Photo Booth Props – Yay or Nay?
We all love photo booths. Taking pictures with friends and family and getting prints to take home and hang on your fridge or in your office. And props. Those hilarious props!
When it’s time to plan your wedding or event you know you want to rent a photo booth. When you find a photo booth company you like you’ll find you have many options for your package.
We’ve found more recently that many clients when deciding on photo booth rental packages debate on whether they want to use props.
We’ll discuss the pros and cons on both sides to hopefully help you make an informed decision.
Why you want props
Let’s start with why you’d want props.
Photo Booth props are fun! All it takes is a quick glace at the prop table to get your guest excited. Trying on silly hats, picking through funny glasses. Mustaches! Wigs! The process of just picking props to use will bring out laughs.
Photo booth props enhance pics. Many people are awkward and don’t enjoy taking pictures. When in the scope of a camera lens we suddenly make out a totally uncomfortable facial expression and no one seems to know why!
Throwing on a wig or a pair of shades allow them to loosen up and be someone else for a few seconds. You can be silly and not be self-conscious. It gives the photos less importance, so there is no pressure to give off your best supermodel impression.
Some people are naturally silly and fun and will find creative, funny uses for props that are not their original intention. Mustache unibrows anyone?
Why you don’t want props
The most common complaint from clients who pass on photo booth props is that they are tacky. Some photo booth rental companies take it too far and bring props that are big, bulky, and childish.
The endless prop choices slow up the photo booth line. Many people when faced with the option of what props to use get indecisive. The classic case of decision paralysis. Do you really want guest overthinking something as trivial as prop choices?
Photo booth props can devalue pictures. Are you as excited to hang up that picture from the photo booth if you are wearing a giant horse head and your date is in giant glasses and a viking helmet? Ready to have an explanation to every person who stops by your desk and sees that picture at work?
In our personal experience the most common pictures we see left behind at the end of events are the pictures that were taken with excess props.
For many clients a big box of random props can be impersonal. What is your connection to a random rubber chicken in that prop box? If you and your guest are not superhero fans the Iron Man mask and Captain America shield can be met with confusion when looking through props.
Most props are cheap and need to be replaced after a few uses. There is always the issue that props might not be available if they are lost or stolen at a previous event. Props can get dirty and also need to be regularly cleaned and/or replaced.
Option for props
So you want to go with props for your photo booth rental. Great! We have a few suggestions on what props to ask for and props that should never see the table. The idea is to keep it simple and tasteful, giving guest the option of a small selection of props that can enhance their experience and still make it memorable.
Signs are simple, and can describe the emotions and/or mindstate your guest are feeling at that moment. However, signs can be obnoxious and tacky, so make sure your photo booth rental company leaves the vulgar and possibly offensive signs at home.
Lips and Mustaches
The classics. Classic for a reason. They are simple to use and can add just the right amount of silliness and fun to a picture without totally overtaking the picture.
Another classic that makes everyone who wears one feel glamorous.
A common prop that can make you look cool or silly, depending on the style of shades. They are also great because they hide your eyes.
Some props are better left off the prop table. We suggest you pass on the following props to make for a better photo booth rental experience during, and after your event.
Full mask are hard for guest to put on. It can take a few seconds (and help from friends) to get the mask on and in position so you can see the picture you are about to take. They also need to be cleaned before, and during the photo booth rental period.
Costume jewelry and other small props
Costume jewelry is fun and looks great in pictures but it’s easy to lose and many guest will leave the booth while still wearing the jewelry.
Things put in mouth
Prop cigars,cigarettes, and mask with mouth openings, obviously need to be kept clean and through the course of the night it can be a burden. Think twice before bringing them.
Create or bring your own
Our favorite suggestion is to bring some of your own props to personalize the photo booth experience for your guest. A few of our recent wedding couples had their photos printed on boards and their guest used them as stick props.
Love your job? I had a engineer client bring in plastic hard hats to signify his recent work at a construction site. Another client brought in a few kids stethoscopes for her work as a doctor. Your co-workers will definitely get a kick out of that.
Do you have unique hobbies and interest? Stuffed animals with special meaning to you? Think of things that you own or things you could make that represent you.
If you have time you can make your own props. I did a recent fundraising event with a young woman’s networking group that made signs with positive, inclusive affirmations that were a hit with guest.
We always recommend and supply a small collection of props for every event – just enough to give you some fun options to lighten up your pictures. But not too many where you look like your wearing a costume!
We do offer an upgraded props package if you want to turn the fun up to the max.
There are many directions you can go with props but ultimately, like all things it will depend on you. Think about you and your guest personalities. They might enjoy props, or the camera loves them and they might take amazing pictures without props.