So many fads and trends enter the wedding market. Chocolate Fountains, Candy Carts, Marryoke, the list goes on and on. Occasionally a fad can turn into a core component of a wedding day’s entertainment. When something is so much fun and gives guests a memento of a wedding day, it will always be ‘en trend’. With this in mind, photo booths have become like bands, DJs, photographers and feature high on the list of many people’s ‘must have’ options at their wedding.
Like with any product or service, when demand is high, there are all levels of operators that join that market. The more experienced companies gain business from developing their reputation. Those established companies are then replicated by others that have no reputation to trade with and can only sell on price.
And that’s where the problem arises. Photo Booth companies that rely on a low sales price don’t earn very much.
1. Cheap Photo Booths don’t tend to stay in business long
Our photo booth service started back in 2008. We’ve seen so many cheap photo booth companies set-up and disappear during that time. It’s a shame because they often let customers down that have booked them a year or more in advance. The truth of the matter is, if a photo booth company doesn’t make enough profit, they’ll go out of business.
Before you book any booth company. Do a bit of research, find out how long they’ve been trading, question if it’s good deal they’re offering or a desperate one.
This is something that really grinds the grits of the established photo booth operators out there. The call that you get from a Bride or Groom that originally enquired with you but chose a cheap photo booth company. The call usually happens within a few days before their wedding date. The excuse from the cheap photo booth company is usually one of two things. Either they’ve had something related to their business stolen or broken. They’ll happily refund the couple. What they won’t tell them is, that they’ve been hired by someone else willing to pay a higher price for the same day.
In your research, look out for reviews on social media to make sure your booth supplier doesn’t have a history of gazumping.
Like any business, its success is reliant on the staff that works for them. By trading at a low price there is less margin to pay decent wages to the person who will run the booth at your wedding. Paying a few quid cash in hand for someone to give up their Saturday night, tends not to attract the most incentivised of staff.
Take a look at the website and social media of a booth company to see if they mention their staff. Look for testimonials that mention names of Booth Butlers from customers.
4. Back-up Equipment
There are a lot of expensive components in a photo booth. Also, when you combine cameras, computers and printers, there’s all sorts of things that can go wrong. As cheap photo booth companies tend to make less profit, they can save money by not investing in back-up equipment.
If your photo booth supplier has invested in back-up equipment they will certainly mention it on their website.
5. Slow Communication
A lot of cheap photo booth companies are run by people that have a full time job during the week. This can make communication quite slow at times.
If you’re choosing a reputable photo booth supplier, you should be able to expect same day replies to emails and someone at the end of the phone if you need them.
6. Invest less in equipment
When hiring a cheap booth, expect lower image quality and fewer prints. Rather than investing several hundred pounds in a digital SLR and learning how to use it, a cheap booth company will often rely on a web cam to take pictures. These are usually badly lit, quite grainy and often blurred. Prints from a cheap printer can take a long time. Most professional booth companies will be able to make 1-print every 10-seconds or so.
Ask your booth supplier what equipment they use. Expect to hear two buzz words. A “dSLR” for the camera and a “Dye-sub” for their printer.
There are two types of insurance every photo booth supplier needs. Public Liability is usually a mandatory request for all suppliers at a venue. Professional Indemnity insurance can give peace of mind to the client should anything go wrong. Unfortunately, cheap photo booth companies tend to ignore insurance as something they don’t need.
Before booking your photo booth supplier, ask to see a copy of their Public Liability insurance.
A cheap photo booth company will only ever have a reputation for being cheap. If they let you down, it’s no major deal for them, after all they didn’t charge much in the first place. A professional photo booth company has a reputation to protect. They do this through so many areas of their business that the whole transaction should be smooth and easy. From the initial enquiry, throughout the booking process, on the evening and after your wedding day. They want to leave you raving about them. Remembering them as a fantastic service worth every penny that will recommend them to friends and family.
Like with everything related to a wedding, you’ll have a hunch when a supplier feels right. Sometimes you have to justify spending a little bit more to go with your hunch. Hopefully this article will help justify that spending.
As there will be a few cheap photo booth suppliers that don’t match the above criteria, so too will there be a few photo booth suppliers charging higher prices that haven’t got a sparkling reputation. So research carefully.
Hopefully we’ve given you some information that can help you see into some of the risks involved when hiring a cheap photo booth at a wedding.
We know that reputable photo booth companies aren’t cheap. With this in mind, we’re currently writing an article on how you can make your own photo booth if the wedding budget has been spent a little quicker than expected.