Many of the events we like to celebrate will typically have a need for a photo booth.
After all, who doesn’t love to take pictures and preserve the memories we’ve made?
As such, photo booths have become popular and some have considered taking it up as their business.
But how exactly do you get started?
The truth is, it’s actually easier than people might think. With some money, a bit of technical knowledge, and passion, you can have your photo booth business up and running.
In this article, we’ll share a complete guide for starting your own photo booth business, including the equipment you need, how much they cost, and other bits of information that you might want to consider.
Table of Contents
What You'll Need
The Booth – Around $2,500
There are several places where you can get a booth, but the best place to start your search is with Booth Masters.
But keep in mind though, whatever kind of booth you want to purchase, make sure that it can be assembled and disassembled quickly.
This will allow for ease of use, storage, and transportation, while also working for your own convenience.
The Camera – Around $500
Luckily, you don’t need to have a ridiculously expensive camera to take decent pictures. Using a middle-range DSLR is enough to get working.
Some examples are the Canon T3i, or the Canon 4000D. Personally, we use the Canon T7.
Whichever brand or model you prefer, remember to choose one that offers video capability to offer you the flexibility of taking videos.
Camera AC Adapter – $65
This small attachment allows you to connect your camera directly to an outlet.
This way, you won’t need to worry about the batteries running out of juice while you’re taking pictures at an event.
Many photographers also prefer using an AC adapter compared to batteries, since they are far more reliable.
Make sure you invest in one too.
Laptop – $300 or more
Again, there’s no need to buy anything too expensive, a basic laptop will be fine here.
Unless you plan to do extensive photo and video editing, even an older laptop running on Windows 7 can still do basic photo manipulation and edits.
We recommend using a laptop with at least Windows 10.
But if you’re looking for a bit more juice and want to run some of the latest software, it’s best to invest in a Macbook.
Either way, the software you’ll need can be used on a Mac or PC.
Touch Screen monitor – Around $300
There are affordable touch screen monitors out now and you won’t need anything too big.
A 22-inch LED display monitor from View Sonic is enough to get all the work you need to do.
You can also mount it directly to the booth and will work well without issues.
Of course, you can always find a different brand and model according to your tastes.
Printer – Around $1,000
This is where you will need to invest a good chunk of your money.
You will need a high-quality photo printer that delivers the pictures after about a minute so that guests can get a nice photo to remember the day.
Again, there are plenty of places where you can get one of these, so pick one that best suits your needs.
dslrBooth Photo Booth Software – $59.99 to $159.99
It has been built specifically for running photo booths and uses the latest technology to ensure that you get high-quality photos.
It also works with both Macs and PCs, along with webcams, and cameras such as Nikon, Canon, and Sony DSLRs.
Many photographers from all over the world use dslrBooth since it is easy to install and easy to run, so you can always rely on it to deliver great results.
Props – Around $10 to $40 per event
These are optional depending on the event but it is always good to have them around in case people want to do funny photos.
Goofy hats and mustaches are a MUST if you want to be the hit of the party.
Ink and Printer Paper – Around $200
These are essential to your business, and it’s best if you bring at least two extra refills with you to the event.
While a roll of paper and ink might last a few events, it can’t hurt to be safe.
You also need to make sure that the ink and paper you buy is compatible with your printer.
Other Expenses Per Event
This will depend on how far away you need to travel for the event, but be careful because this can eat away your profits.
An additional concern should be how big your car is and if it can transport your booth.
Guest books can make a great additional option, especially for those who love to take memories of the day with them.
You can up-charge for them and because photo booths typically print two copies for each take, you can use one for the guest book and another one for your guests to keep.
Set aside around $15-$20 for a nice guest book, so be sure to include this in your costs.
Advertising Your Photo Booth
The items listed above are all that you need to get going, so your job now is to find clients.
Many photographers reel in their clients through their websites, so it’s best if you design and make your own or you can have it built for you.
Because a majority of your potential clients will find your photo booth business online, it’s best to consider making a website and look for reservations first before you invest thousands into a new business.
Here are a few places where many have found success in building their photo booth business:
Setting up a Facebook page for businesses has become a popular trend in the past years.
Many business owners use Facebook as a platform to advertise and sell their products and services since it is one of the top social media sites today.
Another huge trend is video marketing, and Youtube provides both an easy and cost-effective way to promote your photo booth and other services.
