Buyer Beware: Discount Rentals for Boston Photo Booths

Be advised: Not all Boston photo booths are created equal.

Ugly photo boothAs folks plan for upcoming Boston area weddings, corporate events, Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs, fundraising galas, private parties, and other events, they often consider adding a photo booth or booth-less open-air photo station, they have many options at their disposal.

We here at ENE are on the email lists for discount offer sites such as Groupon and Living Social and have seen many deals out there that seem too good to be true (and in some cases, are just that). From vacation deals, to spa services, to photo booth services: Consumers must read the fine print. “Discount” often means “cheap” in more than one sense of the word, and you get what you pay for.

Fortunately, many of our friends and clients across Greater Boston were raised to be skeptical, cautious consumers.

For those who are naturally a bit more trusting, we wanted to offer you a few points to consider when shopping, before you book!

Appearance

Are you concerned about the aesthetics of your event? Most event organizers are, be it a corporate event planner, or parents planning an PTA fundraiser. They want their respective events to be attractive. What will your photo booth or station look like? Did your vendor assemble it at home in the garage? Ask the company for photos of the set up.

Copies

How many photo strips will your guests receive per photo shoot session? Most discount Boston photo booth rental companies do not offer unlimited prints, instead capping the count at two strips per session. Do you expect groups of three, four, five, or up to a dozen people at your event to take photos together, and want them each to get a copy? If so, you may want to consider using a full-rate vendor. Something else to consider: Do you expect to receive access to digital copies of the strips after the event?

Props

Are these included in your discounted photobooth rental? Ask, because often times they are not included in the $200-$300 rental. If they are included in your package, inquire approximately how many you will receive. At one event we attended as guests, the booth offered just two props, a pair of hats (from the owner’s closet, we think). And if you’re looking for custom props, to match your event theme or color scheme: Don’t expect this service from a budget photo booth rental.

Preparedness

How early will your discount photo booth vendor arrive to setup? We once attended a wedding at a luxury hotel, and our clients opted to hire a budget-provider in lieu of us for the photo booth services. Well, that vendor showed up to the ballroom just 10 minutes prior to the ballroom doors being opened to guests. He scrambled to set up his booth, as the catering staff stalled the couple and their guests. If he had arrived any later, the wedding couple would have had a large, messy cart wheeled across their ballroom and dance floor in the middle of their reception. Beyond being late, the man did not arrive appropriately dressed for this wedding at a high-end Boston hotel. Does this sound like the type of experience you’d like to endure at your event?

Insurance

Never a glamorous point of discussion at any point in life, but still very important: Is your photo booth merchant insured? If the unit they are using happens to collapse onto your guests and causes injury, will you be up a creek because they are not covered by a comprehensive liability policy?

If you remember to consider these points, do your homework, and ask questions before you make your purchase, you’ll be in a great place when selecting your next photo booth or open air photo station vendor in the Boston area. (Of course, we hope you choose us!) Good luck, smile, and #CelebrateLife.

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