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Start a Photo Booth Business

We can help you with everything... contact us today! We have a professional design, web, advertising and marketing team!

 

• MAKE $40k PLUS A YEAR! - Easily make $500 to $800 in profit per event.
Our custom built, affordable, portable photo booths are ideal for weddings and special events. Whether you own or are just starting a photo booth business or you are a venue who would like to offer a photo booth in-house for events. These small, lightweight, and portable booths are perfect for all your needs!

 


Getting StartedBooth Type Equipment Needed Expense and Income Advertising Contracts

Web DesignMarketing MaterialsOnline Planner


 

Written by the owner of WedPhoria

Hi, Dave here! Thanks for reading my article. I have been in the wedding and entertainment field since 1998. I have been the owner of my own business since then and have performed as a DJ, Photographer, Videographer, Planner and of course a Photo Booth Operator and Developer.

I have used and seen MANY different styles of photo booths as we do about 100 weddings a year (for multiple services). I have helped others setup and take down there booths and am surprised by how difficult most of them are to setup and transport, not to mention how ugly they are and hard to use. So it didn't take long for me to look into building my own. One that was small, quick, easy but also one that people would love! So I've put a couple years into modifying, trying different gear and software and I now run booths that I really like and my staff like a lot.

Starting a photo booth business doesn't take a lot a work compared many other types of businesses. You will need a few thousand dollars to invest in equipment, a web site and some advertising.

“We did about 10 photo booth events in 2013, about 50 in 2014 and are now on pace to do about 100 in 2015! The growth is faster and bigger than any other service we have ever offered.”
- Dave Ley, Owner - WedPhoria

 

• MAKE $40k PLUS A YEAR! - Easily make $500 to $800 in profit per event.
Our custom built, affordable, portable photo booths are ideal for weddings and special events. Whether you own or are just starting a photo booth business or you are a venue who would like to offer a photo booth in-house for events. These small, lightweight, and portable booths are perfect for all your needs!

 

Getting Started

Choosing a GREAT Business Name: You want to start by choosing a GOOD name for your business. Something that has a ring to it and for sure you want something easy to remember and a name with Photo Booth right in it. Like Magic Touch Photo Booths or Phantom Photo Booths. Once you are confident in your name selection, you need to register your business with your state. You may need to do a little research about the best type of business to start and make sure you look into any licensing you may need and sales tax, etc. These tend to be different based on your state.

Choosing the best Web Address: BEFORE you go ahead and by the domain name (web address) for you new business, make sure you know your plan for hosting your web site and who will be creating you site. There are MANY free tools to build web sites these days, but make sure that it doesn't hurt your business. If you do not know Search Engine Optimization and online marketing at all or even very well, you are way better off how a professional build your web site so it is done correctly and can be optimized from the start. If not, you will have a very hard time showing up online when people search for photo booths in your area.

You want to choose a domain name (web address) that includes your area or state. This helps boost your position when people search for your services online. For example: a domain that reads phantombooths.com isn't great when it comes to getting found online. A domain such as photoboothrentalsky.com would be much better. You want your state or city in the name and also what you offer. If you do not want a long and specific domain name for marketing materials (recommended) then you should get 2 domains. one to use as mentioned above and one that is just to put on your business cards, etc. A nice short one like phantombooths.com. Domain names usually run about $15 a year or so. Web hosting (where your web site will actually be stored and make it live on the web) usually runs about $5-$10 a month.

Photo Booth Web DesignWeb Site: As mentioned above, you want to make sure you have a great looking, easily navigated, optimized web site. We find 100% of our new clients online. So if you are thinking you want to save money on this part, think again. A web site IS your business these days. You are going to want good tools on your web site so people can book. plan and pay online. Today people want to do it all and quickly. This will also save you a ton of time.

Event Planner: You will want some sort of planner to gather the info you need for the event. You will easily stand out above the others with a great planner and customization options. An online planner works great and saves you and your clients time and a phone call.

