HERE’S HOW TO CREATE AN INDOOR PHOTO BOOTH THAT NONE OF YOUR GUESTS WILL EVER WANT TO LEAVE.
Photo booths, the machines that started the selfie, are having a major moment in wedding celebrations. “Ashley, my wife, and I have been in the wedding business since 2008 as professional photographers and it seems like year over year about 5 percent more of our weddings have photo booths,” says Graham Scobey, owner of Epic Fun Booth. From cramming in with close friends and family to getting decked out in props, a good photo booth can provide some of the most fun moments of a wedding reception. Thinking of having one at yours? We asked Scobey for his top tips and tricks for creating an indoor booth your loved ones will adore. Tell guests to bring their silly faces and leave their coats at the door.
LOOK AT BACKGROUNDS AND PROPS
“An easy first step is to look at what the options are for the backdrop,” Scobey says. “Some are very plain—like white and black backdrops—and some are more intricate, like sequin backdrops or green screen services so you can superimpose your own backdrops into the frame.”
A good company will also have a variety of fun props that fit with the aesthetic of your wedding, as well as top-notch equipment. “Booths range from somebody who just sets up an iPad with photo software to someone with professional- grade cameras and professional-grade lighting equipment,” Scobey says. “When you’re interviewing a photo booth company, ask to see a picture of the booth setup. Read reviews and make sure there’s an attendant with the booth at all times.”
ASK ABOUT DIGITAL OPTIONS
Look for low-motion videos, animated GIFs and the ability to send photos via text messages. “These are things your guests will remember,” Scobey says.
REQUEST HIGH-ENERGY ATTENDANTS
The more fun the attendant, the more fun the booth will be. “Having exciting people is imperative,” Scobey says. “As soon as guests have seen our booth and interacted with one of our attendants, they’re already in the booth taking goofy photos.”
SET ASIDE A GOOD SPOT AT YOUR RECEPTION
“Ask companies how much space they need,” Scobey adds. (The Epic Fun Booth needs at least a 5-by-5-foot space.) And make sure the booth is easily accessible.
OPEN THE BOOTH AFTER MAJOR ACTIVITIES
Keep the booth closed during your grand entrance, the father/daughter and mother/son dances, speeches and any other big moments. Open the booth during cocktail hour. “We offer what’s called Idle Hours during cocktail hour—it’s a really fun time for photos,” Scobey says. “Idle hours are pretty standard in the industry. We recommend keeping the booth open until the end of the reception because things typically get more and more interesting as the night wears on.”
MAKE SURE YOUR SIGNAGE IS GOOD
Use signs to direct your guests to the photo booth—and list its hours—and ask your emcee to tell guests about it.
BRING YOUR OWN PROPS
“We have a selection of basic props like mustaches on a stick, hats and feather boas,” Scobey says, “and we encourage couples to bring their own. Everybody has their own style and humor. One couple had a band called Yacht Rock Review at their wedding, so they brought props that fit that theme.”