Like any service prices for photo booths can vary massively from supplier to supplier and to make matters even more difficult, different suppliers offer wildly different options, packages and prices and include or exclude many different items. In this article, i will be using my 10 years of experience in the events industry to answer the question. How much does it cost to hire a photo booth for your wedding?
In a nutshell, the cost to hire a photo booth is between £150 – £250 per hour, and generally most companies have a 2 or 3-hour minimum hire. Additional prints, custom backdrops, and custom artwork matching your wedding theme are popular add-ons that will increase the cost. More often than not, weekdays are generally easier to negotiate a discount than weekends.
Photo booths are a hot ticket for every party, wedding, corporate event and activation. Once reserved for passport photos, nightclubs and shopping centres, photo booths became increasingly popular for events in the early 2000s and haven’t slowed down since. Photo booths are becoming so essential to a wedding, that couples are booking them before their live entertainment to secure their favourite company. But there’s no reason to stop at only weddings; photo booths add fun to pretty much any type of social or private event.
You can hire a photo booth company to attend your event, set up and operate a photo booth, and provide guests with customised keepsakes in the form of bespoke prints. Many photo booth companies set a limit on prints for the duration of the rental E.g 2 prints per session, 4 prints per session or even unlimited prints per session as well as providing fun or sometimes even themed props & signs for guests to sass up the photos.
Nationally, the average cost to hire a photo booth for a wedding ranges between £345 – £545 or more, corporate events rates is even higher because of the additional customisation and branding that is required. Hire time is a major factor in the total fee; longer rentals will command a higher price. Day of week and time of year can also affect costs with some companies. If you are planning your event on a Friday or Saturday, don’t expect any type of discount as this is considered prime time in the events industry. Chances are if you don’t book at full price, someone else will. Weekdays are considered ‘quiet time’ for weddings and private parties. Great discounts can be negotiated during these periods but on the other hand, a lot of corporate events are booked in for weekdays which always demand a higher fee.
The type of photo booth you rent will also have an impact on cost. Often, Selfie Mirrors cost more to rent due to their size and initial cost to purchase is much higher than a standard photo booth. Photo booths vary widely in terms of functionality, such as customisable green screens, GIF and Boomerang creation, and professional cameras will also cost more. For larger events, photo booth companies offer an unlimited amount of customisation to reflect a brand, style or theme.
Not only for weddings! Photo Booth are also requested for private and social parties, birthdays, festivals, work parties, corporate events, launch events, high-school reunions, fundraisers, proms, school events, sweet 16s, and other special occasions, photo booths are a very well received party addition for any size event or crowd. There are many kinds of photo booths available: enclosed photo booth, an open photo booth with a backdrop, Selfie Mirror or Magic mirror as its also known, GIF Stations, Boomerang booths, Roaming photos, hashtag printers and more coming on the market all the time. Rental costs can vary greatly, depending on the type of booth as well as a variety of add-ons.
Photo Booth Type
Selfie Mirrors generally have higher rates, while enclosed photo booths are the cheapest. However, rates could be higher for a unique or themed enclosed photo booth. Open air booths that are using high-end cameras, screens and has pro level software usually dmeand a higher fee. Pro level software brings a ton more customisation, stock and custom photo filters, text and email sharing, awesome green-screen effects, GIFs and much more. Open-air booths can be as simple as a camera on a tripod in front of a plain backdrop or maybe more technical with a green screen as a backdrop or face morphing. Open booths seem to be the most popular choice of phot booth for 2019/2020.
Unlike traditonal enclosed booths, the open booth popularity is because of the large choice of backdrops, guests enjoy watching other guests use the booth and the lack of walls makes for soem epic large group photos! Other booths include, GIF Stations, Green screen experiences, flipbook booths, slider booths, 360 booths and there are now even5 types of mirror booth. the photo booth world is constrantly evolving and this trend does not look like its slowing down any time soon.
Photo Booth Packages
Most companies book photo booth packages with a minimum number of hours to cover their costs for travel to and from their office and the your wedding venue, the cost of staff to manage the booth ensuring its being used to its full potential and any issues are quickly resolved, the cost of print media and other consumables are also factored in to your overall cost along with 101 other busienss expenses needed to run a phot oboth business. They may charge between £150 – £250 per hour, with packages starting at two or three hours minimum. Additional hours and special features add to the total price. Other companies provide a bespoke service and create custom packages for their clients alongside some standard packages. Here are some examples of packages offered by Fresh Booths.
- 3 hour hire – Selfie Mirror: From £525
- 3 hour hire – Open Booth: From £475
- 3 hour hire – GIF Station: From £425
- 4 hour hire – Selfie Mirror: From £595
- 4 hour hire – Open Booth: From £545
- 4 hour hire -GIF Station: From £495
Some packages contain more or less prints per photo session, some contain an added photo album, some contain more customisation than other packages. Its important to decide whats best for your event in terms of value and choice.
Each of the above listed packages from Fresh Booths includes additional time for travel, load in, setup and break down (beyond your agreed-upon event hours); a booth attendant onsite for the duration of the hire;unlimited photos; 2-4 prints per photo session customised with a logo, names or special text or even a full custom design to match your wedding invites; a table of props & signs; an online gallery so guests can view and download the photos at a later date and a photo album is inlcuded with slected packages.
