can make a lot of money, and how much money depends on a couple key factors. 

The startup costs for a photo booth rental company are fairly low, with just the costs of the photo booth itself, and any extras like backdrop & props.  Variable costs such as printer media are low, so the other major variable cost is labor to work the photobooth at an event.

This means that the more often you can book your photo booth, the better your ROI or return on investment is.

So simply put, the more events you can book your photo booth at, the more money you make, which is why most photo booth companies buy a 2nd photo booth within their first year.

If you have more than 1 photo booth, you can book more than 1 event per date, and your profitability increases.

Also, having multiple photo booths allows you to reach more potential customers and grow your business faster.

How much does it cost to rent a photo booth?

For private party and social event photo booth rentals, on average, cost between $500-1000, depending on the kind of event and the number of hours, and the features of the photo booth.

There are many different kinds of photo booths, as well as different kinds of experiences that they can create.

Across the board, on-average, a photo booth will rent for $125-300 per hour, and most will have a minimum of 2-3hours for the rental.

Factor in delivery cost, and whether the photo booth is being dropped off, or run by an on-site attendant, along with additional features provided by the rental company (like props, backdrop, social media sharing, etc).

Corporate events and photo marketing brand activations tend to increase up to $1000-3000 per hour due to the additional costs involved with custom vinyl wraps for the photo booth, and additional software customizations to create a fully white-labeled branded experience.

What kind of events do people rent photo booths for?

Any social event where people get together to celebrate, or for special occasions, are great opportunities for photo booth rentals.

Here is a short list of the most common kinds of events that regularly hire photo booths.

  • Weddings – Brides & grooms rent photo booths for guests to take at their weddings.
  • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs – Parents hire photo booths to capture memories and provide souvenirs for attendees.
  • Anniversary Parties – Couples celebrate their anniversary by renting a photo booth and having their anniversary printed on the strip.
  • Company Parties & Holiday Parties – The holidays are festive with holiday party photo booth rentals, be sure to have appropriately themed templates, backdrop and props!
  • Corporate Events & Brand Activations – Companies hire photo booths to create custom photo experiences for attendees of concerts, festivals, store openings, and other large scale events. The photos get shared on social media to expand the brands reach.

What camera should I use in my photo booth?

There are 2 types of cameras you can use in your photo booth, DSLR or Webcam.  If you are using an iPad photo booth, then you will be using the iPad’s built in Facetime camera.

With a PC or Mac based photo booth, you can tether a DSLR camera, or use a HD webcam. 

The software you use will determine which cameras are supported, but here is a list of DSLR cameras supported by most popular photo booth software programs.

Canon DSLR Cameras

  • EOS 1D C
  • EOS 1D Mark III
  • EOS 1D Mark IV
  • EOS 1D X
  • EOS 1D X Mark II
  • EOS 1D s Mark III
  • EOS 200D
  • EOS 2000D
  • EOS 40D
  • EOS 4000D
  • EOS 50D
  • EOS 5D Mark II
  • EOS 5D Mark III
  • EOS 5D Mark IV
  • EOS 5DS
  • EOS 5DS R
  • EOS 60D
  • EOS 60Da
  • EOS 6D
  • EOS 6D Mark II
  • EOS 70D
  • EOS 77D
  • EOS 7D
  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • EOS 80D
  • EOS 90D
  • EOS M200
  • EOS M50
  • EOS M6 Mark II
  • EOS R
  • EOS Rebel SL1
  • EOS Rebel T100
  • EOS Rebel T1i
  • EOS Rebel T2i
  • EOS Rebel T3
  • EOS Rebel T3i
  • EOS Rebel T4i
  • EOS Rebel T5
  • EOS Rebel T5i
  • EOS Rebel T6
  • EOS Rebel T6i
  • EOS Rebel T6s
  • EOS Rebel T7
  • EOS Rebel T7i
  • EOS Rebel TXi
  • EOS Rebel XSi
  • EOS Rebel RP
  • EOS Rebel Sl3
  • Powershot G7X Mark III
  • Powershot G5X Mark II
  • Powershot SX70 HS
  • Kiss X9 Rebel SL2
  • Kiss X90

Nikon DSLR Cameras

  • D200
  • D3
  • D300
  • D300s
  • D3s
  • D3X
  • D4
  • D4s
  • D5000
  • D5100
  • D5200
  • D5300
  • D600
  • D610
  • D700
  • D7000
  • D7100
  • D750
  • D80
  • D800
  • D800E
  • D810
  • D90

How do I market my new photo booth business?

