If you’ve attended a party lately, chances are you’ve taken a selfie on a phone, edited the photo with an app, and uploaded it to Instagram with a hashtag. You also didn’t think much about tapping your email address onto the roving photographer’s (or even the photo booth) tablet for immediate upload to their Facebook page.
Today’s modern events have all the bells and whistles of technology – novelties that weren’t even possible a few years back. Who would’ve thought that photos, for instance, could be personalized and printed out in a heartbeat? It’s a great leap since Polaroids. And the novelty doesn’t look like it would wear off soon. People love their happy occasions immortalized in a photo.
Speaking of photos, photo booth rentals were all the rage in the early 2000’s. The novelty became more than just a passing trend thanks to wifi, Bluetooth, digital cameras, flat screen monitors, and compact photo printers. Prior to its entrance, this contraption was unheard of. Fortunately, photo booths caught on pretty quickly, owing to its fresh take on snapping pictures and getting print outs in a snap!
As a result, the photobooth has become a permanent fixture in celebrated events: weddings, birthdays, sports events, product launches, corporate parties (and just about everything in between).
But are photobooth rentals really ALL THAT? The fancy ones can cost a pretty penny. On the flip side, the alternative (a real human photographer!) may not all be that bad.
Or are they? Whose cost is worth the hype?
We weigh-in on the photographer versus photo booth rental contest.
Pros and Cons of a Photographer
• A professional photographer is trained to take great portraits and group shots. They use high-definition equipment. If you’re looking to have portraits blown up and framed, you need hi-res photos with great lighting. You also need someone who knows how to pose their subjects. Photobooth rentals cannot replicate the skills of a (real, human) photographer.
• Photographers can capture candid shots in a heartbeat because their eyes are trained. Grandma’s fleeting expression as her daughter walks her own daughter down the aisle is a money shot. So is that split second when junior scores his first goal. (Nope, can’t do that with a photobooth rental.)
• They are able to skillfully enhance photos through editing software. An app can work wonders for blemishes. But it takes a skilled and trained graphic artist to bring out the best in your photos.
• They can get pricey. Professional photographers invest time and money to gain experience and procure equipment. Expect to pay a base fee plus an hourly rate. (In addition to other inclusions that they might offer.)
• They are fully-booked. The good ones usually are. Great photographers (who have a list of satisfied clients) can get booked years in advance. So make sure to reserve your desired photographer right away.
• They have a time limit. Unless you have really deep pockets, professional photographers don’t stay for the entire duration of your event.
Pros and Cons of a Photobooth Rental
• Photobooth rentals add sparkle to your event. They’re amusing, really. Nowadays, photobooth services come with costumes and props to make taking photos really fun.
• Photos are printed instantly. Guests immediately get copies. Hosts have the option to get copies too.
• A photobooth rental is a source of entertainment for guests. It changes the atmosphere. Most services come with props and bric-a-brac that lend a playful flavor to any event.
• It’s a favor you could give. Most weddings hire photobooth photos as keepsakes.
• If hired for corporate events, it’s a great way to get your brand out in the open.
• Photos taken are photobooth rentals are personal. Memories will keep you laughing in the years to come.
• A photographer captures pictures but a photo booth creates an experience, which will make the occasion more original.
• Standard photobooths are stationary. Photographers, on the other hand, are able to roam around. Some can even provide printing services on-site. (Note, however, that some rentals, such as the Fotobox Mobsta, is a moving photobooth.)
• Your guests might not want to do anything else. (And believe us, it happens!)
• Guests may have to wait in line. Since most photobooth rentals provide just three hours of service, guests may prioritize pictures over the dance floor… and could we blame them? Everyone looks gorgeous!
• A photobooth is an added expense. Depending on the service and add-ons, photobooth rentals can cost a whole lot. Do you need a photobooth? Not exactly. But do you want one? Of course!
What’s your verdict?
We’re partial towards photobooth rentals because of the fun factor. The photos are a joy both for the host and guests. It’s handy, flexible, and perfect for almost any occasion. Most photobooths now feature advanced cameras with awesome features. Some even come with their own Android and iOs app. It’s also a great marketing and branding tool. (And if you ask us, we haven’t met anyone who isn’t fond of it!).
At the end of the day, it all boils down to what you need.
You will need a photographer’s skills for portraits with great lighting and composition. And say, some guests aren’t attending the reception or after-party, you’d want a photo of them during the ceremony. On the other hand, photobooths are simply awesome to have. Think of all the fun props or impromptu poses. (Didn’t think that serious, bespectacled Larry of the engineering department could be such a livewire?).
Consider getting both! After all, milestone occasions are once-in-a-lifetime.
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