An example of photo booth pricing in 2019
Special Features & Add-ons
Most companies include a certain number of prints for the duration of the event as well as props for the photo booth and minor customisation like the text on the print artwork but may charge for extra services beyond that. Other companies may offer cheaper rates, but charge for items such as props, prints and other standard items — for example, £50 per hour for an unlimited print upgrade and £40 for prop hire or even local travel.
Research the photo booth companies near to your chosen venue and decide what’s best for your event budget. Remember, companies may charge travel for events outside of their local area. So choosing a company local to your venue is essential if you are on a budget. Make sure you have an event contract
Technology and social media play a huge role in the special features that are now available for photo booths. Most photo booths can text or email photos, GIFs or boomerangs straight to your smartphone so you can edit and post straight online to social media with little hassle. If you’re planning a corporate event or brand activation and trying to create buzz around your brand, a photo booth offers a great opportunity for organic marketing. Social media packages are typically an additional cost on top of photo booth rental. You can also offer your guests an awesome feature that turns the multiple photos into an animated GIF that they can post to social media and share via email and text, Don’t worry though because these too can be printed alongside the sharing aspect. Examples of cost for popular add-ons include:
- Prop box:£40
- Custom signboards: £10 – £15 each
- Photo album: £60 – £120
- Personalized print artwork: Free
- Custom print artwork: £25 – £50
- Custom backdrops: £250 – £400
- Custom filters: £75
- Square print upgrade: £150
- Text & email sharing: £99
- GIF creator add on: £75 – £150
- VIP ropes and barriers: £75 – £150
- Themed props: £100
Peak season and quiet days
The time of year, day of the week or even the time of day can affect the price of your photo booth hire. Generally, a wedding at the peak of summer, on a Saturday evening will not be eligible for any discount. But a local, birthday in January on a Tuesday afternoon, could be eligible for a large discount. The motto ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ definitely applies here. If a photo booth is over your budget, there is no harm in asking for a discount. You might be surprised.
Most photo booth companies offer packages or negotiate prices for a set number of hours. Additional hours, whether added during the booking process to the package or requested during the event by the event host, generally range between £100 – £150 more per hour on average when added to an existing booking. It’s important to clarify whether your base price includes time for setup and breakdown, as this can impact how long you want to hire for. Most companies do not include these tasks as part of the hire and will usually arrive 60-90 minutes prior to the event starting to load in and set up.
Idle hours are perfect for weddings and events that have a planned dinner or even awards ceremonies that have planned activities throughout the evening. As an example: 4-hour booth hire – Your event runs from 5 pm to 12.00 am with dinner at 7 pm. chances are most guests will not use the photo booth during the 2 hours for dinner so it makes sense to close the booth and pay only for idle hours. The booth can then be reopened at 9 pm to run the remaining 2 hours. Idle hours are usually charged at around £30 – £60 per hour
Adding additional hours or idle hours to bookings can be done in the lead up to the event, or alternatively on the night. This is dependant on the availability of the company as they might have another event already booked in straight after your event.
Plenty of DJs and event companies now have photo booths in their inventory. Some great deals can be had if you bundle together a DJ, sweet cart, dance floor and photo booth into one package. That being said, someone who specialises in one thing E.g photography or photo booths usually does it to a higher standard. With a bundled package you will save money and its convenient, but details like custom photo artwork and picture quality are usually to a lower standard.
Do your homework
Hiring a photo booth for your next event can be a big expense, so make sure you’re working with a reputable company that will deliver exactly what you intended. Before paying your deposit, take these steps to ensure a stress-free event and planning.
- Reviews. This one is pretty self-explanatory. But do your homework and read as many reviews as possible. If a company has 100 reviews and 1 is bad, chances are they are a great company who either had a bad event (we are all human after all) or the customer wasn’t in the right. There you go i said it!
- Insurance. Confirm that the company you’re considering have up to date liability insurance. This will protect you and your guests in case of an accident.
- Budget well. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Quality equipment is an investment, so anyone with lowball prices may be operating a photo booth that isn’t as fancy as you might desire. Or they might not even show up after accepting full payment. Its happens more than you think.
- Choose features wisely. If you just want a classic open booth that prints out photos, keep it simple. If you want a green screen booth with instant sharing and square prints, you can have that, too. Just keep in mind that, usually, the more features offered, the more the hire will cost.
- Contract up. You don’t want your dream wedding photo booth not to show and leave you with no recourse. Get it all in writing, including hours and cost.
- Have an attendant. Even self-operating photo booths run best with an informed technician on hand to troubleshoot any problems and keep things running smoothly. Most operations offer this service.
- Are prints included? Find out whether your rate includes prints, and whether that’s a finite or unlimited number of prints.
How to save on your photo booth hire
- Book your photo booth on weekdays or off-seasons for the biggest discounts. Don’t be shy and ask for a discount.
- Bundle photo booth and DJ services with the same company. Just be aware, the photo experience will not as high-quality as a dedicated photo booth vendor.
- A party with fewer than 80 guests will usually be fine with three or four hours of photo booth time. Request to extend hours during the event if needed rather than overbooking ahead of time, unless you are sure. unless it’s high season and the company may have two events in one day.
- Schools, nonprofits, military organisations and other groups are often eligible for discounts. Again, don’t be shy to ask about discounts.
- Book local. Booking a local photo booth company will save you money on travel
- If you have a budget, tell your vendor. This makes it much easier for them to recommend a package suitable for you and your budget.
- Reducing the number of prints, removing props and removing other features can reduce the cost of your hire.
When contacting a company for a quote. Give as much detail as possible and include your budget.
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