You’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of options when it comes to finding someone to provide a photo booth for your wedding or event. But just like with haircuts and hotel rooms, usually the cheapest option isn’t the best one. “You get what you pay” for is a popular phrase, and this especially applies when hiring a photo booth company.
Here are 5 reasons NOT to hire a budget priced photo booth:
1. Their booths are ugly and take poor quality photos
Yes, you can hire a company for $400 to bring a photo booth to your wedding. But here’s what you will typically get with these “budget” booths: A photo “booth” made from white PVC pipe (or maybe one of those Easy-Up tents your dad uses at family BBQs) with a low quality (and slow) inkjet printer, and an uninterested employee sitting at a bare plastic table with a laptop checking their Facebook newsfeed. This isn’t a fictional situation, I’m describing a local photo booth company that we’ve actually seen at weddings with this setup. Unfortunately, we didn’t snap a photo but here’s an example of another local photo “tent”.
Not only are photo “tents” unattractive, but usually they are made from black fabric which makes the photos look like they were taken in a dark cave. Here’s an actual photo from a local bargain photo booth company that I found on their Facebook page (and no, I didn’t alter the photo in any way, it really was this dark). Maybe I’m a snob, but I wouldn’t pay $400 for photos that look like they were taken with a cellphone camera at night.
2. Their photo booths are slow and inefficient
Commercial-grade photo printers aren’t cheap (one of our printers cost $1200!), so most of the budget booths will use less expensive and slow printers. You know that inkjet printer that you use to print homework assignments? That’s probably the same model that the budget guys are using in their photo booth. Not only is the quality poor, but the prints will be wet and easily smudged.
If they are using an inkjet printer, they will also have to manually cut the paper to be the size of a photo strip (whereas a good printer will print and cut at the same time). If they haven’t cut the strips ahead of time, this means that they will have to trim each photo strip as they print. This results in each photo session taking much longer, which means that fewer guests will be able to use the booth. If you only get half as many people through your booth because it is inefficient, are you really saving money by going with the less expensive photo booth company?
Our booths are fast and efficient. Our printers automatically print and cut duplicate photo strips in as little as 7 seconds, and they are dry to the touch (no smudging!). The print quality is on par with the photo printers that you see at the photo centers at Costco and Target. In our booths, from start to finish it only takes a total of 57 seconds for someone to take their photos and receive their prints (and, someone else can be using the booth while the photos are printing).
3. They aren’t as inexpensive as they seem
Often time the “budget” price doesn’t include some of the essential features that couples want, like props, a guest book, or even printed photos (sometimes the cheap price only includes digital copies). These companies usually charge more for these “extras”. By the time that they “nickel-and-dime” you with upgrades, the budget booth isn’t much of a bargain.
Instead of hiring the budget guys with all their upgrades, you could just hire us and get everything you want for one price.
4. Cheap photo booths are cheap for a reason
Most cheap-o photo booth companies are cheap because they are just starting out, and this is just something they do to make extra money on the weekends. Since these companies are new and relatively unknown, the easiest way to get business is to be the least expensive. Being inexperienced means they are going to have problems (read some of these negative reviews that this local company received). Photo booths are very technical and there are a million little things that can go wrong. Would you hire a caterer or a photographer who only has a few months of experience? Of course you wouldn’t! So why would you take chances hiring someone who is brand new to the photo booth business?
Here’s a review found on Google of a Utah-based photo booth company:
“The gentleman they sent to run the photo booth called me more than once to get directions. (I had emailed this to them more than once). Even after calling me for directions he was over 45 minutes late. He started to set up at a snail’s pace and my mother, brother, and cousin ended up setting up most of it for him just so we could get people going. He was FINALLY set up about 2 hours into the event and within 15 minutes he ran out of black ink. When this happened he asked everyone if they could wait 15 minutes or so for him to get new ink. Well, twenty minutes after that he ran out of toner, then ink again. He kept asking our guests to wait 15, 20, 30 minutes!” read more…
Companies who do a good job are in demand, they don’t need to offer deals or compete with budget priced competitors. There’s a reason that the other guys are cheaper, and you don’t want to find out the hard way by having them mess up your wedding, if they show up at all (read this horror story about a shady local photo booth company).
In the last year we provided photo booths at over 100 events, and this is all we do for a living. We won the “Best of Weddings” award in the photo booth category from The Knot for 2013 and 2014 as well as the “Couples’ Choice” award from Wedding Wire. On top of all that, we have excellent reviews. Why take chances to save a few bucks when you can hire us and know that your photo booth experience will be perfect?
5. Cheap booths can be dangerous
What happens when you try to cram 10 adults into a flimsy photo booth made from a pipe and drape enclosure? A lawsuit. I’ve heard horror stories about people falling off of benches and needing stitches (some booths use a piano bench or Rubbermade totes for their seating), curtain rods falling on people’s heads (that actually happened to me), and booths falling over. This is a huge liability for you and your venue unless the photo booth company has the proper documentation in place to protect you. Their business should be licensed with their city and the state, and they should carry a liability insurance policy in case of accidents.
Couth Booth (a DBA of Entourage Entertainment) has a business license in the city of North Salt Lake and is registered with the state. We also carry a $1,000,000 insurance policy to protect you in the highly unlikely case that a guest is injured while using our photo booths.
Would you rather save a couple hundred dollars and risk having a horrible experience or pay a little more for a worry-free experience? With photo booths, you get what you pay for. If you trust Couth Booth to be part of your wedding or event, we promise that you’ll receive excellent service (prior to, and on the day of your event), you’ll get an all-inclusive package at a competitive price, and while we’re at your event we have a 90% Uptime Guarantee* or your money back.
Even our most economical photo booth package includes the features that most couples want at their weddings:
- 3 hours of unlimited photo sessions
- Your choice of the Vintage Booth, classic Retro Booth, or Couth Booth
- Two 2×6 inch photo strips for each photo session
- A charming photo booth attendant
- A deluxe prop collection displayed on a table with tablecloth (no ugly props from the dollar store, we promise)
- A Photo Guest Book, including supplies and assembly
- Customized photo strip design
- USB drive containing all photos and images of photo strips
- Free travel within 30 miles of North Salt Lake (84054)
I hope this article was helpful. Please contact us today to get a quote for your wedding or event.
*During your event, we guarantee that the booth will be operational at least 90% of the time. At most events the booth is operational 100% of the time, but occasionally we have to add a new roll of paper or handle minor computer glitches, which can take just a few minutes. If the booth is out of order for more than 10% of your event, we will happily issue a prorated refund based on the downtime that exceeds 10%.