Wedding Photo Booth Guide

You’ve seen them in movies, at Vegas Casinos, Disneyland, anywhere there is fun happening! Now, on the most fun day of your life, you too can have your own photo booth. Yes, photo booths are a hot item at finer weddings today. This trend is growing as brides look for ways to make their wedding reception special and fun for all.

Part 1 – WHY A PHOTO BOOTH?

For over 100 years the traditional four-shot photo strip has captured and preserved unique memories like no other photographic product. In addition to capturing memories, its real value is as a form of entertainment.

Not everyone likes to dance at a wedding reception; goofing off in a photo booth provides just enough privacy to allow people to loosen up and play without feeling self-conscious. What’s more, its appeal is cross generational; everyone enjoys it! If the booth has a gimmick like props, green screen or the booth speaks to them, visitors are much more likely to let their guard down. This makes for more spontaneous pictures. There is just something about getting shoulder-to-shoulder behind a curtain which creates a sense of camaraderie and fun, where people feel they can let go a little and enjoy a shared experience.

As the photo strip prints out, everyone loves seeing themselves. Most companies include the name and date of the couple at the top of each photo strip so each goes home with a keepsake of the wedding. In many ways this replaces the need for cameras on the tables and usually provides much better and more interesting pictures. The Bride and Groom typically get a collection of all photos taken by way of a photos disc, photo book or through online access. Not only does this offer them a look at how much fun their guests were having, but it captures those rare moments when family and friends, who are not often together, intermingle through the fun of the photo booth.

Part 2 – HOW TO SHOP FOR A PHOTO BOOTH?

First understand that not all booths are created equal. There is a large range in pricing, which is usually (but not always), an indicator of quality. A select few are full-time businesses, but for most this is a side business. While this means that there is a photo booth for every budget, to avoid being disappointed it is important that you define which features YOU feel are most valuable and that you compare several companies and ask plenty of questions. Here are some differences to ask about:

  • APPEARANCE – There are booths, boxes, tents, pipe & drapes, kiosks and even a “pod”! Some photographers will set up a photo station where they take portraits and call it a photo booth. Be sure you see what the booth will look like; if none is featured on the website, there is probably a good reason. While the rate might be better for your budget, be aware of what is going to show up at your reception first! What you don’t want is a surprise. Most brides spend months creating their perfect reception and don’t want it spoiled by an unsightly product.
  • FUNCTION – Each company will have their own special features to make their booth stand out. Find out what’s available and decide which features you like best. Ask what special features come with the booth; Props, Green Screen, Speaking Booth, Video, Scrapbooking, Etc. Also ask how many photos it takes, whether it prints single or duplicate, are props sanitized (there are health concerns with reused props) and ask how the photos are delivered (DVD or online). Be sure and see examples of photos taken in the booth.
  • PACKAGES & PRICE – There will be many similarities from company-to-company but each will include different extras for the price. Some will up-sell from a menu of options, some are all-inclusive. In my opinion, best practice is that there should be no extra charge to receive the digital photos from the event. A key feature of renting a photo booth should be that the photos are included. At the very least, know ahead of time what you will be getting. The prices range anywhere from $700 to $2000, but a quality 4-hour booth rental usually begins around $1200. When choosing, factor in booth design, special features and number of hours included. Don’t assume it’s the same number of hours for each company.

Part 3 – HOW TO USE A PHOTO BOOTH FOR A WEDDING?

Place the photo booth in an area of the reception where it will not interfere with other events like the cake cutting or dancing. It should be easily accessible, but out of the way of the action and service staff.

As is true with a wedding DJ, 4 hours of photo booth entertainment is usually just right. I recommend starting the booth during the cocktail hour. This gives people something fun to do and they become aware of the booth which will draw them back throughout the evening. Unlike the dance floor, the photo booth will attract guests throughout the dinner hour. After dinner there is usually a surge at the booth, so starting your 4 hours at cocktail hour gets the most out of your photo booth.

Generally in the last hour of a reception more interest in focused on the DJ and the dance floor. If traffic to the booth is slow, a simple announcement from the DJ will usually get things going. Not all booths look like a typical photo booth so guests might not be clear what it is. Once invited, it’s usually a big hit!

SUMMARY

Photo booths are fun, they make people laugh and provide everyone with valuable memories! Informed shopping requires a little buyer knowledge and some comparison. If you are working with a planner, be sure and let her know your interest in a photo booth and get her opinion as to which companies she is comfortable recommending.

Rest assured that whether your focus is on quality of photos, appearance of the booth, entertaining features, price or a combination thereof, there is a solution out there which is just right for you. Be informed about what you are buying and be sure that you are comfortable with the professionals you’ve chosen to hire, and you’ll have a great experience with your photo booth! For years to come, you and your guests will treasure your special day each time they run across their photo strips. Rent a photo booth today!

Wedding Photo Album Versus Wedding Photo Book

Following many threads on social media and wedding forum web sites, I repeatedly have come across the question of where to go with your photos if you want to make your own wedding photo album. One common advice is to go to blurb, Shutterfly or other photo book makers. Also, it is often noted that many wedding photo album makers, like Queensberry, do only business with photographers. But should you really get a photo book for your wedding photo album? This article is trying to highlight the pros and contras of photo books in comparison to proper wedding photo albums.

