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There are many ways to add fun to a wedding, rehearsal dinner, or engagement party, but a photo booth rental is interactive and great for all ages; it’s a favorite activity that never goes out of style. Everyone loves photo strips, keepsake images, or silly GIFs—even better if there are cute props involved. It’s a way to engage guests of all ages and creates memories that will differ from what standard photography will capture. The trend has only become more prominent as innovators have come up with ever-more creative ways to make unique and exciting photos.
Though it’s possible to spend a lot on expert-manned photo booths, there are also solutions that won’t eat into your budget. The best photo booth rentals combine accessibility with plenty of options in backdrops, the addition of logos, and, of course, high-quality lighting that ensures all guests look as beautiful as they do happy. Here are our top picks.
Best Photo Booth Rentals of 2021
Best Overall: Photomatica
Why We Chose It: Photomatica offers photo booth rentals around a half dozen major cities, with lots of customization and reasonable prices.
What We Like
- All-inclusive price
- Lots of props
- Fantastic customer reviews
- Option for a vintage-style booth or open-air photo setup
What We Don't Like
- Rates are more expensive in some cities, like Austin
- The rate is going up by about $100 in summer 2021
- Additional fee for locations outside the 25-mile radius
This photo booth rental business is based primarily out of Los Angeles and San Francisco and operates within a 25-mile radius of those major cities. But it also services Knoxville, Tennessee, New York City, Hartford, Connecticut, and Boston, Massachusetts. In certain circumstances, the company will rent in Austin, Texas, too.
Photomatica was born in 2010 when one of the two founders couldn’t find a vintage-style photo booth for his own wedding The team has since built more than 100 custom photo booths for its locations and gives clients the option of one of these nostalgic retro booths or an open-air portrait studio. Both of these have the same high-quality lighting and photography, and couples will easily know which fits the vibe of their event. There’s also an option for a green screen photo booth, which lets guests choose their own backdrop.
The all-inclusive pricing is about $1,099 for four hours (but will be increasing to roughly $1,199 in the summer of 2021 due to high demand). This price comes with all the goods: instant uploads, gifs, photo strips, and also digital images on a USB at the event’s conclusion. Couples or clients can customize the strips with their logo or names and there will be plenty of props on hand to ensure guests get to showcase their lively personalities. Past customers have nothing but adulation for the results, which is surely due to the instant access they have to service and help with questions. During business hours, the team can be quickly reached on the phone.
In addition to its classic open-air and enclosed options (which come with unlimited photo strips and an onsite technician), Photomatica also rents Mobile Tintype portrait studios, which uses a process from the 1850s plus modern studio lighting to create super special images with a large format bellows camera. This more involved process might be perfect for photography lovers hosting a smaller affair.
Best Budget: Booth By Demand
Why We Chose It: This nationwide mail-order photo booth rental is the best and simplest option for those on a budget.
What We Like
- Free round-trip shipping anywhere in the U.S.
- Unlimited time to use for days
- Quick and responsive customer service chat
- Custom graphic included
- $250 flat rate
What We Don't Like
- No attendant
- Self setup
Booth By Demand is an online service that will ship all you need to have a professional photo booth at your event anywhere in the U.S. (and shipping is free in both directions). Started by a young couple in 2016 as an affordable alternative to in-demand photo booths, this company is dedicated to providing customers with this favorite event highlight at a much less expensive rate.
The concept is simple: For about $250 it ships everything you need to set up a pro photo booth—including a camera tower with ring light that allows for guests to text, email, and share images via QR codes. The service will add a customizable logo to the image, too. The equipment arrives three to four days before your event, so you have time to play with it and even use it for a rehearsal dinner or other events.
There’s a choice of 20 backdrops—such as several shades of sparkly sequins—and one of a few 20-piece props packages with items like hats, glasses, and signs on sticks can be added on for about $30. Physical prints can be added for an additional rate starting at around $55. Packages can go up to approximately $500, which is still a bargain considering typical pricing.
After the event, pack the stand back up as it came and use the prepaid shipping label to return it. The affable owners are available to chat on the website and offer helpful advice nearly anytime.
Best for Fun Props and Backdrops: SleekBoothNYC
Why We Chose It: With its wide array of glam props and gorgeous backdrops, SleekBoothNYC is a go-to in the NYC area for super professional-looking images.
What We Like
- Two options depending on the level of interaction
- Tons of great props and backdrops
- GIFs, animated GIFs, and Boomerangs are included
- Very professional
What We Don't Like
- Limited service range, not nationwide
For those in the greater New York City area, SleekBoothNYC is the preeminent photo booth rental service and wins for its high production value with dynamic props and beautiful backdrops.
The company was founded by a couple with a passion for event planning and photography, and it provides an ultra-high-end experience with its two rental offerings: the SleekBooth Classic and SleekBooth Slim. The former is the more complete option, starting at about $1,399 plus tax and includes one to two attendants as well as one instant print per person for each photo session (with unlimited sessions during the time); photo, GIF, and animated GIF-sharing via email and text; customized photo layouts and choices of backdrop and props; and an online gallery for all the photos.
For about $999 (plus tax), The SleekBooth Slim is more the DIY version of the Classic, a self-serve stand with ring light that allows for guests to use digital filters and props to make still photos, animated GIFs, and boomerangs that are shareable instantly. (There are no prints with this option.)
SleekBoothNYC offers tons of add-ons: extra copies for a photo album (about $150), custom backdrop (roughly $300), custom props (around $50 per prop), and photo streaming (approximately $350) among them—which can quickly add up. If the event location is beyond 20 miles from New York City in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, or Pennsylvania, there’s an additional delivery cost that is variable.
