The Art Of A Successful Photo Booth
Whether you are making your own DIY photo booth or hiring a company to take care of the job for you, there are a few basic rules you should consider to ensure that your events photo booth is used to its full potential. We’ve attended enough events to know what works and we’re more than happy to share what we’ve learned over the past years. Hopefully these tips will turn your booth into the heart of the party and help you capture some truly amazing photographs in the process.
Picking a suitable location for your booth is key to ensuring that it gets used to its full potential. It’s tempting to tuck the booth away in a spare room to make the most of your venues space, but the reality is that it may not be used as much hidden outside of the parties atmosphere. We suggest picking a spot that is close to where the guests will be frequently passing. If you do choose a separate room away from the party, request that the hire company supply signage to lead your guests in the appropriate direction. Another good spot that tends to work well is close to the venue bar, guests love to mingle near this area and are easily dragged in for spontaneous photos.
Most hire companies offer a standard three hour hire duration, to make sure that your guests make maximum use of the service you will need to pick your start time carefully. For weddings, we find that just after the first dance or speeches can work well. If you’re planning a band or DJ for your event, having the booth start alongside the music can get people in the mood for a photo. In general, for evening events we believe a start time between 6.30 – 8.30 normally gets the best results – Any later then guests may be too tired (or drunk) towards the end of the hire duration.
The perfect solution for the shy guest, a few drinks can install the confidence they need to get in front of the booth for a photo. There is a fine line between too much alcohol though, overly intoxicated guests don’t look pretty on screen. If you’re planning a free bar at your party, make sure you have a photo booth attendant who can control the mayhem, otherwise you could end up with a blur of people all not looking at the camera. Alcohol is definitely not essential for a successful photo booth, we’ve attended many alcohol free events that still see the booth rack up 100s of snaps.
Young people of the selfie generation love a photograph, give them a photo booth and you can guarantee they will make good use of it. When we attend university balls we are often astonished by just how many photos they can fit into the three hour duration, there is usually a queue to use the booth for pretty much the entire time. The joy of having a few younger people at your own event is that they will often be the group to break the ice and go in for the first photo – Once the rest of the party see that the booth is being used it’s normally the catalyst required to get them out of their seats and into the action.
When the sun is setting, the level of light entering a room is constantly changing. To maintain image quality throughout this period, a trained photo booth attendant will need to make the appropriate adjustments to the DSLR camera settings. If you’re running a DIY booth and you’re not too clued up on the basics of photography, you can limit the effect of the sunset by turning your backdrop so that it is not in direct contact with the light. Closing any curtains that are in the path of the sun rays will also help reduce over exposure in the photographs. There are other disadvantages when dealing with the sun, in general having an artificial light source (the booth) and natural light illuminating a subject will make more work for the photographer to produce attractive photos.
Not everyone wants to incorporate fancy dress into their photo booth setup, it all depends on the event atmosphere you are trying to create. Personally we love the idea of incorporating a few eccentric items into the photo. We find that with a box full of props guests can get a lot more creative with their photo choreography, resulting in more photos as they experiment with different items. When it comes to selecting your fancy dress, don’t be cheap! Spend some time searching for interesting items that will stir up some conversation and bring a smile to your guests face.
Black & White
If you’re attempting to create your own DIY photo booth and you’re not overly confident with a camera, then a B&W shoot could be a safe solution. B&W photos have the potential to look stunning and save you the trouble of worrying about all the variables associated with colour. We find that a glitter / shiny material produces an effective backdrop for B&W snaps, the reflective nature of the material adds a nice texture to the photo. White / light coloured props are a MUST – they stand out and bring life to the image. If you are using a template design to surround your printed snaps, it often works well to keep this B&W too, it can look slightly contrasting if the border of the print has colour and the images don’t.
We hope that the above points contribute towards your events photo booth being a success. If you're interested in finding out more tricks & tips to make the most of your booth, you can download our essential photo booth guide here.
Good luck with the party!