Photo booths are the instant photography of the 21st century, bringing instant printable photos to parties and events while creating keepsakes for the hosts. Jess Pace has been running a photo booth company, In an Instant Photography, for nearly 10 years, now working full time with her fiancé, Seb. We sat down with Jess to gather insight on the industry — and what photographers can do to get started in the growing industry.
Running a photo booth is an enjoyable way to own your own business
In an Instant Photography launched after Jess brought a light and a camera to a friend’s party — she enjoyed the experience so much that she later launched her business. Jess wasn’t a stranger to photography, however — she initially studied photography with plans of pursuing fashion photography, then worked with Pioneer Studios – now Sun Studios — for eight years before running her own company full time.
“I’ve also always been quite passionate about owning my own business and working for myself, I enjoy the freedom and responsibility of running a business,” she said.
But running a photo booth can also be a physically demanding job — with long hours
While part of her job means attending parties for a living, Jess says that running a photo both isn’t always fun and games. “Owning a photo booth involves quite a lot of physical labour, be ready for long days and late nights,” she says. “Although it’s incredibly rewarding! You definitely have to be a people person, as you’ll be interacting with loads of people at every event.”
Jess also recommends joining a Facebook group of other photo booth owners for tips and advice, including Photo Booth Owners Australia / New Zealand and Australian Photo Booth Friends.
Gear is a necessary but straight-forward part of running a photo booth event photography business
In an Instant Photography uses the Simple Booth App, an iPad and the DNP DS40 photo printer. The company also brings their own halo studio lighting, which helps give the company an edge over the competition by providing simple, studio-worthy lighting. Using an open air booth rather than an enclosed space also allows the photo booth to accommodate large groups.
Jess says her printer is efficient — and hasn’t had a major breakdown. “[DNP printers] are so efficient, we’re always receiving comments from guests at events at how quick they print out the images,” she said.
What about marketing?
Jess says word of mouth is their best form of advertising, but the photo both event photography company also runs promotions on Instagram, in wedding magazines and at wedding fairs. The duo also works to request reviews, earning a five-star rating on Facebook to keep new clients coming.
Like other businesses, Jess and Seb had to find what separated them from the rest of the industry — with easy to use gear and a fun personality, their company has thrived. “Because it’s just myself and my fiancé Seb who run In An Instant, you’re dealing with two passionate business owners who love being at every event that we’re hired for,” she said. “We’re quite attentive to our clients and guests throughout the entire process, from booking us via email through to the end of the event. We’re always told from our clients that what really made us stand out from the rest was how we interacted with the guests and how easy the booking process was. We’re just two fun and easy going people, so we’re just being ourselves!”