We can help you 100% with your web site We have created dozens of professional web sites! Affordable, fast and optimized! — view samples

 

The Photo Booth Itself - Gear and Equipment

Type of Booth: There are many styles out there these days and many new ideas come along quite often. Currently, clients tend to want a full booth with curtains as most are used to that. Open Air Booths (no curtains) are getting to be more common as well. We even still get quite a few clients wanted a backdrop with someone taking the picture. Bottom line is that you want to make sure you can offer your potential clients what they want or they will simply look elsewhere. One thing I get asked a lot from potential clients is "How many people can fit in the booth?". I've come to the conclusion that MOST do not once a "mall" style sit-down booth. They do not like having the ability to only fit like 2 people at a time. So it is important that you have a booth that can fit multiple people/groups.

Photo Booth CameraPhoto Booth Camera: You don't need an extremely expensive camera. We use Canon T3i with the standard 18-55mm lens. This way you have auto focus feature, live view and video. You will also want a power adapter for the camera so you don't have to charge batteries all the time.

Computer / Tablet: I suggest using a Tablet so it has touch screen capabilities. It needs to have a full version of Windows to operate the software (most software's that I am familiar with). I suggest getting a MS Surface Pro (1, 2 or 3) ($600 +). You will want at lease 2GB of RAM and 64GB hard drive.

Printer and Paper: DNP DS-RX1 ($800-$1000) I recommend highly. It uses Dye Sublimation which is great quality. There are many cheaper options, but I would not cut corners on this as clients who have used other low quality booths have let us know that our pictures look way better. You will want to keep plenty of paper on hand ($200). Typically you roll of paper and ink ribbon will last about about 4 (3 hour) events.

DNP RX1DNP PrinterDNP Photo Booth Printer

USB hub to run everything off of: The Belkin USB 2.0 4-Port Ultra-Mini Hub ($10)

Software: I have used MANY different ones. I keep going back to DSLR Booth ($150). I like how easy it is to add your logo and edit the templates. Some software's have more features but they are typically overwhelming.

Props: Props make a BIG difference. You want to have an assortment or hats, glasses, mustaches signs, etc to make it as fun as possible.


Expense and Income

Expenses: Consider gas expenses when you are quoting events. We travel nearly anywhere and it's probably important that you have a wide area to cater to.

Most potential wedding clients expect to get a scrap book with the booth. Some choose to charge extra for them, but I suggest offering it to them for FREE. Albums will cost you anywhere from $6-$30.

As mentioned earlier, you will have to keep paper for your printer on hand at all times. $200 per box and it usually ends up be $15-$30 worth of ink and paper per event.

If you are not going to be the booth attendant yourself, figure to pay the attendant about $100 or so per event. ALWAYS have someone attend the booth at all times to keep it organized, help them with props, operating the booth and scrap books. We greet each group and have guests set their drinks down somewhere before they enter the booth. We also choose the number of prints to run after each group so EACH guest gets a strip to take home.

TOTAL STARTUP: Total costs to get started depends a lot on what you get and the options you choose of course. Roughly it will cost you $6,500 to $15,000 to get everything up and running.

INCOME: You can charge anywhere from $75 to $200+ per hour depending upon your area and competition, etc. So to pay off the booth and startup costs it would take you about 10 to 15 events. We do about 75 - 100 booth gigs a year.


Advertising and Business

Office Materials and Email: Setup a signature in your email program so your info goes out to everyone you email. Include your web site address is a must. You are going to want business cards, flyers and possibly pricing brochures to hand out and if you do and bridal shows, make sure you have plenty of stuff to hand out.

List Your Business: You will want to start listing your business and web site everywhere possible and use the tools to get likes and followers. Facebook, Google Places, YouTube (make a video), Flickr, Instagram are good for photo booth businesses. There are literally hundreds more. Others things to consider; Yelp, the Knot, WeddingWire, other online directories, Groupon, Google AdWords, Bridal Shows, Networking and Bundling with other Businesses, email and mailing lists to send specials to.

Contracts: Having a good contract is a MUST. Not only to cover your butt, but to also make your clients feel confident that you are professional and are going to be at the event. Be lenient with you requirements as far as deposits and rules go... you can scare a lot of people away doing that.

Written by the owner of WedPhoria

 

We can help you with everything... contact us today! We have a professional design, web, advertising and marketing team!