Photo booth rentals have become extremely competitive in Phoenix. When Digital Expressions Photo Booths started in 2010, there were just a handful of photo booth companies in the Valley and what our company did was offer something different than the traditional cookie cutter photo booth. Throughout the years, other photo booth companies have popped up, but our prices have remained steady. I refuse to let other photo booth rental companies drive down our prices, when I have tried so hard to establish our brand, “let us make your event memorable.”
Just recently, I booked two weddings and I appreciated the feedback I received from both clients. One client told me a company wanted to charge $1,000 for two hours. I’m sorry, but that is just too much. This bride was extremely appreciative that she booked an affordable photo booth rental for $545 (half the price). The other client was a bride’s mother, who told me she appreciated how genuine I was and that Digital Expressions Photo Booths was not a franchise, was locally owned, and that I guaranteed I would be at the wedding. That personal service is what sets our photo booth rental apart from others.
May 2016 in Arizona is okay month for a photo booth to be set up outside at Shenandoah Mill in Gilbert — as long as the photo booth rental ran when the sun went down. Although the sun in Phoenix in May is brutal, Brandan and Stephanie’s photo booth began after the sun went behind the trees. It was a little windy that day, which does not keep the backdrop as still as I would like; however, when I saw the sign behind the backdrop with Brandan and Stephanie’s name, I thought that would be the perfect backdrop for the photo booth pictures until the sun went down.Everyone had such a good time and even the grandparents were able to participate in the photo booth. Digital Expressions Photo Booths was honored to be part of Brandan and Stephanie’s wedding reception.
Digital Expressions Photo Booths had the best time at Joe and Stephanie’s wedding reception and one of my favorite pictures is of their grandmother taking pictures. She had such a great time and everyone was able to get into the picture. Stephanie’s wedding colors were burlap and green with sunflowers. Stephanie let me decorate the backdrop. Stephanie’s event coordinator and Stephanie just loved the backdrop.
I am always thinking of ways to make our photo booth business better. When we first started out, we had a paper backdrop (ivory in color). Each roll of paper is about $100. Although we could get our paper in any color, $100 for each roll, no matter how many uses I could get from a roll, is expensive. I began researching fabric backdrops. Most of the blogs I read were how to use a muslin backdrop or stain a muslin backdrop. The muslin was still expensive so I kept looking for other alternatives that were cost effective and would still give a good look to the pictures.
I discovered that the size of a king-size sheet fit perfectly on our backdrop frame and obviously, they come in bigger selection of colors. I also liked the way the crinkles in the fabric made the pictures look because they gave a nice dimension to the pictures. We did this for about six to nine months, but then I had another idea.
Ideas come in various ways. When I was watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills last year, I noticed that Kyle Richards had an open photo booth at her white party and I liked the way the backdrop hung. (Yes, I have been trying to reach her so I can have our photo station at her party). I now hang up two panels of fabric where there would have been one because it adds a very nice dimension to the backdrop. The fabric hangs like a theater curtain. One thing I also do is get the fabric wet before I hang it, which makes the fabric hang very nicely.
I am always looking for new ideas to make our business interesting and fun. I also discovered Rit fabric dye. One of our photo booth jobs had an Amazon theme and, of course, our clients wanted a green backdrop. Because I didn’t have the green fabric in stock and I couldn’t find the fabric anywhere, I bought some Rit fabric dye and dyed some white sheets. I loved loved loved how the color turned out.
October 20, 2012 was a first for us. I booked two events on the same day. Deidre’s 18th birthday party went from 2:00 to 5:00 and Ashlee and John’s reception went from 6:00 to 9:00. Since it takes time to set up, I am very thankful that our daughter, Shannon, helped. Mike and I went to Deidre’s house and set up for the 2:00 party, Shannon showed up at 2:00, then I left at 3:00 to set up for Ashlee and John’s reception at Highland High School. When Deidre’s birthday party was over, Shannon was able to go to work and Mike came to Highland High School to work with me at the reception.
I will admit that Mike was hesitant about this, but I had no doubt that booking two jobs in one day wouldn’t work. I am thankful that my daughter was available. We now have equipment to double book jobs. The next task if finding dependable employees
When we first started our photo station business, we purchased two different sizes of paper for our backdrop, but so far, we have only used the ten-foot paper backdrop. We learned that two things can happen with a paper backdrop:
1. One night it was windy and although we had sandbags to hold down the backdrop, the paper kept tearing.
2. One night the air was pretty humid so it was difficult to roll up the paper.
I started doing research on fabric backdrops because I thought the color might add a little “pop” to the pictures, and boy, was I right. The first time we used the color backdrop was at the Phoenix Bridal Show. We used a teal-colored backdrop for the first day of the show and a tangerine-colored backdrop for the second day of the show.
I was right. The colored backdrops not only make the pictures pop, but with the wrinkles in the fabric, this added dimension to the pictures that weren’t there with the plain paper backdrops.
We still have the paper, but we also have fabric that is the color of the paper. I also think that having the fabric backdrops is more “green,” as we only have to wash the fabric and can reuse it. With the paper, we have to throw it away, which, to me, is a waste.
See the difference with the neutral color versus the color: