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Photo booths, man. Strange concept if you think about it. I swear, I never even thought about a photo booth except whenever I was at the mall with my friends and saw that little curtained kiosk. Fast forward to year 28 of my life and I am a full time wedding photographer in Northwest Arkansas, loving my job and all the vendors in it. EXCEPT, I never saw a photo booth vendor…And why the heck not!?!
I did tons of research, listened to podcasts and joined a million Facebook groups. Finally in 2020, I decided to jump on the photo booth train and start this business.
What Photo Booth Brand/Design Did We Invest In?
We Initially Invested in the Salsa Photo Booth
Short and Sweet: Photo Booth Supply Co.
We purchased the Salsa Booth from PBSCO. It is an open air photo booth, and considered by many to be the ultimate iPad based digital photo booth.
When we purchased our photo booth it was in the middle of Covid-19. We knew we needed a setup that was not enclosed and offered options to adapt to events.
The booth uses an app called Salsa, and each image is instantly available digitally for guests via text, email, QR code, and a live gallery. The app is extremely easy for guests to use.
Salsa has a hands-free mode, glam, masks, and green screen capabilities. This was a selling point for our business, along with the marketing materials, support, and tools that Photobooth Supply Co provides!
- Great customer service
- Easy to use user interface/app. We really like the photo booth software used with this booth.
- Amazing support when we had questions about the gear/app/features/anything
- They followed up with us multiple times and made us feel that they cared about what they were selling
- The design for the Salsa Booth was sleek and attractive
- Straight to the point website
- Great bundle pricing. We purchased X (show photo)
- They had a pricing calculator based on what we would charge/how many events we projected
Our Salsa booth was $4799. We felt that was a fair price. We spent hours looking at tiered pricing and studied other companies to learn how to price ourselves.
When we felt comfortable sharing with the world, we launched NWA Photo Booth under my THEN brand, Kait Jackson Photography. Since then, we have moved NWA Photo Booth to it’s own brand and website.
What Kind of Photo Booth is the Salsa Booth?
The Salsa Photo Booth is an iPad photo booth. PBSCO Does now offer a DSLR camera booth (the Guac and Chips). However, at the time, the Guac booth was not an option and we opted for the Salsa Booth.
We felt that an iPad photo booth would be easier for our clients AND us to use at the time we started our company. Although it is an iPad photo booth, the Salsa Photo Booth can provide great quality images for an event digitally, and can print images if you decide to add a printer on. The photos are clear, easy to see, which makes clients happy and preserves truly unique experiences.
Do we Recommend Photobooth Supply Co to Potential Photo Booth Business Owners?
Absolutely we do. We have nothing but RAVING things to say about Photobooth Supply Co. They are quick to answer every email. Most of the time, they will follow up with a text or call. There is also a Facebook group for all of the salsa booth owners that comes in helpful with group questions or leads.
Did we need anything else to go with our Salsa Booth to Provide a Great Service?
This is one thing I wish I could stress to photo booth owners if
Yes, you can do the one and done thing. However, people are hiring you for an experience and to preserve memories on some of the most important days of their lives. Give them that!
We have a whole list of things we purchased to go with our photo booth that we wish we would have had from the get go.
Important Salsa booth Gear to give a great experience:
- LED Wand Lights
- Extra batteries for LED lights
- Mic Stand for LED Lights
- Mic adapter for LED Light Stand
- Heavy Duty Chargers for LED Light Batteries
- DNP Printer(not in stock currently, but we use DNP 620A)
- Paper for DNP620a (finally in stock on Amazon!!)
- Spandex Table Cloth
- 2X4 table for your printer and props
- Neon Signs
- Heavy Duty Backdrop Stand
- Gaffers tape or wire cover
- AirCastPro (if you want to print you NEED THIS. It is a MUST)
- Yellow Flat Fold Up Dolly
We put all of our gear into bags based on type and then those bags into a large tote, making setup and moving gear much easier.
Gator Bag – for poles/light poles/bases for light poles
17 gallon totes – for all other gear/plugs/etc
More information on additional photo booth lighting
Check our blog ‘Why We Use Additional Lighting’ for more information on the gear we use for photo booth lighting. We go more in depth about the equipment in this blog as well. The additional lighting added to your iPad photo booth set up will increase the quality of the images immensely.
Pro’s to owning a Salsa Photo Booth
- Easy user interface for guests
- Guided access on the photo booth events
- Simple and fast to setup
- Not a TON of gear is needed to be successful
- iPad Booth – no extra cameras needed
- Access to an online gallery immediately
- Marketing/advertising tools come with the membership
- Offers videos, boomerang, photos and GIFS options
- Ability to AirPrint with AirCastPro
- Easy to transport in a compact sedan
- Device can run off of either cell service or wifi
Con’s to owning a Salsa Photo Booth
- Ipad photo booth only
- Monthly membership to the Salsa app
- No ‘true’ offline mode to run events on
- Camera quality does not match that of a DSLR camera booth
- Built in Salsa ring light is lacking for larger groups
Is a Photo Booth Business Profitable?
