The New Generation of Photo Booths

Our culture is currently obsessed with photos like never before. Instagram has taken over as our number-one pastime, giving TV and 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 most popular interactive entertainment at almost every event.

Mirror Me by Foto Master

When you think “photo booth,” you probably envision a booth and table with the guy sitting behind a laptop saying cheese. I would say goodbye to the guy and open up your imagination because the photo booth has had a severe makeover.

The new supercharged versions are high-tech, self-serve, interactive, diverse and fully customizable. Integrated with mobile apps, they have features like laser, greenscreen, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. While some may think a photo booth is old school, the rental market has exploded.

Here are some excellent high-tech models you can rent for your events.

GIF Photo Booth by EventCircle For Bare Minerals
GIF photo booth by EventCircle

GIF Photo Booths

These are all the rage on the internet for the ultimate in self-expression. GIFs are a series of consecutive still photos taken within seconds, magically stitched together to make an animation. Tap on the photo booth screen, keep changing your poses and share the file wherever you want: email, Facebook, Twitter. These tiny files make them easy to store and upload to your client’s social media platforms and websites for attendees to share with their networks. Most GIF photo booths still offer printed custom photo strips so that you can maximize brand ROI with this SWAG component.

GIF Photo Booth by Abbey Road Entertainment
GIF Photo Booth by Abbey Road Entertainment

Since the first GIF photo booth, 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 into 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 many of these on Instagram with people dancing, waving, and even pouring a box of confetti on their heads in these never-ending short clips.

Video Booths

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.

Matthew + Kelly's Slow Motion Video Booth by Remedy Wedding Films.
Matthew + Kelly’s Slow Motion Video Booth by Remedy Wedding Films

Slow-motion video booths are the rave, 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, and sparklers or with traditional props such as plastic swords, party horns and metallic pompoms. Once the video is recorded, you can email yourself a copy or share it on 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. At the same time, a slow-motion video camera rotates around them as they preen 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 new level by integrating an app into the experience with Attendees can become music video gods by choosing their favourite song, recording the video as they lip-sing to the music and then sharing the video with friends through the app. Click here to see an example.

Edible Seflie by Makelab1
Edible Seflie by Makelab

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 marshmallows to the experience, and you’ve got an instant-worthy moment guests will be sure to share. These delicious confections are 100% edible and customizable.


Flip Book Studio by Abbey Road Entertainment
Flip Book Studio by Abbey Road Entertainment

Moving away from the standard photo strip, Abbey Road Entertainment’s Flipbook Studio allows brands to stay on the top of their minds long after the event. This works similarly if you’ve ever used shutter speed on your phone camera. 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 are bound to be some out-of-the-box approaches to how guests can interact with photo booths.

360 Photobooth by MetaVRse
360 Photobooth by MetaVRse

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 moon’s surface to a scene from a favourite TV show. Guests can view and interact with the photo on a touchscreen 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 on Facebook and YouTube, just like any other 360 photos we have seen online.

Mirror Me by Fotomaster
Mirror Me by Foto Master.

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, touchscreen photo-signing, an interactive “screaming contest,” social games, a colour countdown and more. This one is great for all ages, especially the young ones.

Augmented Reality by Fotomaster1
Augmented Reality by Foto master

With augmented reality (AR) becoming so popular, it is a no-brainer to incorporate this tech into photo ops. If you ever played The Sims, augmented reality photo booths will reassemble a similar interface where you can shuffle through various 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 needing a physical green screen backdrop. Once the photo is ready, guests raise their left hand to select either camera or video and voila! An augmented reality photo can be printed, emailed, or shared on social media.

This only scratches what is available, let alone what is to come in photo booth rental technology. We can only wait to see how further hologram and virtual reality tech developments will disrupt the photo booth market again.