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Shop Smart for Your Photo Booth

Photo booths are a great way to capture pictures of all the guests who came to celebrate your wedding, as well as fill the downtime during the reception. But photo booths are not all the same. If you are thinking of adding a photo booth to your big day, here are some tips to help you choose the right one:

GET A VISUAL:
Before renting a booth just based on price, make sure to see pictures of the photo booth that will actually be at your event. Photo booth rental companies have different styles of booths in an array of shapes and sizes. Most companies use some sort of box style layout with drapes. Some simply provide a backdrop to stand in front of and have a camera set up on a tripod to snap your pictures, while others provide sophisticated designs with custom backgrounds, live LCD displays and customizable panels. A visual not
only allows you to see if your booth will match the aesthetics of your wedding, but also lets you know if its size is ideal for your event space.

MAKE SURE THE PHOTOS WILL LAST:
Equipment is important, especially if you want to blow up the photos taken in the booth (which would require a high megapixel DSLR camera). But other factors contribute to the quality of the prints. Photo booths are designed to take advantage of space limitations, so lighting (both inside the booth as well as the type of flash) and printer’s DPI (dots per inch) are very important.

Ask if the photo booth can provide professional, lab-quality photo prints. Some companies use ink jet printers which are prone to fading, smearing and the images do not last. How fast is the printing process? Now, the difference between 10 and 20 seconds might not seem like a big deal, but take this time
difference and add it up over the course of a four-hour reception. The speed of the printer allows guests to take more pictures in the booth, determines the length of the line which forms outside the booth and allows more overall photos during the course of your event.

PERSONALIZE YOUR PHOTO BOOTH EXPERIENCE:
Many companies advertise that they can provide customized layouts and designs. However, what’s their definition of ‘customized?’ Don’t be fooled by companies claiming to customize layouts/logos and then show you simple captions on print. These businesses tend to not have professional grade software and/or lack the expertise of a graphic designer to do a true customization for you.

What happens if you would like to decorate the outside of the booth with a poster size picture or wrap? Consider what the booth is made of – with some materials, like fabric, these customizations are not possible.

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR:
Many companies claim they offer photo booth rentals. However, it is simply an add-on service to their core business and not their specialty. Make sure the company you are dealing with is reputable. Is this a full time business or just something the company does on the side?

Check what is included in each price quote. Often vendors will try to lure you in with a low startup cost and then charge for extras such as a customized logo, customized design, or live display slide-shows of pictures taken during your event. Do you have to pay for set-up/tear down? Are there travel/delivery
fees to your event’s location?

Many companies will offer different packages that include different features and functionality. Sometimes they can be confusing to differentiate, so make sure you fully understand what you are getting. Make
sure it is an apples-to-apples comparison. Some companies advertise that they will match or beat any competitor’s price. But are they matching the quality, reputation, experience and service of their competitors as well?

Michael Stump is the Owner of Tip Top Photo Booths, an elite photo booth rental agency. To see their booths and samples of their work, visit tiptopphotobooths.com.

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