The minimum rental is two hours, and the attendant arrives at least an hour early to set things up (that time is not charged). The backdrop options are varied, from many colors of sequins to solid colors and patterns, wooden slats, a natural hedge, and golden leaves, so many couples will find something that fits their wedding theme. There’s also a green screen option (for an extra fee) that can be customized with the Eiffel Tower or a snowy scene, for instance. Depending on the amount of space, anywhere from 10 to 20 party guests can fit into a frame at once—the more the merrier!
Best for Outdoor Weddings: Happy Camper Photo Bus
Why We Chose It: This adorable vintage VW bus–turned–photo booth is a standout for outdoor wedding receptions and other events, with tons of props and professional lighting.
What We Like
- The vintage VW setup is super unique
- Creates a whole vibe
- Manned by two friendly professionals (the owners)
- Unlimited photos and prints
What We Don't Like
- Southern California only
- Could be hard to climb in and out in formal attire
- Gifs are extra
It’s impossible not to love the Happy Camper Photo Bus, a tricked-out 1970 VW Bay Window Bus that, thanks to a cute, entrepreneurial San Diego couple, is enjoying its second life as a photo booth.
Emerald, the one-of-a-kind turquoise photo booth, custom-built with a studio-caliber ring flash and DSLR camera, is perfect for outdoor weddings, especially of the more bohemian, flower-laden persuasion. The touch screen monitor makes for an easy-to-use interface for guests, who can dress up in front of an LED mirror with the trunkload of props—think scarves, hats, sunglasses, and masks.
The cost for this much fun is usually around $250 per hour, including most everything (such as two cheery attendants and an online gallery for downloading images post-event), depending on guest count, customizable photo strip prints with your event logo or names, rental length and distance traveled. Emerald the photo bus is based in San Diego, but its vintage VW–loving owners are very amenable to road trips and their service range stretches to Santa Barbara in the north and Joshua Tree National Park to the east.
The service is quick to reply to inquiries and handle delivery, setup, and breakdown, and can accommodate multi-day events, too. Even better, the rental comes with unlimited photos and prints. A guest book (about $100), custom backdrops (roughly $100), and printed photo books (variable) are attractive add-ons, as is a gif booth for approximately $50 extra.
Best Photo Booth App: Simple Booth
Why We Chose It: With a simple interface, great pricing, and enthusiastic feedback, the Simple Booth app is a go-to for DIY photo booths.
What We Like
- The cheapest option for a photo booth vibe at your event
- Lots of features
- Straightforward user interface
What We Don't Like
- Guests need to be slightly tech-savvy
- Potential for confusion
- More for sharing photos on social media than printing photos
If a physical photo booth proves too costly or you’re DIY types, a photo booth app such as Simple Booth might be your best bet. With this app, you can take a DIY approach and make your own backdrop, collect props, and use an iPad to create a fun homemade photo experience for your friends and family. You can save hundreds with this kind of approach, and even adapt it to your needs by hooking up a printer, too.
Think of this like a wedding selfie station with a great price tag: about $29 for 30 days of unlimited use. The app is made for iPads to be used at live events, and users can add their own logo and hashtag. There are printing features if needed, and everything goes into an online gallery with social sharing options. There’s also an option called Virtual Booth, which is a customizable photo capture app that guests can use on their own phones to submit photos they take, adding magic backgrounds, overlays, and stickers. For weddings that include a Zoom element for friends or family who cannot attend, this is another way to make them feel included.
Users love this app because, as its name implies, it’s so simple to use. The clean interface allows for choosing the number of photos you want in each strip, and whether you want to make gifs or standard photos.
Photo booth rentals are an exciting, interactive way to spice up any event, wedding, or other affair. They come in many forms, from vintage-style photo booths you might find at an arcade and trendy bar to converted VW buses and simple camera stands with circular lights. Within the more standard options, there are usually lots of ways to customize the look with logos, backdrops, and props. The most well-rounded luxury option is SleekBoothNYC, with its hyper-professional photography and dynamic accessories. When the Happy Camper Photo Bus pulls up to an outdoor event, it’s guaranteed to add sparkle. The Photomatica operator-manned photo booths is the top pick because it’s the most solid option for those holding weddings around major cities who want beautiful and fun images of their guests. For those on a budget, Booth By Demand offers incredible value with a slight DIY vibe. And if you want to go full DIY, have an iPad, and save big bucks, go for the Simple Booth app.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Photo Booths Worth It?
If you’re someone who loves photos, dressing up, taking selfies, and posing with friends, then a photo booth is definitely going to be worth the money. It’s a much better way to get selfies and mementos from a spectacular event, and the personalization is exciting for many. Guests always love it, and as the hosts, it’s always fun to look back through all the shots to remember all the fun friends and family had during your big night.
How Much Do Photo Booth Rentals Cost?
Photo booth rentals come in a wide range of prices: as little as a couple of hundred dollars and up to about $1,200 or $1,500. Depending on the scope of what you want—like prints or no prints—it can get pricey, but it’s also possible to find less expensive options that provide just as much photo fun.
Can I Make My Own Photo Booth?
It is possible to make your own photo booth. To do so, you’ll need an iPad (phones are not as ideal) and an app. There are some that are free, but Simple Booth is our pick for the best version. You can find inspiration on Pinterest, from weddings on Brides.com, and in magazines. Also, check out party stores for props.
How We Chose the Best Photo Booth Rentals
We researched the best photo booth rental services that serve a wide range of prospective customers geographically, and at a variety of price points. As there are many local independent photo booth businesses, we strived to emphasize companies serving more than one city or location. We also looked for photo booths with unique themes, props, and setups.