Pros

There are several reasons in favor of photo books. For starters, they are easily available. You can chose between a multitude of different providers, they come cheap with prices starting from 10 Dollars and they are delivered very quickly with e.g. blurb delivering most books within 7 to 10 business days after ordering. Proper wedding photo albums on the other hand are much harder to get your hands on. It is true that a lot of firms do only business with photographers and other wholesale customers. Prices are considerably higher and delivery times vary from 2 weeks to 6 months.

Also, if you want to make your own design, photo book companies often provide a design software, which allows you to put together a simple album layout within minutes. Often the software has an integration into the ordering process, so after designing it is a piece of cake to upload your photos and submit your order. Wedding album makes usually don’t provide this feature for two reasons: often the companies are too small to develop their own software and in most cases those programs are not sufficient to create the sophisticated layout design required for a real wedding photo album.

Contras

While all the points mentioned so far are more or less in favor of getting a photo book, there are also some pretty good reasons against it. As said earlier, wedding photo albums are more expensive, but their still are good value for money, if you consider what you get. You get a proper heavy cover made of real or faux leather, which has a substantially better feel to it than the hard or soft-paper cover of a photo book.

The photos in your wedding album are developed with a chemical process. Their resolution is perfect and their colors never fade. This might be true for some high-quality photo books, but the majority of them uses laser-jet printing resulting in a notably lower photo quality. The pages in a proper wedding photo album are made of solid paper or carton (true only for flush-mount albums). Again, this leads to a much nicer feeling when flipping through the album, than the floppy thin pages of a photo book.

And finally regarding the design, if you really want to design your own wedding photo album, it is not at all a bad idea to use a professional software for it like DG Foto Art, Photoshop or Gimp. This requires some practice and skill, but only pro software provides you with the sophisticated fading, transparency, shadow and photo touch-up effects you will need to make a state-of-the-art album layout. The simple self-design software of the wedding photo album makers gets you only half the way.

Conclusion

A wedding photo album is one of the most important safekeepers of the memories of your wedding day and you will look at it again and again, possibly for the rest of you live. Therefore, all the money you invest in it is invested very well. Therefore, I would advice you to go for a wedding photo book, only if you don’t care too much about all this “wedding day fuzz” or, if your budget simply does not allow for more. Otherwise, get a proper wedding album, because on the long run it is worth it!

Professional Wedding Photos

Hiring a professional to take your wedding photos is what a lot of brides and grooms want on their big day. They know how wonderful it would be to look at professional wedding photos, ten or twenty years later, because of the great quality of the images taken.

However, professional photographers do not cost cheap. Since they are well-trained and knowledgeable in this field, they often ask for a fee that is a bit higher that what you have set in the budget. So, what are you going to do?

Photography has become a hobby of a lot of people over the years. As long as you have a camera, you can point and shoot at anything, anytime and anywhere you want to. Now, if you know somebody who does this, you might want to try if he or she knows enough about the craft to become your official wedding photographer.

Ask your potential wedding photographer for samples of his or her photos so that you can assess if he or she really knows what he or she is doing. Try to read up on the basics of photography and understand the appropriate factors and settings when taking pictures in several different occasions and situations.

You could also talk to your friends or colleagues if they know a decent photographer who does not cost too much. Many amateurs would probably take your wedding as an opportunity to enhance their skills and a project that they can add to their portfolios.

The internet is also home to a lot of young and budding photographers. You could visit their websites and look at the photos that they have uploaded on their respective blogs or sites. There is always a “contact us” page on these sites, so you would not have trouble getting in touch with any of them.

You need not spend a fortune just to have professional wedding photos on your wedding day. The venue, gowns, food and decorations already take up more than half of your budget. Be resourceful and practical because the most important thing about the event really is you and your loved one enjoying every second of it.

Wedding Photo Booths

A fantastic idea that is becoming ever more popular is the wedding photo booth – a special area for guests to have photos taken as mementos of the day and to add to the bride and groom’s album. You can either create one yourself, work in conjunction with your photographer or even hire an entire photobooth for the day.

To make your own, all you need is a secluded area – get creative – we’ve even seen one inside a camper van! If you can set aside a small room or corner for this purpose then great – if not, then setting up an area or marquee outside will do just fine too. Use a plain background if possible, and make sure it is well lit and there’s no danger of the camera being knocked over.

You can have a designated photographer, or set up a tripod and a camera with a remote or cable release so your subjects can take photos of themselves without having to set a timer. Provide props like empty picture frames, hats, wedding paraphernalia or blackboards or giant speech bubbles so guests can write notes to add to their pictures. Outside is best for lighting, but if you’re shooting inside then just ensure the light is good and the camera settings are adjusted for the conditions.

Photo booths seem to capture those real moments at weddings – away from the formal posing and usually after a couple of drinks! Many couples treasure these photos as much as their professional ones because they truly show the joy and personality of their guests. Don’t forget to sneak in there too – it’s not just for guests!

The options for silly and wonderful photos are endless. Play dress up, act out your favourite poses, or simply show off your gorgeous wedding dress – you only get to wear it for one day after all! Your guests will love getting together to celebrate your day in photographic style.

Photo booths can be rented all over the UK and range in price, depending on their facilities. Some also allow video messaging and live streaming to an external monitor which can be placed in the reception room. Expect to pay upwards of £500 for a professional booth, however. If you rent an automated machine you will have the option of having photos printed there and then, or put onto disc for you to take home and distribute (or use as blackmail) as you wish.