Having a photobooth is something I recommend every wedding photographer to have. The problem is that not all photobooths are created equal.
When looking at photo booths, there are different options offered that you should take into consideration. Do you want to print? Do you want to be able to send the file directly to a user? Do you want to be able to customize the user interface? Do you want gifs, boomerangs, video, etc? Lastly, do you want the booth to look good?
Enter the Salsa Booth.
Unlike other booths that run off a DSLR camera inside a housing, this booth runs off the front camera from an iPad. Because of this, the entire design is slim and lightweight. The heaviest part of the entire assembly is the base (and that's just to give sturdy support). The actual housing that holds the iPad is very lightweight and easy for a single person to place at the top of the system and screw into place. Around the edge of the housing is a large and bright ring style LED light (more on this later).
Photobooth Supply Co also made it so that you don't need any tools at all to put everything together. All the screws have attached knobs that are easy to simply turn and sucre with your fingers.
The entire assembly can be put together in less than 5 minutes and that’s without trying to be fast about it.
Once assembled, the experience of the booth lies within a custom-designed app. Found in the Apple App Store, the Salsa app allows you to customize the user experience depending on what you are looking for. The booth comes with a few pre-built options and you can also custom build your own if you see fit.
Once you have your start screen setup, you can now customize the LED light to match this screen. If you have a white and blue start screen, you can have the LED light flash and rotate with white and blue lights. When a guest starts to take a picture, you can have the LED jump to full white for the picture or you can even have the light flash colors for some added fun when recording video or gifs.
After a guest has taken an image, you can give them a host of options to download their files. They can enter a phone number and have the file text to their device or they can input an email address and have the file waiting in their inbox for them. There is also an option to have the file airdropped if they are using an iPhone.
For me, I have this limited to only allow the entry of email addresses. This allows me to custom build an email template so that I’m not simply sending them their file. I can also tell them who I am, supply a link to our Instagram and tell them to use a certain hashtag when posting. You can also send follow up emails later on to try and sell prints if that something you want to do.
Speaking of printing, this booth does also support printing. But instead of the old fashion wired printer setup, this booth user apples AirPrint integration to wirelessly send prints to a printer. This allows you to locate your printer a little distance away from the booth in order to relieve some of the congestion that can happen around the booth as people wait for their prints.
Gifs, Boomerangs, And Everything In-Between
One of the key customizations is the ability to use a host of recording options. Not only can guests choose between photo, video, gif, and boomerang, but there are also the options for LED light integration, green screens, and filters.
Edit: I wanted to add a few more examples since the above example is a bit underexposed.
The best part for me though is the ability to turn off and on each feature independently from one another. It makes sense that I should be able to turn off the use of a green screen for situations where I don't have a green screen setup. But I can also turn off the ability to take photos or videos. This is great for clients who want to have a gif of every guest or only want users recording small video clips. This also makes it so users aren't overwhelmed with options and allows me to limit what people can choose from.
For example, I don't personally want a long line for the photobooth to get even longer because guests are spending 5 minutes going through the different photo filters. So I have the option for photo filters turned off. And let’s be honest, everyone is going to throw on a filter when they post it to Instagram anyway.
Ease of Use
While I currently have the older Legacy Booth from Photobooth Supply Co, the reason we wanted this booth was for the ease of use. Not only is setup time much easier, but because the interface is app-based, the customization is much easier and intuitive.
Another key feature of this booth is the ability to run off a simple battery pack. So if you are at an event that has limited access to power, you can simply bring a small battery supply and run the iPad and LED lights without issue. If there is no access to WiFi, the app will que up all the images with each guest's desired delivery option so that the instant you connect to WiFi, everything will be sent out.
The booth also comes with a hard rolling case that makes packing and transporting the booth nice and easy. Each component has its place in the case and the overall size of the case makes it possible to fit in almost any car trunk.
Cost of Entry
For most people looking into a photobooth, the first cause for hesitation comes when they see the price tag. While there are booths that cost close to $10,000, this booth comes in at a mere $3,000. This gets you everything you need except a printer and iPad. In addition to the booth itself, they also supply you with marketing material, training videos, and access to their premium support.
The next thing to look at is that the app is not a free service. Because it has a lot of features like gallery cloud hosting along with email and texting services, the app costs $49 a month to use. The good thing here though is that you can start and cancel service at any time. So if you have an event one month but not the next, it’s super easy to turn off the service until you need it next.
- Super easy setup
- Intuitive customization options
- Looks amazing
The Not so Good
- Monthly app service (although reasonable, I’d like some basic functions to be free as part of the booth purchase)
- No iPad included. It would be nice to just have the option to add an iPad for a one-stop-shop option.
Because most wedding photographers are booked well before clients start considering the rental of a photobooth, having this as an add on option is an easy upsell. Since the booth is so easy to use, there is really no need to have someone monitor the booth. We simply set up the booth when we first arrive and let it do its thing until we are ready to pack up for the night. For this fact alone, I think the Salsa booth is a must-have for any wedding photographer.