Photo Booths... What you NEED to know.

  • By Justin Pitts
  • 20 Jan, 2016

What to ask and what to know about photo booth rentals.

Your event is set, the date, the decorations, the caterer, rings, dresses... even your entertainment.  But have you considered a secondary form of entertainment? Why need a secondary form of entertainment?  Well, its simple.  There is only so much your DJ or band can do.  Yes, we provide a planning service and we help with making the night go smoothly and above all else, we entertain your guests during the dance.  However, what if you can do more to make your night enjoyable and memorable?  Well, you can and it is quite affordable.  

What Is A Photo Booth?
 Quite simple, its usually a booth that is enclosed which has a camera and printer.  It is a great place for guest to act a bit goofy and get a keep sake for them to take home with them which will have them remember your perfect night for ages.

There are several different types of photo booths. Some of them are self sufficient and run by them selves. There are "Open air booths" which don't have an enclosure but may have a back drop behind them.  Some of these may incorporate a green screen which can generate a computer image behind the guests when the photo's are printed.  There are enclosed photo booths, which are personally my favorite because guests can close the drapes and are more likely to be a bit more goofy than normal because no one is watching.  Which ever photo booth you choose, its guaranteed to help make your night a night to remember.
What Can a Photo Booth Be Used For?
 There are several different aspects for what a photo booth can be used for.  I have personally had clients use the photo booth as a sign guest book and the guests would place a copy of the photo strip that is printed out in a scrap book.  We have also used the photo booth in the past for not just weddings, but also fund raisers, school events, public and private events of all sorts including corporate events.  The potential is limitless to your imagination.
How To Choose The Right Photo Booth That Is Right For You?
 That is not an easy question, because everyone has different taste, style and preference on what they like or want.  The first place to look for a photo booth is usually with your Disc Jockey Entertainment Provider.  As discussed earlier, there are several different styles of photo booth, just like there are several different styles of DJ's.  Whom ever you choose for your DJ will also determine the style of photo booth you will receive if they offer it at all.

Things To Ask About Photo Booths if Provided By Your DJ.
It is important to ask these key questions when renting a photo booth.  Reasons are pretty much self explanatory, but to ensure you get a professional style photo booth and get the most amount for your money.  

  • Open Air or Enclosed Photo Booth?
    • Kiosk, enclosed photo booth and if so is it a cheap pop up tent, pipe and drapes or a hard shell booth?
    • Enclosed photo booths may take a little extra space, but are more enjoyable.
  • Does it include props?
    • Props are usually a must, but many providers don't provide props and if they do they may charge extra
  • How many hours are included in the package?
    • Many providers have a time limit with every package.  In some cases you may be able to purchase additional time, but there is usually a minimum amount of time that must be purchased.
  • UNLIMITED PHOTOS? BEWARE...
    • This is misconception and lack of ability of the provider to convey what is all included in their packages. It's most likely not a deliberate misconception, but in most cases they mean that you and your guest can take as many photo's during the contracted time.  Not be able to print off as many photo's as possible after the contracted times are over.
    • Some cases, additional photo's may be printed after the event, but your photo booth provider may charge extra for these photos
  • Photo's printed on site or not?
    • There are several photo booths that do not print photo strips onsite.  They would upload the photo's to a site which you would receive a login information for you and your guests to retrieve the photos after the photos are taken.  
    • These types are often cheaper in costs but your guest are less likely to go to this site after your event just to print off the photo.  but its fun to tag them in the photos on face book and other social media.
  • Digital Copy Rights Included?
    • Digital copy rights give you the right to print the photo strips for your own personal purpose.  Maybe it for a scrap book your making or just to have the photo's in a photo album.  
    • Some companies charge extra for this.  Ensure to ask about charges for digital copy right licenses.  
  • Professional Manufactured or Home Made?
    • THIS IS A MUST QUESTION.  Home made photo booths are usually pipes and drapes and the camera is usually just a little web cam.  The software of course would be purchased and if so, ensure that they have the licensed software, otherwise your photo strips will have the license logo watermarked across your photo strips.
    • Ask what type of camera, printer they are using.  Typically if its not branded, it may be a cheap knock off which are known to fail and are not as reliable vs a reputable brand.  If you hear brand names such as Sony, Cannon and Hiti are just a few of the most common of high grade professional brands that photo booth providers may use.
  • Are Photo Booth Attendants included?
    • When booking a Photo Booth through a DJ Provider, It is HIGHLY recommended to ensure a photo booth attendant  is included with the package.  I truly believe this is a must, and reason being is if the printer or other computer issues may arise, you don't want your DJ/performer to stop entertaining the crowd to change the paper, ink or take care of any issue that is happening with the photo booth.
      • A DJ Should focus on entertainment, Photo Booth Attendant focuses on Photo Booth Operations and customer service.  There should be no exceptions in this rule.  Even if the provider says the photo booth is self sufficient, the photo booth is just another piece of equipment that can fail if not managed properly.
  • How much time is included in photo booth package?
    • Ask exactly how many hours is included in the package. Is the time able to be split up or is it consecutive.  Is additional time available and if so, how much.
    • Just because you pay your DJ for additional time doesn't mean you will receive additional time on the photo booth.  Make sure that you when you pay for additional time to your DJ that it also includes the additional time for the photo booth.  Usually, there is an additional charge for additional time for the DJ and the photo booth.
  • Additional Fee's?
    • Additional fee's may include some of the following that you should ask and if so, the price for the fee's.
      • Set up/tear down fee's
      • "Per step fee" 
        • YES, companies may charge extra when there is stairs involved.
      • Photo reprint fee's
      • Digital Licenses or copy right license
      • Prop Fee's
      • Digital Customization fee/Designer fee.
        • Some companies charge extra to design your photo strip if it isn't one of their templates. Make sure you ask about such charges.
      • Travel/Mileage Fee
        • Even if you have your DJ company providing the photo booth, there may be additional fee's included to transport the photo booth.  Most cases, this is already implemented in prices, but should still check to be on the safe side.

