The Cost of a Quality PhotoBooth
When deciding to add a PhotoBooth to your special event, you have to look beyond the price and see what it is you are getting as far as quality of services. As a Professional DJ, who offers PhotoBooth services to customers and clients, I have seen some quality presentations and some presentations that are not so high quality. It is important first, for you as a consumer, to understand the cost of running a high quality PhotoBooth with exceptional services versus the opposition a lower quality product. Transparency is key and I always explain to my customers and/or potential customers that discounting the PhotoBooth that I offer is almost impossible and here is why.
Let us start with the price of a quality PhotoBooth. I use one from Your City PhotoBooth. It has an amazing camera, touch screen computer, exceptional fast printer and is aesthetically appealing. Let me mention that I run a closed PhotoBooth not open air. The cost of an upfront purchase of a booth like this is between 6,000 and 7,000 dollars. I have seen home made booths, plastic booths, desk top computer run booths, these are not of the professional quality of a top rated purchase and professional model. When we look at the booth itself, the vendor pays for what the vendor gets and the same can be said for the customer. The cost of a professional and professionally purchased booth has to be accounted for when pricing a job.
My experience tells me one of the most important elements of a great PhotoBooth is the printer. A high quality printer will keep lines shorter, because the prints come out faster. Guest do not have to come back to get the prints, they are done automatically and as they exit the booth they are handed a set of prints. The printer ensures the high quality detail of each and every print is not compromised by the speed at which they are printed out.
Prints and print selection is also very important. Personally I use a third party to offer custom prints to every client. These prints are available for view right from my website via an onlineline catalog. There are hundreds of prints to chose from and the details are amazing. I always here guests at event raving about how amazing the prints look. Now the membership to offer such amazing quality prints can be between 200 and 400 dollars per year. The cost of each print that comes out of the booth is about 19 cents per print. When you run a scrapbook that cost about 20 dollars and have to do additional prints to fill the scrap book the cost start to build. If two people go in the PhotoBooth and each receives a strip and you print a second copy to be added to the scrap book that photo session alone cost you almost 40 cents. When five or six people go in now you double that cost! If you have 100 to 150 guest at your event you are looking at an average of 166 prints x 2 to fill the scrap book for an estimated cost of 140 dollars for the PhotoBooth Operator. When you add the cost of the scrapbook you are at 160 dollars.
Quality workers to run the booth are a big part of its success. These works have to be fun, energetic and engaging with guest. They have to have a knowledge of the booth, manage the scrapbook and props and be able to trouble shoot in the event an error occurred. If a booth is to run for 4 hrs., which is typical for a wedding, the workers work on site for about 5.5 hours in total. This includes set up, break down and testing time. If you add on drive time you are now looking at a day that is 6-8 hours long for you workers. If you want quality reliable workers you have to pay for it so PhotoBooth labor can go from 200-250 dollars. If we are at 200 plus 160 fro prints and scrapbook that is 360 dollars in expenses already for the owner of a high quality professional booth.
Props are also very important. A good quality selection of props includes the following: glasses, signs, hats, necklaces and other gadgets. An initial purchase is about 400 dollars and to maintain them lets say is about 40 dollars a job. You have to account for lost, stolen and damaged props. This brings the sum of running the booth for one job to 400 dollars.
There are some other cost that occurs like thumb drives to transfer the digital photos and prints on so the customer can save and share on social medial. Insurance for the year, as venues will require each vendor to provide proof of coverage, the yearly fee for the quality prints from a third party vendor, yearly subscription fee to the PhotoBooth software provider to ensure the most up to date versions are always running. All these items add up.
As with any business the cost of running a great PhotoBooth has to be accounted for in the pricing that is passed on to customers. When charging 650.00 dollars for a 4 hr.. event with cost slightly above 400 dollars the owner of the booth, is actually making about 250 dollars on average.
The point of this little blog was to be transparent and help inform current and potential customers to be weary of the 350.00 dollar PhotoBooth. I have been in the wedding industry for a long time and my calculations say at 350.00 dollars if they are offering the amazing services listed above they are loosing on average 50.00 dollars to work your event.
There are a lot of great booths and PhotoBooth professionals out there, as a customer shop and ask question related to your expectations. Read reviews of services provided. Don just read the good reviews look deeper for customers who may not have been happy with the services provided and find out why. In the end comfort is everything! Pick a vendor based on comfort levels not just pricing! I love to help people out any way I can. Check out my website thedjjoeben.com and if you have questions just reach out to me. DJ Joe Bene