Wedding Photo Booths: Should You Have One?

Over the last few years the growing trend of wedding photo booths at weddings has started to raise many questions with professional photographers. Some photographers have even started offering these set ups as a part of their package plan. In this short article I would like to note both the positive and negative effects of having a photo booth. I shoot about 40 weddings per year and so far I have had only one where a photo booth was used.

Once upon a time these devices could be found mostly in malls and were there to attract anyone who wanted to spend a dollar and make a some silly pictures which then came out of a cheap printing system. Photo booths were and are a novelty items and should never be perceived as a professional photo unit. Today, they come in a variety of styles and prices ranges. Some are elaborate and others are nothing more than a point and shoot camera placed behind a curtain and hooked up to a printer.

One problem I saw early on at the wedding I photographed with a booth present involved the guests thinking they had done photos just because they climbed into the photo booth. When the bride asked if they had a photo made they each answered yes even though I had not taken their picture. They equated the photo booth antics to real photos. Make no mistake when I tell you that you may not know how crazy people can act until they enter that booth and pull the curtain. While a few of these images may be fun they are by no means the way most couples want to remember their wedding day.

In general most couples will demand better images and more realistic ones than those offered by a photo booth. The impact on true wedding professionals is minimal at best and the photographers who offer this are simply trying to put extra money in their pocket. I highly doubt that any couple would ever turn a photo booth shot into a large canvas print to hang in their living room. In reality most of the images produced from a booth don’t meet the quality standards needed to produce larger prints.

In conclusion, whether a client chooses a photo booth or not is a personal decision. As a professional photographer I think it may be a bad idea because it adds confusion to a day when things are confusing enough. A good photographer will work around these things and still do his job but it isn’t fair to ask a trained professional to compete with a machine. Chances are you will pay a photographer a good amount of money to be there and without a doubt you’ll want the best work the photographer can do. To make that happen it might be wise to leave photo booths at the mall or birthday parties.


About the Author:

Michael S. Wade Photographers, www.michaelwadeonline.com

A real photojournalist who has been published numerous times and has 950+ weddings to his credit. Clients from 30 countries and has never been late nor missed an event. A trained artisan who brings you Real. Life. Captured.

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