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Photo booths are incredibly popular for Seattle weddings, and are more affordable than you think.
What kinds of photo booths are there?
There are SO many different kinds of photo booths these days. Those old-school photo booths that you still may find at zoos or amusement parks are not very common. When talking about a photo booth, wedding professionals are typically referring to <em>open-air photo booths.
An open-air photo booth is a one where a camera is mounted in an enclosure, and guests typically tap the screen to take a series of photos. Depending on the type of photo booth, it may or may not print photo strips.
The most common open-air photo booths are going to be social booths (the one that I have), DSLR-based booths, and specialty booths (mirror booths or 360 booths).
Social booths are photo booths that specifically focus on guest experience by offering fun lighting, interactive features like a customized tap-to-start screen and virtual props and filters, as well as GIFs, boomerangs, and even video. Some of these booths offer prints, but most will seamlessly message the images directly to the guest’s phones. Social booths are typically standalone, and do not require an attendant to operate (which saves you some $$$)! If you’re debating on digital images vs. prints, you should check out this article!
DSLR booths are the beefier cousins of the social booths. These typically have a full-out professional camera inside of them and operate with a tap-to-start screen. They also will usually have a flash, and most offer printing. These are great if you want to prioritize image quality over guest experience — not to say that these aren’t a blast to use! They are typically more expensive to rent than social booths, and may or may not require an attendant to operate.
Specialty booths like mirror booths or 360 booths are flashiest of them all — perfect for a couple that is looking for the wow factor at their wedding. Mirror booths are a 2-way glass mirror that’s essentially a huge touch screen. When the image is taken (through the glass), it’s typically sent directly to the guest’s phone. Most do not print.
360 booths are the sleekest of all. These are typically a platform with a rotating camera or phone attached. These are spinning so quickly that you can take a “picture”(actually a video file) that is frozen in action in all 360-degrees. Due to the nature of the booth, they do not offer prints.
Do I need prints?
Some companies may charge extra for prints, and it’s something to consider.
A few pros of printing: It gives guests a fun little way to remember your wedding day. A popular way couples are using prints is to create a photo book. Basically, the idea is to provide tape and pens and a little scrap book. Then, guests can tape their prints to the photo book, and write you a fun message!
A few cons of printing: I’ve found that a lot of guests don’t take their photos home with them, or they end up being thrown away. If sustainability is important to you, this is something to consider!
Many of the companies who do not offer printing provide a digital booth option, where the booth will text, email, or airdrop the photos directly to guests.
Do I need an attendant?
If you’re going with a social booth, you shouldn’t need an attendant. These are really simple to use and are designed to be used by anyone.
With the more complex setups (DSLR, or specialty booths), I’d recommend speaking to your photo booth company to ask if they think an attendant is necessary.
Photo booth rentals packages usually provide the photo booth plus set up and breakdown. Here are other costs to expect or consider when hiring a photo booth:
- Gallery of the images
- Social media integration
What else should I consider with adding a photo booth?
Most photo booths need at least an 8×8’ space to operate, and they’ll need to be close to a power outlet. If the booth will be outside, make sure to talk it through with your photo booth company! Depending on the venue, I’ve seen couples put their photo booth right near the dance floor so that guests can quickly snap a few photos. Other couples like the photo booth to be a nice little reprieve from the dancing, so they have the booth in a separate location entirely. Generally, couples will have the photo booth be open from cocktail hour through dancing, so I’d plan on 3-4 hours of coverage, depending on your timeline.