Marketing your photo booth business isn’t much different than marketing any other kind of service based business.  Which means that if you already are a wedding photographer or a DJ, you can market and promote your photo booth alongside your other services.

However, if you are brand new to the photo booth industry, lets say you just bought your first photo booth from Booth Masters… 🙂 Follow this simple guide.

First: Get your name out there, make sure you create social media accounts for your new photo booth business, and invite all of your friends, family, and colleagues to like and follow your business.   Reach out and network with other vendors in your market, and drop off business cards and brochures with venues that you would like to work events with.

Second: Work your first couple events as soon as possible.  You may need to donate your services for free if you need to, even better if you can get the client to pay a discounted rate.   Make sure your business name, logo, website, and phone number are on the photo strips at the event, so that every picture taken is a business card! Don’t forget to take pictures AND video of people using your photo booth at your events.

Third: Build a website with a request for quote form (also known as a lead capture form), where people who are interested in your services can enter their contact information so you can follow up with them.   Make sure that every lead goes into some kind of list or database so you can follow up with and keep track of your leads. 

The worst thing you can do is not keep track of people who request a quote from you and fail to follow up.  The businesses that regularly follow up will succeed.

Fourth: You are in the photo booth business, and your services generate a massive amount of media (pictures/videos) from the events that you do for clients.  Make use of that media!  Every event should be blogged and shared on social media to help you get more people aware of your services.

Want to super-charge your photo booth marketing?  Check out the Photo Booth Vault, a training program for photo booth business owners who want to turn their businesses into automated photo booth marketing machines.

What is the difference between an iPad Photo Booth and a DSLR Photo Booth?

The biggest difference between an iPad photo booth and a DSLR photo booth is the tablet used to power it.

Every photo booth requires 3 things, a computer, photo booth software, and a camera.

So an iPad photo booth is simply powered by an iPad tablet (computer), with a photo booth app, and uses the iPad’s built in Facetime camera to take the picture.

A DSLR photo booth uses a computer (usually a Windows PC or Surface Pro tablet), with DSLR photo booth software, and connects to a DSLR camera to take the picture.

Functionally, both kinds of photo booths are the same.  Technically, a DSLR photo booth will take higher quality and higher resolution pictures.

The extra features (such as green screen, animated GIFs, boomerangs, slow motion video, etc) are features of the software, and can be found in both iPad photo booth apps, and DSLR photo booth software programs.

What does this mean to you?

This means that an iPad photo booth, can provide almost the exact same features and experience as a much more expensive DSLR based photo booth.

Both kinds of photo booths can print.

Both kinds of photo booths can do social sharing.

And with the improvements in the iPad’s Facetime camera, the picture quality is getting better and better every year.

Certain iPad photo booth apps even support tethering to a DSLR camera, meaning you can have a DSLR based iPad photo booth for a fraction of the cost of a traditional PC based photo booth, without all the headaches of dealing with Windows updates and security issues.

What is the difference between a Vintage or Enclosed Photo Booth and an Open Air Photo Booth?

Vintage photo booths are small enclosed booths with seats for 2-3 people and a camera.  They may or may not have a screen for the people to preview themselves in.

An enclosed photo booth is similar to a vintage photo booth, it uses a small tent or inflatable enclosure to create a private room for the photo booth.  Usually the photobooth is a stand-alone kiosk inside the tent or enclosure, and is rarely built into it.  It provides the benefit and similar experience to the vintage booth, while allowing more people to fit in the picture due to the greater space inside.

An open-air photo booth is a stand alone photo kiosk, with a camera and a touchscreen that takes a picture of people, usually against a backdrop.   It’s set up out in the open, so guests at the party can see all of the action going on in the photo booth.  This creates more excitement for the guests, and has a secondary benefit of reducing the amount of naughty pictures that may be taken in the privacy of a vintage or enclosed booth.

What is the difference between a Mirror Photo Booth and an Open Air Photo Booth?

A mirror photo booth and an open air photo booth are very similar in terms of guest experience, since the subjects of the picture are standing out in the open.

A magic mirror booth is the kind of shell or kiosk that holds the computer, camera, and screen. In this case instead of a small touchscreen, there is a large TV with touchscreen behind 1-way mirrored glass.  This creates a magic mirror effect.

Often times a mirror photo booth is used without a backdrop, and is set up facing out into the party, so guests can walk up, have their picture taken by the magic mirror, and then sign the photo before it prints.

An open air photo booth is a more traditional kiosk or photo stand, with the computer, camera, and screen in a smaller box or mounted on a slim kiosk.

