If you take dozens of photos every day to keep your memories safe and share them with friends, you’re far from alone. In 2017 through 2019, about 1.2 trillion photos have been taken annually. Experts project that 1.4 trillion will have been taken throughout 2020.
While most of these images are taken on Smartphones, there are some occasions that a small shutter can’t capture. Engagements, weddings, reunions, and even simple family or professional photoshoots usually require an expert.
If you’re a photography aficionado, we’ve got some good news for you: you can become this expert with a bit of innovation and drive. Here, we’re going to give you some tips on how to start a photo booth business so that you can turn your passion into a career, so read on to reach new heights of success!
Why Start a Photo Booth Business?
If you love to capture moments from behind a camera, the main answer to this question is obvious: everyone wants to work in a field that they’re passionate about.
Starting a photography booth business will give you opportunities to work with professional equipment including quality cameras, lights, and filters that you otherwise wouldn’t have many opportunities to use. That’s much more fun than just swiping an Instagram filter over a selfie!
You can also see the smiles on people’s faces as you capture the moments that matter the most to them on film. Professional photographers have the chance to share in many different people’s happiest moments and make them even better memories.
However, there are also financial reasons that a photo booth business is an awesome idea.
The upfront costs of a photo booth business are significantly cheaper than other types of businesses. You can operate from pretty much anywhere, which means that you don’t need to invest in a super expensive office off the bat. This might be something that comes after a bit of growth, but in the beginning, it’s nothing to worry about!
You also can make over $100 an hour at any number of events. Combine this with the freedom to work anytime, anywhere, and you’ve got a really lucrative business!
Because of the money that you make, it’s easy to grow a photo booth business over time. There’s not much that you’ll need to buy, so you’ll have the freedom to make your operations more widespread. You and your employees are going to turn a huge profit, too, so you can have the money to live the lifestyle you crave.
How to Prepare for Operation
Now that you know why starting a photo booth business is a completely viable option, it’s time to take a look at the preparations you’ll need to make. Don’t worry- it’s pretty easy to set up your startup! Read on to learn the things you’ll need to do before launching your business.
Have a Vision and Mission
Having a vision and mission statement in place is a good way to lay out what your business aims to do in a well-defined and concrete way. A vision statement is something that’s catchy, engaging, and memorable enough that potential clients can remember what your business intends to do for them. A good photo-related example is Instagram’s ‘capture and share the world’s moments.’
On the other hand, a mission statement is meant more for yourself and your employees. It’s a concise statement of what your company intends to do and where you want it to go in the coming years. A mission statement has three parts:
- The vision of the company (yup- you’re already a third there!)
- The core values that will determine the actions/behavior of yourself and your employees
- The goals and objectives
Pretty simple, right?
Gather the Right Materials
The next thing you’ll need to do is possibly the most important. It’s time to gather the materials you’ll need to make your photo booth business a success! This means investing in a:
- Photo Booth (obviously)
- Point-and-shoot camera or iPad with a quality camera (you can always upgrade to something fancier later!)
- Backdrop to go inside the booth
- Backdrop stand
- Lighting umbrella
The Pic Station Mini is the perfect way to buy a photo booth for your startup. This miniature photo booth kiosk is easily portable and quick to set up. You can also customize the booth to meet your client’s requests, which allows more customer satisfaction and positive reviews.P
Find a Space to Operate
Photo booth businesses tend to go all around to different events and operate there. However, it may be a good idea to have a home base if you can afford it. This will give you an area to store all of your materials, meet with your employees, and edit and print photos.
If you can’t afford this space right off the bat, that’s totally okay! Most supplies can be stored in a garage and meetings can take place virtually or at home. Editing and printing photos is totally something that can be done remotely, which is also awesome in that it lets your employees set their own hours.
Have a Great Website
Most clients are going to find you online. In fact, bookings will likely take place 100% over the net, at least initially. This means that you need to offer up an easy way to contact you for a quote.
Make sure that your page has a section where you can offer up a free quote for how much a project will cost. You also want to ensure that clients can reach out to discuss the specific jobs they need to be done. Your online customer service is one of the main things that determine whether or not your photo booth business will be successful.
In order for people to choose you over your competitors, your webpage needs to be engaging. You only have about 15 seconds to engage your audience, so you need to make the most of your home page.
Video content and images are a must when drawing customers in. Make sure that you also have a link to some past work that you’ve done. People can look to this image portfolio to see whether your style matches up with their needs.
