7 Tips for Running Your Photo Booth Business

by Ryan on January 18, 2014

After starting my photo booth business, there were a few things I learned on the fly, and a few pointers I’ll give you to make things go smoother and more fun. Some of these may seem obvious, but they’re important to remember while you’re preparing for and working the photo booth event.

1. Bring at Least Two Extra Rolls of Paper and Ink
You never know if you are going to have technical issues, or if the booth will be packed all night. Never cut it close with the number of ink and paper rolls you bring, otherwise it could be a disaster!

2. Always Give Yourself Extra Time to Set up
I typically arrive at events about two hours prior, which allows me time to set up, take a few test images, and adjust the camera settings based on the light in the room. If you cut it close, and can’t find a close unloading area, you may cut into the reservation time, which is a big no-no. The distance you have to carry your equipment plays a big role in how early you should arrive.

3. Call the Event Contact Ahead of Time
Most events will give you a heads up as to where you’re setting up and where to unload, but it’s always good to confirm and double check where you’ll be unloading, what time you should arrive, and any other information about the event venue you’ll be at. It’s also good to confirm they have a correct power source nearby, and if they don’t, that they’ll be supplying proper extension cords.

4. Smile and Give Guests Your Full Attention
Pretty obvious, but nobody likes a cranky photo booth attendant and if you create a relaxed and fun atmosphere people will enjoy the booth even more. Absolutely no cell phone checking should be done during the event, and you should focus on helping the guests with taking great photos and answering any questions they may have. Working events for five hours with constant smiling sometimes even hurts my face since I’m not used to smiling that long straight, but it’s for the guests!

5. It’s Okay to Say No
I’ve had people show every part of their body in the booth and you’ll often have to play the same role a bartender does. Cutting people off from the booth and keeping their behavior in check. If there’s someone giving you a rough time, stand your ground and realize you have the right to say no if you fear they’re doing something inappropriate or something that may damage your booth.

6. Dress for the Event
It doesn’t hurt to ask what the dress code is for an event when you’re discussing it with a client. I’ve worked church picnics, kiddie carnivals, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and corporate events. The event itself often dictates what you should wear, but dress accordingly. A wedding isn’t appropriate for shorts and a polo, but a kiddie carnival isn’t great for formal dress wear.

7. Follow up Within 24 Hours
After the event is done, go back to your office and follow up with the person who booked the event. Thank them for giving you the opportunity to work the event, and provide the images to them via the source you promised, which may include email, or uploading online.

Bonus 8. Don’t skimp on the equipment!
There was one time when I bought a camera AC adapter which powers the camera directly to an outlet. I ordered the cheaper one off Amazon, and of course, the thing overheated during the event! That meant I had to keep pulling it out, blowing on it to cool it down and holding up the booth for a couple minutes at a time. Fortunately the event holder didn’t complain, but I learned that buying cheap equipment simply isn’t worth it! Buy equipment that will last, and can run your booth smoothly without worry.

As an aside, you may also want to consider packing a small fan with you to help cool your booth electronics, especially if the banquet hall is packed tight with people and is getting hot, or you’re working an outside event on a hot day.

Follow these photo booth business tips, and it should help make your events go smoother and hassle free. If you have any more tips, feel free to share them in the comments below.

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