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ZimZoom Photo Booth
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Had an awesome time with Kirkland's at the Haven Conference this weekend!! @kirklands @havenconf‪#‎havenconf‬
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How to choose a Photo Booth Company for your event:

(4) Prints, Printers and the Need for Speed

Today's technology is amazing.  We can capture high quality videos and photos with our mobile phones.  Chances are you have hundreds of photos stored in the cloud or facebook galleries.  You can share them instantly with anyone and view them in a timeline whenever we please.

But even though we have a wealth of digital images.. when was the last time you actally held a photo in your hand?  Many of us (myself included) don't want to bother with printers & special photo paper.  Sending off photos to have them printed takes time and always seems to be on the "to-do" list.

So, you'll probably agree with me when I say that one of the great things about the photo booth is instant physical photos.  However when you're shopping for a photo booth company you'll want to keep a couple of things in mind:

Print Quality:
Frankly, there's only one kind of printer that's suitable for on-site photo printing: dye sublimation.  Inkjets and laser printers just don't hold a candle to dye-sub.  Dye Sub prints are clear, crisp, and the prints themselves last a long time.  Pro dye sublimation printers even coat the photo with a protective semi-water resistant coating.  

Speed:
Photo Booths are popular at all kinds of events.  Popularity means that there very well may be a line.  So, nobody wants the printer to be a bottleneck.  Fast printing means happy guests.  Happy guests = happy host ;)  Look for pro dye sub printers with 15 sec or less printing time.

Unlimited Prints:
If you've been following the series and decided to go with the more "group friendly" open format photo booth, then you're going to want everyone to be able to take home a photo.  Limiting guests is just no fun.  So don't let your Photo Booth Provider spoil the fun.  The best Photo Booth companies offer unlimited prints during the time they are booked.

How to choose a Photo Booth Company for your event:

(3) DSLR Camera

Look, we all love our smartphones. They're very convenient and most take awesome snapshots. And tablet cameras & webcams are certainly capable of taking decent photos too. But there's still a big difference in the image quality compared to a true DSLR.

Why? Well, for one: the lens quality. Simply put, better glass = better photos. There's less distortion, aberration & clearer images with a DSLR lens. Also, the larger CMOS in a DSLR translates into deeper color depth. But the biggest difference in my opinion lies in the ability to calibrate the camera using ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings. Couple that with the ability of a DSLR to trigger an external pro strobe flash and you simply can't beat the photos with any smartphone or webcam.

So when you're checking out Photo Booth Companies, make sure they're using a pro DSLR if you want the best quality photos.

Will you be our Valentine?  Join us this Saturday at the Carrboro Farmers' Market for Valentine's Day with your sweetheart and tell us why you love the Market. ‪#‎iheartcfm‬

How to choose a Photo Booth Company for your event:

(2) Pro Lighting:

Pro portrait photographers use pro lighting gear. The reason is - it's the best way to control the lighting in any environment. And lighting is crucial to getting the highest quality results. Without proper lighting, there's a chance you'll get decent photos but there's no guarantee because so many other factors affect the images. With consistent, properly placed and calibrated lighting & finely tuned DSLR settings, image quality and consistency is assured.

Portrait photographers use real studio strobes with a diffusing element so the lighting is spread evenly on the subject. However many photo booths skimp on the lighting for various reasons: strobe lighting is expensive, it requires calibration & sync, it also requires proper placement which can be inconvenient or impossible with some photo booth designs. In our opinion, there's a substantial benefit in using professional lighting that outweighs the cost and expertise needed to integrate it into a photo booth system.

How to choose a Photo Booth Company for your event:

(1) Open or Closed?

Not all photo booths are created equal. In fact, the new wave of photo booth is not a booth at all really. Of course, the traditional booth is what we first think of: private, dark, a bit cramped. Not bad for an old school selfie with one or two people. But more than that and it gets a bit tight.

The new "open style" photo booths eschew the privacy for a heck of a lot more room to move. Group shots are much easier in a open booth. In fact, I've seen as many as 14 people get in on the fun. And fun is really what the open booth is about because everyone can get into the action. Instead of people going in and out of a dark mysterious booth, the whole crowd gets to feed off the photo fabulous energy!

Ok, by now you can probably tell we're a wee bit biased. I'll admit it. Although I do appreciate a old-school closed booth when I come across one in a public space - there's nothing like the new generation of open photo booths at a celebration.
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