Asking these simple few questions can help you know exactly what your getting and what the costs will be.  Photo booths are a GREAT addition to entertaining your guests.  Its also great for entertaining guest during the social/cocktail hour or while they are waiting to be dismissed for dinner plus your guest can receive a little keep sake to remember your event for years to come.  

For further information about our photo booths, visit our website at www.siouxfallsdjsquad.com  or call us at 605.338.2761.  We will also respond via email at events@siouxfallsdjsquad.com

Sioux Falls DJ Squad News & Articles

By Justin Pitts 22 Aug, 2016
Brides & Grooms To Be... Its mid swing 2016 and the wedding season has been busy as ever.  Many of you have probably been to a few friends and or family weddings already and quickly gathering ideals to make your wedding absolutely perfect and unique.  Well, now your in luck.  After several discussions with our past and current customers, we asked what they would of chosen if they could do their wedding all over again.  After several suggestions, we have devised several new add on and all NEW inclusive ALL IN ONE Package.

 So with out further delay... Allow us to introduce to you our NEW, IMPROVED, AND COMPLETELY AFFORDABLE Packages for 2016!!
By Justin Pitts 04 Aug, 2016
Decorations are set and the day is here, everything is perfect.  At this very moment, you don't think that anything could be more perfect... till you get you photo's back from your special night.   Yes, you looked stunning in your dress, and your now husband was very dashing in that tux, but every picture of you and your husband standing at the head table had that "Drab" and dull wall behind you.  If only you knew to have that back drop would make all the difference when it came to your pictures.  It a little but amazing how a simple a bit of lighting and cloth can make so much of a difference.

Many clients don't even think of the back drop behind the head table till it is a lot closer to the wedding date.  Which is fine, however, with the popularity of having this elegant addition to the head table, or the entire room, availability can be scarce as your date quickly approaches.  It is recommended to reserve your back drop 4 to 6 months in advance prior to your event.

DIY  vs Professional Back Drops.
As the DIY phase is high in the bridal industry, many people don't realize that it cost just as much as building your own back drop as it is to rent one from a professional decorating company or wedding vendor.  For example, a popular concept is to use PVC piping and cloth.  Now, PVC piping is a type of pipe used typically for plumbing.  It is a very cheap typically about $3.00 for a 10 foot pipe.  The cloth can be anywhere between $2.00/sq ft to $10.00/ sq ft depending on the quality of fabric you use.  Now, PVC pipe is very cheap, however, if not constructed correctly, it can be flimsy and fall over.  I have seen some brides use this and have used it very efficiently.  I've also seen some instances where it is nothing but an epic failure and it looks just so cheap.  It just depends on how much money your willing to spend on making your back drop.  The back drop cloth can be purchased at any local fabric store and with a little seamstress work you can have a nice back drop.  If you do go the DIY route, make sure that you use fire retardant cloth.  It may cost a bit more, but if some one knocks over a candle, that back drop can burn up very fast and your dream wedding will turn into your worst nightmare.  On a final note, make sure you use some sort of weight to hold down the ends of the back drop.  This is so then it won't tip over on you or your guest.  PVC piping is VERY light and flimsy, so make sure your using hard points and weights to secure it.  This may take a little bit of structuring engineering on your part, but with the right construction method, your back drop can be secure and will last through the night.  The only down side with DIY is that after the night is over, you now have to decide what your going to do with your back drop.  Also, you will want to ensure that when you set up your back drop or pipe n drapes, that your not violating any fire codes by blocking emergency exits or other codes that may be enforced in your governing jurisdiction.

