Our culture is currently obsessed with photos like never before. Instagram has taken over as our number one pastime, giving TV and even sports a run for their money. People spend hours upon hours a week posing, snapping and posting. It’s no wonder photo booths are one of the all time most popular interactive entertainment at almost every event.
When you think “photo booth” you probably envision a booth and table with the guy sitting behind a laptop saying cheese. Well say good bye to the guy and open up your imagination because the photo booth has had a serious make over.
The new super charged versions are high-tech, self-serve, interactive, diverse and fully customizable. Integrated with mobile apps, they come with features like laser, greenscreen, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. While some may think a photo booth is old school, actually the photo booth rental market has exploded.
Here are some of the coolest and most high tech models you can rent for your events.
GIF Photo Booths
For the ultimate in self expression these are all the rage on the internet. GIFs are a series of consecutive still photos taken within seconds which are then magically stitched together to make an animation. Simply tap on the photo booth screen, keep changing your poses and share the file where ever you want; email, Facebook, twitter. These files are small in size, making it easy for storing and uploading to your client’s social media platforms and websites for attendees to share to their networks. Most GIF photo booths still offer printed custom photo strips, so you can maximize on brand ROI with this SWAG component.
Since the first GIF photo booth came out, suppliers have found ways to harness this technology to create fresh new experiences. Aside from the traditional animation with a standard backdrop, you can use greenscreen technology to create animated GIFs with dozens of pre-built themes like getting attendees to kick a soccer ball in to the camera or punch the coin block in the original Super Mario Bros.
Another fresh concept is the boomerang GIF, a series of photos recorded similar to the traditional GIF photo booth, then played backwards and forwards in an endless loop. You may see a lot of these on Instagram with people dancing, waving, even pouring a box of confetti on their head in these never ending short clips.
Similar to photo models, video booths have also evolved. You will be surprised what the next level can do. These usually require a little more space than the traditional 10’ x 10’ booth, but the saying “the more the merrier” rings true as these activations thrive on group experiences.
Slow-motion video booths are the rave right now, turning a 6-second video into a 19-second ultra slow motion clip. Capturing video at 240 frames per second, guests can jump, flip coins, blow glitter, “make it rain” with money, the list goes on… These go well with props that disappear in seconds like bubbles, confetti pops, falling balloons, sparklers or with traditional props such as plastic swords, party horns and metallic pompoms. Once the video is recorded, you can have the option to email yourself a copy or share it to social media platforms like facebook, Instagram and snapchat.
Abbey Road Entertainment offers a spin on this with the 360 Slow Motion Video Booth where attendees can stand on an elevated circular platform while a slow-motion video camera rotates around them as they primp and pose. This installation requires no backdrop and if placed strategically can reveal a stunning 360 view of your event
But wait, there’s more! Event Circle took video booths to a whole new level by integrating an app to the experience with Musical.ly. Attendees can become music video gods by choosing their favourite song, recording the video as they lip sing to the music and then share the video with friends through the app. Click here to see an example.
Non-Traditional Photo Booths
Some booths go beyond the photo canvas and create custom activations we’re sure your guests have yet to experience. MakeLab’s Edible Selfie photo booth combines their studio-class laser cutter and black and white selfie camera for participants to snap, flash and watch as their photos are laser-caramelized onto cookies or colourful French macaroons. Add the sweet aroma of toasted marshmallow to the experience and you’ve got an insta-worthy moment guests will be sure to share. These delicious confections are 100% edible and customizable.
Moving away from the standard photo strip, Abbey Road Entertainment’s Flipbook Studio is a way for brands to stay top of mind long after the event is over. If you’ve ever used shutter speed on your phone camera, this works very similar. Guests are asked to move and groove as the camera takes dozens of photos, resulting in a cute little flipbook guests can take home.
In a creative industry such as events, there’s bound to be some out-of-the-box approaches to how guests can interact with photo booths.
Combining traditional novelty, green screen technology and cutting-edge 360° photography, MetaVRse created the first ever 360° Photo Booth. Up to 8 people can enter the pod-like green room at once and pose around a futuristic 360 degree camera. The result is a panoramic 360 degree photo with any backdrop imaginable; from the surface of the moon to a scene from a favorite TV show. Guests can view and interact with the photo on a touch screen display and even see it in a virtual reality (VR) headset. The interactive photo can be viewed on nearly any desktop or mobile device and shared directly to facebook and youtube just like any other 360 photo we have seen online.
For those events with limited room, Foto Master’s Mirror Me Booth is a great alternative and can easily be incorporated into the event’s decor. Imagine guests walking up to a mirror and seeing colourful animations and voice guidance inviting them to engage with a magical, interactive “Selfie” experience. The application customization allows one to choose whether to include voice guidance, gesture and movement detection, vibrant animations, touch screen photo-signing, an interactive “screaming contest”, social games, a colour countdown and more. This one is great for all ages, especially the young ones.
With the use of augmented reality (AR) becoming so popular, it is a no brainer to incorporate this tech into photo opps. If you ever played The Sims, augmented reality photo booths will reassemble a similar interface where you can shuffle through a variety of hats, sunglasses and other novelty props. Guests are asked to stand in front of an open air photo booth as their image is augmented with virtual 3D props over a large-screen display. They can interact and control the experience using hand gestures and switch through random props by raising their right hand above their head. They can even change the background without the need for a physical green screen backdrop. Once photo ready, guests simply raise their left hand to select either camera or video and voila! An augmented reality photo can then be printed, emailed, or shared to social media.
This only scratches the surface of what is available, let alone what is to come in photo booth rental technology. We can only wait to see how further developments in hologram and virtual reality tech will disrupt the photo booth market yet again.