Train Your Staff
This may sound obvious, but many people actually forget to train the staff that they hire to take photos!
Make sure that you only hire people that have valid credentials. You don’t want people whose only photography experience is Snapchat. However, you still will need to train them on how to use the specific equipment that you select for your business. This ensures that there won’t be any mistakes when the clients are present.
You also will want to instruct them in the specific style of photo that you want your business to be known for. Every photographer has their own unique aesthetic, which is something that you should value in your staff. However, you do want to develop a cohesive brand, so make sure that your employees know what you want from them.
Launching Your Photo Booth Startup
Ready to begin selling your services to clients? That’s amazing- get excited! Still, there are some important things you need to keep in mind when launching your photo booth business. Read on to learn what you’ll need to do to make the most out of your launch.
Getting People Through the Doors
Getting people to actually contact you to set up a photoshoot is the most essential part of a launch. It’s also the most difficult.
However, anything’s possible with a little bit of social media marketing and client outreach!
Make sure that you have set up pre-existing pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Invite those that you think will be interested in a photoshoot and offer deals and promotions. These potential clients can be people that have followed competitor pages, looked for services similar to yours, or appear as if they’re planning a wedding, corporate event, or baby shower.
Having a launch party is also a great idea for initially promoting your business. Pull out the streamers, get a cake, and hire some catering. People are sure to be interested in coming to your party, where you can pitch your business to the clients that you identify as potentially interested.
Talking to Your Clients
Talking to the clients that you actually reel in is an essential part of launching your business.
Did you know that 90% of people look to customer reviews when trying to decide whether or not they should hire a business? Yeah, we were surprised too, but this statistic means that having satisfied clients from the get-go is even more important than you previously thought!
Make sure that you’re communicative with clients and responsive to their needs. Good customer service, quality results, and quick response times go a long way. Encourage those who hire your photo booth services to leave reviews. You also might want to include testimonials on your webpage to make them easy for prospective customers to find!
Assessing and Reassessing Your Needs
As with any business, making sure that your photo booth company is of the highest caliber is an ongoing process. You’re going to want to analyze whether or not you’re meeting the objectives in your mission statement on a pretty frequent basis. This will let you know that you’re doing what you set out to.
You also may want to reanalyze the goals themselves if you realize that they aren’t working for you. After all, you created them before you knew how business operations were going to work! There’s no shame in switching things up and ensuring that your goals are realistic and attainable.
Growing Your Photo Booth Business
Once your photo booth business is up and running, there’s still more to be done. But don’t worry- the work that you’ll need to do to maintain and grow your startup is a ton of fun! Here, we’re going to talk about how to run a photo booth so that you can make your startup develop into a behemoth.
Managing Your Prices
At the beginning of your photo booth business’s launch, you’re going to want to charge about $100/hour. This is the low end of average for a photo-booth-for-hire, which usually go for anywhere between $100-350/hour.
As a new business with no reputation, people may be skeptical of you. A low price will make them come to you anyway so that they can see what you’re all about. Additionally, this price is enough for you to get a lot of clients while still figuring out how your day-to-day operations work.
You can always increase your prices with your reputation!
If you plan to print people’s photographs, make sure that you offer some deals to first-time customers. Consider offering 2×6 photo strips for free and charging extra to print 4×6 postcard prints. You can also charge for upgrades and add-ons such as premium photo templates that are personalized with the clients name & date of event. This will get people excited to buy from you.
Adding a Second Photo Booth
After a while, you likely will want to consider adding a second photo booth to your business. This allows you to have more variety in your services. It also allows you to operate in multiple places a once and reel in a little extra cash.
You may want to start simple. Get a duplicate copy of the photo booth that you currently have so you don’t need to learn new mechanics while expanding. Once you have methods proven to succeed, you can put a new twist on these methods and expand the types of booths you use and the services you offer.
There are a lot of industries that you could grow a successful startup in, but having a photo booth is both lucrative and fun! If you love to capture moments on camera, you can turn your passion into a profit in the blink of an eye (or a shutter).
Now that you know all you need to know about a photography business, it’s time to get cracking! Sign up to download our photo booth business success kit and browse our online store for the products you’ll need to begin snapping photos.
We’re committed to providing you with the best information and materials out there so that you can grow a successful photo booth business and ensure that your startup grows and flourishes.