Professional back drops use a high quality system of aluminum piping , weight bases for the pipes with a fire retardant cloth.  Some vendors will even set it up for you as well, but may charge a delivery or set up fee.  Many vendors include up lighting with their pipe and draping as well.  Yes, it may be a bit more expensive vs the DIY, but you won't have to worry about set up, tear down, and have the ease of mind that it would be set up properly.  You also will have a better quality of cloth to ensure a very elegant and professional look for each picture.  So let's talk money, Just to rent a pipe and drape system, your looking at a minimum of $4-$6 a linear foot depending on color and fabric type. Generally  10 foot back drop would cost approximately about $60-$80.00.  Delivery and set up fee's can charge between $50-$150.00.  So unless you have a way to deliver it and set it up to and from your event, you may consider the additional fee.  It will also give you the peace of mind that it will be set up properly and not violate any fire codes or other governing jurisdiction codes.
By Justin Pitts 03 Aug, 2016
So before we dive into this article I must disclose that I own a professional DJ company and therefore, the opinions and statements made in this article are upon my own observations and point of views from experience of lighting design and entertainment.  With that being said I'm going to try to be as unbiased as possible, however, I will say that your results may vary from my experience of working with DIY up lighting.  For best results and cost effectiveness, go with a professional to up light your event.  It will save you time, money and the knowledge base for design lighting is priceless.
By Justin Pitts 26 Feb, 2016
So recently, I had a client ask me about my thoughts of fake flowers over real flowers for wedding reception.  Now, being a DJ and professional Emcee (not to mention a man), I know very little on flowers.  So this young bride to be (We will call her Ashley) and I decided to take a trip down to a few floral shops in Sioux Falls and to the hobby shops.  After 3 hours of looking and pricing flowers, we started a list of pro's and cons of real and fake flowers.  I will say, it was a bit fun and reminded me of the days when my wife and I would go to hobby shops just to play with floral arrangements when we were planning our wedding day.
By Justin Pitts 19 Feb, 2016
 To begin with, I am by no means nor claim to be a marriage expert.  In fact I'm far from it.  My marriage has struggled through much of the subjects that I'm about to talk about in this article.  However, I am going off my experience as a husband who is trying all he can to keep a hold of his marriage.  The suggestions I am about to give is of my personal opinions and are suggestions from books I have read about marriage and also from counselors who specialize in repairing damaged marriages. Therefore, take my words of experience and put them to use in your own marriage so you won't have the same experience that many marriages have.
By Justin Pitts 08 Feb, 2016
He asked and you said yes.  Next you got the dress, then the big planning starts.  From floral to catering and of course, the venue.  There are several factors to choosing what venue is the best choice for you.  This article is just a few things to ask yourself and the venue to ensure it is the best choice for your wedding celebration.
By Justin Pitts 04 Feb, 2016
This is a very fun project that many of my colleagues like to talk about.  What will we see as the top trends for 2016.  Some trends are actually revived trends of weddings pasts, and others are completely new trends that have never been seen before.  Either way it is a exciting venture to see what brides are coming up with to make their huge day one that is unique and will forever be remembered.
By Justin Pitts 28 Jan, 2016
Today, I just wanted to give a heads up about 2016.  As of right now, we only have 12 dates open for 2016.  So if you haven't booked a affordable, reliable and professional DJ, today I wouldn't wait to much longer.   Most highly requested DJ companies get booked between 6 months to a year in advance.  So, if you are getting married in 2016 and have not reserved your DJ yet.  Then you better get a move on! So if you haven't booked a DJ here are a few questions to ask the DJ you are considering to book before you actually book them.
Now, also keep in mind that no one goes into business to intentionally make your wedding a huge disaster.  The questions to ask are for your safety to ensure that you are getting a true professional to make your dream wedding become a reality.
By Justin Pitts 22 Jan, 2016
Let's face it, music can make or break any event.  It's the life force, the energy, the pulse of your event.  Your performer, whither be a band or a DJ is a VERY important factor of your event.  Music set's the mood, and the tone of your event.  So, choosing the right entertainment for you is indeed the most crucial aspect of your event.  So do your research, and literally interview each performer to ensure their personality won't clash with yours.