It will work to your advantage if you pick out keywords such as “local” and “your city photo booth,” to give your viewers a sense of community and service.
Wedding Wire gives you exposure for free where you can add your business to their directory or you can pay to have your services posted under their featured listings aimed at brides and grooms.
Here, you can create an account for free to share your photos while ranking up various search engines using terms related to your keywords.
This is a great option to get local advertising and promotions for your business while also allowing your customers to give you reviews.
Google Places for Business
Also known as Google My Business, this is the best way to promote your business locally, this local directory will help you become visible to potential customers in your area.
Many businesses have also found success in online networking and engaging in search engine optimization (SEO) as it helps their site rank higher in search engines.
But if you’re looking for paid options online to further boost your brand awareness, here are a few things you can try:
Formerly called Google Adwords, this online tool allows you to set up a PPC (pay per click) campaign to pop up for keywords of your choosing in Google.
This allows you to run deals and promotions to secure more bookings.
This is a great option for business, however, be aware that the margin isn’t that good, so be sure to plan ahead if you want to use Groupon.
How to Build Your Website
1. Choose Your Website Builder
Plenty of people turn to website builders to easily and quickly build their websites.
There are endless opportunities here — from the builder itself to the style and theme of your website, you’ll be able to make your website from the foundation and up without having existing knowledge of any programming languages.
In this way, you’ll be able to customize your website as much as you want in a cost-effective way.
2. Choose Your Domain Name
Before you can publish your website online, you need to give it a domain name.
To do this, you’ll need to either buy a domain name from your builder or you can buy one from a third-party that registers domain names.
However, if you already have a domain name, make sure to ask your website builder if you’ll be able to use it for your new website.
3. Select & Customize Your Photo Booth Website Theme
Once you’ve created an account for your website and have given it a domain name, you can now start actually building it.
Making a website isn’t easy though; you need it to function well, look good, and be user-friendly.
However, website builders have plenty of professionally designed themes to choose from.
You also want to make it your own, rather than just having a plain template, so be sure to customize it to your tastes or to represent your photo booth business.
Here are a few things that you can make customizations on:
- Number of pages
- Adding your own professional photos
- Changing the color palette
- Changing the font style or size
- Rearranging the layout or text elements
4. Make Your Final Touches
While it can be tempting to publish your website right away, avoid this mistake!
It will work to your advantage if you give your website a final scan and look for any mistakes or adjustments.
Be sure to hit the preview button and ask the following:
- Do you see any mistakes in grammar or spelling?
- Do you see any errors in formatting?
- Are there any videos or images out of place?
- Are all of the links and buttons working?
- Is it easy to navigate through your website?
5. Publish Your Website
When you’re sure that everything is correct and to your liking, you can now publish your website.
If you see anything else that needs editing, don’t worry; you can still make changes from the website’s editor.
6. Getting Your First Customers
Now it’s time to generate traffic and to get the word out about your new photo booth business.
Depending on the website builder of your choice, you may already have marketing tools available at your disposal.
In addition, you can also make use of Google Analytics to track your traffic along with Google Webmaster Tools to help your site up the ranks.
Other Considerations for Your Photo Booth Business
How Will it Be Transported?
It’s best to use a larger car to make sure that the photo booth and all your supplies will fit in.
Some people use SUVs to carefully and comfortably transport everything from one event to the next.
However, you may need a larger truck depending on the size and style of your photo booth.
So before everything else, make sure to consider this factor first and foremost.
If you don’t want to worry about having such huge overhead costs, it’s best to go for a portable option.
Getting into some places will require you to have insurance, which is something that you should consider getting even if a venue doesn’t require you to have it.
This will help to reduce any liabilities you might have in case someone is hurt inside your booth.
Because each state has different policies, there will also be different costs but you can expect to pay a few hundred dollars every year.
Get in touch with an agent to get the full details regarding insurance.
And that’s a quick breakdown of how to start a photo booth business.
From selecting the photo booth itself to the various supplies you need and how you can get your website up and running, we’ve covered a lot of the steps involved in getting your dream photo booth business.
This rough outline should’ve given you an idea of how to take that first step and the next ones after it.
So be sure to take every point into consideration, even the ones that don’t seem to be important.
You’ll soon learn that getting your photo booth business off the ground is both easier and harder (especially if you’re new to the field) than you thought it would be.