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Choosing the right Photo Booth

July 4, 2016

The last few years now have seen not so much a resurgence but a spectacular rise in the use of Photo Booths. Nowadays they are regularly appearing at weddings, corporate functions, parties, or at any other kind of event you can think of. Technology has paved the way for photo booths to now be affordable additions to any of the above private events. As photographers who shoot primarily weddings we come across these crowd pleasers on a regular basis.

With the many options now available to choose a hire company what are some things one should look out for when selecting a photo booth? Here I’ll have a brief glance at the quality of the images. Now I’m not talking about the print quality and paper quality as that’s something you have to physically see a hard copy of, but I’ll be looking at the actual image. Below is two sets of photo booth images with different setups which I will now critique. I will cover four points of difference. Both sets of images have been provided us by Elegant Photo Booth Hire. Please note they have been shrunk in size for internet use.

1. At the end of the day when someone enters a photo booth, the composition of the subjects within the image is, well, entirely up to them, that is the people in the picture! They are the ones who choose where to stand/sit, how to do so, etc. However a good photo booth should make it easier for people to know when the photo is about to be taken and where they should locate themselves for the best possible shot. Notice in the left side column (white background) one of the subjects does not appear to be ready, sometimes this is simply a matter of the people not knowing when the image is about to be taken. A good photo booth should make it clear when it is about to take a photo so the subjects can be ready, the right side column (red background) appears to do this as the subjects are ready and the resulting portraits are far more pleasing to look at.

2. Another aspect to consider is movement and focusing within the image. There shouldn’t be any blur. The top two images on the left column are fine but the bottom one has what appears to be movement blur. You may not notice it at first glance but if you click to enlarge it becomes obvious. This can occur if there is not enough light in the booth, to compensate, the shutter speed of the camera is reduced and if the subject moves you have a blur. The column on the right appears sharp and crisp indicating the focus and amount of light are sufficient.

3. Colour balance is also something I will consider for these images. I regularly calibrate my monitor so that it accurately represents how the images will look when they are printed. When I look at the left column I immediately see a strong red hue. White should be white, or at least as close as possible, these images make the background look pink, the problem with that is not so much having a pink background but that if you’re in the picture, your skin will also have a red tinge to it. Most of us don’t particularly want the freshly sunburnt look! The column on the right if you look at the skin tones they look natural. This accurate representation of colours is a factor in what makes a good image.

4. Finally, the last thing I’ll consider is shadowing. Notice the left column has a rather flat appearance in that with the exception of the slight bottom right shadow, equal light is hitting the subjects from all angles. This can sometimes be preferred but in this case I like the added depth a shadow creates for our images in the right column, it makes the subjects pop out and feel that little bit more 3D.

As with anything to do with weddings there are so many options to choose from. Hopefully I’ve given you a few things to think about next time you consider hiring a Photo Booth!

Mike

 

 

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