How to choose what is right for you. Band or DJ?

There is never a truly correct answer on what is right for you.  It is more on what YOU like.  You need to know the difference of hiring a DJ or a band.  Things to consider is space, style, experience and expertise. 

So what is the difference?
Typically a DJ is in most cases more flexible than a band when it comes to music selection.  A band usually  will cost more because there are more people involved.  Now, that being said, in some cases the same is true with DJ's depending on their skill or entertainment.  In some cases you end up just paying for an over inflated ego but we will just stick to the facts and touch base on ego's in a different article.

With Band's, there are several musicians which in return can cost a bit more than an actual DJ.  Now, in many cases, having a band to set the mood is great and let's face it.  Live music has a unique and unparalleled sound and feel and if the band is energetic and interactive, your guest will have the time of their life. The down side, is that the band may only know a handful of songs and would be limited to requests.  Usually they have a "set" play lists which they practice together over and over again.  However, that doesn't make the night any less of a value, but just limited on what can play.  If you have a band that plays mostly 80's cover songs, then it may be a bit difficult for them to play something in the top 40 lists because they simply may not know it.  The skill for multiple individuals playing different instruments to make the whole of the band requires a lot of practice.  So, when you choose a band, make sure you have heard of them or read reviews.

DJ's are also in a league of their own now.  The skill of mixing, scratching, beat and key matching is now a art and skill more than just selecting songs and pushing play.  There is also the ability to host the event to ensure the flow of the night works in your favor.  Now days, a DJ is more than a over expensive i pod.  They can do so much more to make your night flawless.  Music selection is more variable compared to bands.  Many DJ's have on hand (at least they should) have a minimum of 50,000 song selections with a wide variety of different genre's. Also, if space is an issue, a DJ would be friendlier to the venue space requirements vs a band.  In most cases a DJ only needs about a 10-12 foot x 8 foot area to set up their audio and lighting system.  A Band on the other hand would need MUCH more space and even possibly require an actual stage.  Now for the ugly truth about DJ's.  Being a DJ myself, it pains me to say this, but it is true.  There are individuals out there who simply think that being a DJ means to just be playing the music.  They are usually younger DJ's who are out there for the mere fact of being a DJ.  When they perform at a wedding, they see it more as a "frat" party vs a actual wedding.  Songs that are inappropriate for family events are played, and may possibly say a few ill taste things on the microphone.  All in all though, no one is in business to make your wedding a disaster.  Every person that DJ's weddings have the true intentions of making your night one to remember.  Its if they truly have the experience or even the know how to do just that.  Make sure you look at reviews of the DJ.  Many DJ's have a review system that they cannot alter.  We have one on our website, and we also have reviews on wedding wire, social media and also other wedding related websites.  Also, meet with the DJ in person.  Not just the manager or booking manager.  Also, know who your going to have.  In many cases, there are companies that use a multitude of Sub-Contractors.  Now, i'm not saying that sub contractors are bad, but it causes the company to have less control of the quality of equipment and performance style and there is usually no training when training is needed.

These are just some of a few examples of differences between DJ's and Bands.  I hope this has been helpful for you to decide what is best for you and your event.  

As always, if you have any questions about how to make your event a success, please feel free to call us at 605-338-2761 or just visit our website at www.siouxfallsdjsquad.com
By Justin Pitts 20 Jan, 2016
Your event is set, the date, the decorations, the caterer, rings, dresses... even your entertainment.  But have you considered a secondary form of entertainment? Why need a secondary form of entertainment?  Well, its simple.  There is only so much your DJ or band can do.  Yes, we provide a planning service and we help with making the night go smoothly and above all else, we entertain your guests during the dance.  However, what if you can do more to make your night enjoyable and memorable?  Well, you can and it is quite affordable.  
More Posts
Share by: