My “Top 10 Tips” for ensuring your Photo Booth’s debut is stress-free
If you’ve done all your preparation correctly then hopefully you won’t need a too many tips for the day itself.
In any case, I’ve try to keep this post relatively light (partly because I really want to start writing “Part 8: Post-production”).
Anyhow - here goes:
1. Get heaps of light
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the LEDs on my photo booth did produce some light, but not enough for low light conditions. If you are taking photos in the evening or indoors then try and get every bit of lighting you can muster.
Some other things to consider;
- If the venue has areas that are more well lit - then try and set up the booth in those areas.
- Consider bringing along (or hiring) additional stage lighting if you think it may be necessary.
A backdrop can be as simple as a white tablecloth or curtain. This will really improve the quality of your photos.
Our venue was kind enough to help out with this, but your mileage may vary.
The next time I use my photo booth, I hope to definitely be more prepared in this area. Besides… after going to all the effort of building a photo booth from scratch, constructing a backdrop should be only a minor challenge… right?
3. Setting the Booth’s height
If your photo booth’s dimensions are similiar to that of mine you will need elevate it somehow.
You’ll need a bar stool, pedestal, or small table.
Do some investigation ahead of time to determine whether your venue can help out in this regard (or alternatively bring something with you).
4. Costumes and props
Costumes and props are what photo booths are all about!
Get some crazy wigs, glasses, hats. Pinterest can be great for providing inspiration!
5. Write a Check-list
If you’ve been reading along up to here, then you might have realised just how many things will need to be brought to the venue, and then set up on the day.
Additionally - if your situation is like mine - you may also have a number of other obligations on the day (i.e. getting married? ).
In short: Write a check list. Don’t forget stuff!
6. Communicate your requirements with the venue
Our venues were all super helpful, but we needed to engage with them to make sure that they were “on board” with the plan.
Things to discuss with the venue:
- When + what things be delivered to the venue?
- What needs to be set up (also: at what time? by whom)?
- What space will you be occupying?
- Do you need access to power?
- Where will the power leads run? Do they need to be taped down to ensure people can’t trip over them?
- Who will be responsible for removing the photo booth after the event, and when?
7. Recruit some help
Recruiting someone to help with all of the above activities will be a huge help.
Make sure that they know the basics of how the booth works, and all the arrangements that have been made with the venue.
8. Plan and Rehearse
The last thing that you want to be dealing with at your photo booth’s debut are software and hardware bugs. Do a thorough round of testing, and then ask some other people to have a test run also. It’s always good to get some early feedback too.
You also want to be sure that everybody is aware of their responsibilities and any questions are resolved. If you have an opportunity to rehearse the setup - then go for it.
9. Deliver a sales pitch
If you’ve reached this point (built an amazingly awesome photo booth, kitted it out with props + backdrop, and recruited an army of helpers), then it would be a real shame if your guests forget to make use of it!
If your event has any speeches, or an event host, see if they can be persuaded to include a small “advertisement” for the photo booth.
You can also designate some official “wranglers” to encourage people to join in.
But honestly, the guests at my event seemed to need very little encouragement, because using the photo booth was a lot of fun.
10. Exit strategy
The event is finished. All that is left is to clean up and make sure your photo booth gets home safely.
This step isn’t particularly difficult, but again, if you are relying on others to do this for you just make sure that they know what to do.
And another thing: Have fun!
Chances are that even with an airtight check-list, a rehearsed set of recruits, and a winning sales pitch… there will still be small things that can go wrong.
Here are just a few of the hiccups we faced on the day;
- In transporting the photo booth to the venue, we forgot a number of props! Luckily this was solved with some quick phone calls to friends who were able to find some replacements at the last minute.
- During our wedding we had a (very brief) power outage. Not only did we lose the photo booth; but our band’s music went silent and we were left only with candle-light! Luckily, a few moments later the power kicked back in and all was back to normal.
Even with these hiccups we had a fantastic fun-filled day (it was my wedding after all)!
I wish you guys all the best for your events.
If anyone else has any tips, feel free to share them below .
For the next article in this series, I’ll be talking about post-production tweaks you can make to your images, and how to convert your photos into a website.
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