Are you someone who loves taking photos and has thought about working in the photography industry but isn’t sure where to start? If that sounds like you, you should seriously consider starting a photo booth rental business! Owning a photo booth business is a great way to get acquainted with professional photography equipment such as cameras, lights, and photo sets that you may not have had access to before.
Now is a better time than ever to get into the photography industry. While Covid-19 has been hard on us in the last few years due to events being canceled or postponed to observe social distancing, life seems to be bouncing back this year, and according to the New York Times, nearly 2.5 million weddings are expected to happen this year – the most since 1986! All that means for us photographers is that our services will be a hot commodity this year!
A photo booth business is also relatively easy to set up with a small budget. So, even if you have a small amount of capital to invest in your new venture, you can still get pretty far! Whether you’re ready to get the ball rolling on your photo booth business today or you’re still in the curiosity phase, this guide will give you insight into some of what you’ll need to get started!
For the purposes of this blog, we will be talking about an open-air photo booth as I believe this is the best starting point for a new business.
As a new business venture, it is essential to determine your goals, audience, and vision for your new company. Do you want to focus on weddings? Do you prefer smaller parties like birthdays or graduation parties? Do you want your company to feel more upscale or more down-to-earth and friendly? These things will affect how you sell your services and how your company will run!
Next, you’ll need to gather the necessary equipment for the photobooth itself! This includes a photo booth kiosk, camera, a printer, tripod, backdrop, lighting, and a lighting umbrella. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the software that you’ll use to run your booth.
Photo Booth Kiosk- Eco Photobooth DIY Shell by Photo Booth City. This is a great stand because it is the ultimate DIY photo booth stand. The price is reasonable. It breaks down into three pieces for easy transport (and has a carrying case for an additional fee). This setup starts at $1299.
Camera- Any DSLR camera will work for a photo booth setup, but for the best bang for your buck, I recommend the Canon T5. It’s available for around $300 on Amazon and is a great starter camera for your photo booth business.
Photo Printer- You’ll want an excellent quality professional photo printer so that your clients can have that classic photo booth experience of quick printing good quality prints. I recommend the DNP DS820A Compact professional event & photo booth printer kit, which runs about $1300 on Amazon. This printer can print an 8x12 photo in less than 30 seconds and gives a great print quality too!
Lighting- When choosing lighting for your photo booth, I recommend going with a traditional portrait setup. You’ll need an umbrella light kit such as the Flashpoint Solo Umbrella Monolight Kit, which will run you about $150 on Amazon.
Backdrops- This part is where the fun comes in! You can use your imagination and choose from a nearly unlimited range of different backdrops for your photo booth business. I recommend having a few classic options on hand so that you can appeal to a wide range of clients. You’ll also want to make sure that you purchase a good quality backdrop stand and possibly some weights to anchor your stand when using it in outdoor settings. The price range for backdrops is vast, so you’ll absolutely be able to find some that fit your needs and your budget.
Props- Check out our other blog post for some great options for props for your photo booth business in a wide range of prices and styles!
Software- This is probably one of the most essential pieces of your photo booth business. The software you choose will either make running your business an absolute breeze or make you miserable with confusing interfaces, glitches, and problems that can be a nightmare to deal with. I use Social Booth for my own business, and I absolutely love it! It is easy to navigate, has many great options, and is so affordable at only $300 to start! My favorite feature of the Social Booth program is that I can text or upload pictures to the client right after their session is finished before the next client comes in.
Keep in mind that these recommendations are for someone who is looking to get started with a relatively low cost and that as your business grows and you gain more experience, you can replace and upgrade the various components of your business to give your clients a better experience and a higher quality result.
Running a photo booth business has been such a blast, and I have enjoyed every event that we’ve been blessed to be a part of. I have always been passionate about capturing forever memories for my clients, and getting to serve them in this way has been so much fun and brought such joy into my life. The best part of running a photo booth business is getting to witness the joy, fun, and beauty of the people who use my service, and I know that you will love it too!