Renting a photo booth seems to keep getting more complicated. Many of the terms thrown around in the booth business are lost on actual clients. This article is an attempt to clear up some of the jargon, provide a few tips, and help you make informed decisions. Fully armed, you will be ready to rent the perfect booth for your event.
This is a term you will see thrown around a lot. DSLR stands for digital single lens reflex. Basically, the digital equivalent of the 35mm Nikon or Pentax your parents used to carry around. A DSLR can certainly take quality photos. However, many point and shoot cameras produce quality results, as well. Your best bet is to look at samples from recent events.
Dye Sub Printers
Dye Sub is short for dye sublimation. Virtually all reputable photo both operations use some form of this technology. Dye Sublimation printers use a heat transfer process that uses a film to produce the images on the paper. The quality is usually good and the printing speed is fast. There is not a noticeable difference between one dye sub printer and another. Steer clear of anyone still using ink jets. While the quality is good, the time to get your print at least triples.
Green screen is a feature often offered by photo booth companies. Green screen is the process used on television and the movies. The actor stands in front of a green background. Software is used to remove the green background and replace it with the video clip of choice. The same process can be accomplished in a photo booth with less precision results. The booth will have a green background. When you step in and look at the monitor, you will not see the green background but instead the custom background loaded in the software. Your strips will be printed with the custom background, as well.
That is the good news. The bad news is that the cut-outs will not be perfect. Some green fringing is almost always present. Barely noticeable on the small strips. However, it is very noticeable on prints made of individual images after your event.
Social Media Integration
Social media integration is becoming increasingly in demand. The idea is to allow instant sharing of your photo booth images on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. This is accomplished by two different methods.
The first method involves an on-screen promo in which you can enter data and send yourself the pic. While great for low volume events, this method greatly reduces the number of sessions the booth can do per hour.
The second method involves using a social media kiosk outside the booth. Although this may cause some congestion, it allows your photo booth to keep humming along.
In order for your social media integration to run smoothly, you will need to have a reliable, fast wi-fi signal at your event. Be sure to check with your venue and photo booth company.
Unlimited Sessions vs Unlimited Strips
Lastly, lets clear this one up once and for all.
A session is generally defined as every time the photo sequence is started. It doesn’t matter if it is a group of 20 or a single couple. When the camera starts whirling and lights popping, the session has begun. Unlimited sessions means you can use the booth as many times as you like. Typically, two 2 X 6 inch photo strips are printed per session.
Unlimited strips means that instead of the booth printing two 2 X 6 per session, they will print as many as you want. Usually one for everyone in the booth.
Photo booth companies are often heavy on jargon in an attempt to convince potential clients of what makes them special. It is best to keep it simple. Know what the booth looks like, see some samples from recent events, get references and check for proper insurance. Have fun!