Mirror photo booths tend to be large and bulky, and require multiple people to transport and set up, while an open air photo booth can be small, light weight, and compact enough to be transported and set up by one person.

Can an iPad Photo Booth print photos?

Yes, an iPad photo booth can print photos.  HOW it prints depends on the software you are using, and which printers and methods are supported by the iPad photo booth app.

You can print to almost any Air Print compatible printer, but unfortunately the professional dye-sublimation photo printers used with photo booths do not natively support Air Print.

You will need to use a Mac or PC to act as a print server between the iPad and the printer.  Most iPad photo booth apps either have their own print server software available, or they work with a 3rd party print server like Printopia.

DNP makes a device that acts as a print server that can be used with most of their printers.

What is the standard size of a photo booth print?

Photo printers are able to print on different sized media, or rolls of paper.  The most common size that almost every single photo printer prints is 4 inches by 6 inches (4″x6″).  And almost every photo printer is able to cut that single print into two 2×6 photo strips.

Often times people ask if it’s possible for a printer to only print a single 2 inch by 6 inch strip, and unfortunately that isn’t the case.  Because a 2×6 print is actually a 4×6 print cut in half.

Other common sizes of paper include 5″x7″, and some photo printers can print 6″x8″.

A popular size print in recent years is the square photo print, especially with the advent of the square format photos and GIFs used for sharing on instagram.  Square prints come in 5×5 and 6×6.

What is the best printer for a photo booth?

You should use a professional dye-sublimation printer to print the photos taken in your photo booth.  There are several popular brands of dye-sub photo printers:

  • DNP
  • Mitsubishi
  • Primera
  • Hiti

If you plan on buying more than one photo booth for your business, we strongly recommend that you standardize and make sure all of your printers are the same, even if you have different brands or styles of photo booth.

We recommend using either the DNP 620a photo printer, or the Mitsubishi CP-D70DW photo printer.  These are the workhorse printers used by most photo booth rental companies.

The DNP Rx1 is another popular printer, however it is large and bulky.  And while the RX1 is cheaper than the 620 or CP-D70DW, the media costs per print are higher.

As a photo booth rental business owner, you want to make sure you are controlling your costs, so factor in the individual cost-per-print when looking at photo booth printers.

Be sure to buy your printer from Imaging Spectrum, they have fantastic support and are the printer experts.

If you do printing with your photo booth, then be sure to get a great printer stand to hold your printer safely, and a printer cover to protect it.

What kind of backdrop should I use with my photo booth?

There are several popular styles of backdrops used by professional photo booth companies.  The most popular style is the pillowcase tension fabric backdrop.  This is a 8 foot by 8 foot (8’x8′) tube frame with lycra or spandex material stretched over it like a pillow case.  The background is printed on the fabric and the possibilities for amazing looking backgrounds is endless.

Another popular form of backdrop is pipe & drape.  The use of upright poles with a cross pipe to hold up fabric drape is a low-cost effective way to provide a pretty background for your photo booth pictures.

What is the best photo booth for a DJ to buy?

As an event DJ, you work with many clients at weddings, school events, and corporate events.  All of these clients are prime customers for photo booth rentals, so adding a booth to your DJ service as an add-on is a great source of additional revenue.

We recommend an iPad based photo booth for ease of use and peace of mind.  You don’t need to deal with complex camera settings, and it is easy to customize the client experience and photo template in the software.

Our Pic Station Mini with iPad photo booth is the perfect addition to any DJ company, it takes great photos, fun GIF’s & boomerangs, and can be easily set up by an assistant or an attendant.  You can even let the photo booth run unattended while you focus on rocking the party in your DJ booth.

What is the best photo booth for a wedding photographer to buy?

Photo booth rentals are popular at weddings, and are a perfect add-on service for a wedding photographer to add to their business.  The couple has already booked you for their wedding pictures, so it makes sense that they can also book a photo booth through you as well.

As a photographer who has experience working with DSLR cameras and knows what shutter speed, aperture, and manual camera controls create the best picture results, we recommend a DSLR photo booth.

Our Pic Station Mini with DSLR + Surface Pro photo booth is a great choice because of the size and easy setup, along with quality of photos.  It can be quickly set up and run by an assistant or attendant, or even left to run unattended while you are taking formal photographs at the event.

Have a question about photo booths that hasn't been answered yet?

If you have a question about photo booths, or running a photo booth business that isn’t yet addressed by this blog post, send us an email at info@boothmasters.com and we’ll answer it!

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