It’s truly what you make it. I say yes, because we have made it profitable. We turned owning a photo booth company into a full time job. We put in a lot of late nights, weekend time, early mornings and more.
We worked TIRELESSLY to build a recognizable brand that provided tailored and unique experiences. We poured into social media and Instagram to find our ideal clients. We invested in our community and the people it served by offering free salsa booth usage at holiday parties, corporate events, weddings and more. We linked up with local wedding planners, venue owners, other vendors and built relationships with them.
Owning a photo booth company is SO much more than a one person show. All of this to say, YES. It is profitable, if you do it in a way that works for you and also respects your community, others time and boundaries are created.
We paid off our gear within 10 months of owning our gear (all of it, not just the photo booth). If I could give ANY piece of advice about owning a photo booth business, I would say to not give up when the going gets tough. Photo booth bookings are not always consistent; and they wont be for about 6-10 months. After a FULL 18-24 months in the business, you should be able to understand trends better in this field of work.
This is how it works in our area:
January we get a MASSIVE influx of bookings due the holiday seasons and everyone getting engaged. Weddings are being booked. We book about 1/8 of our total revenue in the month of January. February slows down, March begins to pick up and May will be our MOST busy month, followed by September and October.
What Events Do People Use Salsa Booth Services for?
We have primarily focus on weddings. Weddings are a GREAT way to bust into the photo booth business game. There is no shortage of weddings and their after party, but there is a shortage for photo booths on wedding days. Fill that void! For weddings, we offer an incredible, quality experience.
Wedding Features to Create a Unique Experience
Flower walls, neon signs, extra lighting, pose guiding, the ability to toggle between photo and video on the user interface, custom overlays, custom print templates, and more. Our wedding clients always leave happy with their experience with us, as well as their guests.
WHY YOU NEED A PHOTO BOOTH AT YOUR WEDDING – check this blog!
Corporate is the next realm we are trying to become more involved with. Corporate clients can be tricky when it comes to photo booths because they USUALLY want all of your branding taken OFF! This was a hard lesson for us. I’m a Taurus and hardheaded…my branding was important to me. But my client and that business was more important to me, so bye-bye branding.
Unique Experiences for Corporate Clients
The Salsa Booth is INCREDIBLE for branding experiences with corporate clients. With the Salsa Booth, we are able to customize the entire experience to match their needs; logo, colors, QR code, links on the interface, template and overlays, and so many more options.
Click HERE to hop over to our article talking about why corporate clients and events can benefit from a photo booth at their next event. It is SUCH a great advertising tool that they can utilize. Moreover, it should be enticing to your corporate client that you can extract the data on the salsa app from photobooth supply and deliver to your client after the event. This will give your corporate client leads in the form of emails and/or phone numbers.
You can use QR codes on templates to help clients/customers link to where you want them to link.
Corporate offices also use photo booths often for their holiday parties! This is a great way for them to do team building without much effort.
The Graduate Hotel Fayetteville is a local hotel that is a staple for our town. The Graduate Hotel franchise is all over the United States.
It comes from a line of Graduate Hotels, that decorate based on the town they are in. This was a great way to interact with our locals and out of towners
Your photo booth services should be versatile and available to a wide array of functions. Sporting events have become a big one for our company. We live in a college town (WOOO Pig Sooie, Go Razorbacks!) and recently stuck our neck out to the athletic department at the college. We offered to do a few free events for them, including our branding and their branding. Because of this, we are now getting more leads from other areas on campus.
We also had our salsa booth on the 17th hole at the LPGA tournament that was held in our town. We did not have our branding on this event, but the exposure was wonderful. We saw a few of our friends and familiar faces in pictures on the photo booth as well when preparing the online gallery to be sent to the event coordinator.
Do We Offer Prints with the Salsa Booth?
We do. We see a lot of booth businesses NOT offering prints and we think this is wonderful. For our clientele, prints are a must. We book at LEAST 80% more projects with prints than without them. Each of our booths are outfitted with a DNP620A.
These are GREAT printers and they are quick. it takes about 15 seconds from pushing the print button for it to be completed with the job.
What Are The Image Capture Options With Salsa Booth?
Long ago, old photo booths only took photos and gave you a strip of photos in a very specific format. Not only is Salsa booth able to take photos in the retro strip layout, it can can take single images, multiple images, all in different portrait, landscape, and square options and layouts. The options are nearly limitless!
Salsa booth can also take video, GIFs, and Boomarangs! Boomarangs are particularly fun for clients and great for advertising on social media!
How Can Guests Get The Pictures They Take?
Guests can get there images digitally through text, email, QR code, or even AirDrop if they have an iPhone. We definitely prefer using AirDrop if the cell service or wifi is particularly bad. You can also print pictures physically for guests to take with them! Salsa booth is capable of printing in multiple different sizes as well.
Does the Salsa Booth Come with an iPad?
No it does not! The Salsa booth comes with a 12.9″ iPad Pro faceplate, and we use 4th Gen 12.9″ iPad Pro’s currently in our photo booth fleet. We will probably upgrade to 5th Gen iPad Pro’s some time in the future because they have a 12MP front camera, rather than 7MP like the 3rd and 4th Gen iPads.
What iPads are compatible with the Salsa Booth?
- 12.9″ iPad Pro 5th Generation (2021) – our suggestion with wifi and cellular!
- 11″ iPad Pro 3rd Generation (with different faceplate for $49) (2021)
- 12.9″ iPad Pro 4th Generation (2020)
- 11″ iPad Pro 2nd Generation (with different faceplate for $49) (2020)
- 10.9″ iPad 4th Generation (with different faceplate for $49) (2020)
- 12.9″ iPad Pro 3rd Generation (2018)
- 11″ iPad Pro 1st Generation (with different faceplate for $49) (2018)
- 12.9″ iPad Pro 2nd Generation (2017)
- 10.9” iPad Air 5th Generation (with different faceplate for $49) (2022)
- 10.9” iPad Air 4th Generation (with different faceplate for $49) (2020)
How much does the Salsa booth weigh?
The Salsa booth weighs right around 60 pounds inside the protective rolling case, and 36 pounds outside of the case assembled. The ability to roll the case makes transportation into events and venues extremely convenient for most people. The only time we lift the Salsa booth is to load and unload from the vehicle.
Do you need power/plug in for the photo booth to operate?
Yes! A normal 3 prong outlet is needed for the Salsa Booth to run and work properly. Most venues and events will have electricity close enough for an extension cord. That being said, you can just as easily run the Salsa booth from a small gasoline generator or battery power pack!
Do you offer add ons with your Salsa booth or just build as-is packages?
We offer an array of add ons! Our best and most utilized add on are our neon signs and our flower walls. We also offer guest books for guests to tape their prints into, which adds another unique way to capture memories!
Do you offer physical props?
Most events we work do not utilize props. That said, we have bring them if asked! Usually in place of props, we opt for drinks in hands or train our staff to have fun poses at the ready when guests aren’t sure what they should do with their hands. Props seem to fit most often with more casual parties and corporate events. Props can seem cheesy or not fit in often with weddings or high end events
Does the photo booth need internet?
Yes, it does! For the Salsa App to work its best, internet is needed. You can either purchase a wifi hot spot to take with you (we do this) or you can have your iPad activated with cellular service (we do this as well). Another option to ask the venue for their wifi password. We also do this and it works great.
Legal Tips Before Opening Your Photo Booth Business
We advise setting up an LLC to avoid any legal repercussions.
You can do this through your state, lawyer, or online. We used NorthwestRegistar. They had fair prices & didn’t add on things we didn’t need for our business.
Next, I would suggest investing in a CPA. The IRS doesn’t mess around. We have a handful of friends who try to slip through the cracks unnoticed and end up getting caught.
You will need to figure out your sales tax based on your city, state and county. This will require applying for a sales tax permit through your state.
Lastly, not TOTALLY necessary but we do recommend it; set up a DBA (doing business as) in your city/state so no other photo booth companies can use your name.
Don’t forget to open a business bank account as well. It’s so easy to mix money, and it’s not the best thing to do. Keep things as sterile as possible.
Cool need-to-know’s About our Salsa Ipad Booth from PBSCO
- There are multiple ways for clients to send their images. QR code, airdrop, texting, and email
- You CAN print with the Salsa Booth.
- Salsa booth lets guests create videos, photos, GIFs and boomerangs
- You can capture leads through phone numbers & emails from guests
- Salsa app features digital props
- pre-made print templates that can be altered to match your party theme
- EASY set up. The photo booth itself takes ABOUT 10 minutes to assemble, 20 after going through the device settings
- The option to do a green screen for your guests
We LOVE our Salsa Booth. We TRULY recommend it to anyone looking to get into the photo booth business.
You can shop HERE to go straight to Photobooth Supply Co’s website for more information!
I LOVE PBSCO and what they have to offer.
If at any point you have any questions, please reach out to Kait or Matt at: