You’ve heard of portable photo booths. People want to rent portable photo booths. And it's kind of the nature of the photo booth industry — you take photo booths to events and venues all over the place.
If you are an aspiring or existing photo booth business owner, you may have some questions of your own about portable photo booths. Or your customers have questions.
This guide will answer all your questions about portable photo booths.
And, to spoil the plot right out the gate, yes, most photo booths are ultra-portable.
Here’s everything you need to know about portable photo booths.
Wait, “booth?” Is a photo booth an actual booth?
The majority of today’s photo booths are not technically a booth.
We are not talking about these.
These things are rare nowadays.
And, no, those photo booths are not easily portable.
The term “photo booth” applies to both enclosed spaces for capturing photos, or a more open-air situation, often using a backdrop.
What types of photo booths are portable?
There is quite a variety of portable booths including pop-up photo booths, inflatable photo booths, and open-air photo booths like Salsa.
These photo booths tend to be easy to move around and set up, and can usually fit in the trunk of most vehicles. We even tested transporting our booths in a Mini Cooper. Fits like a charm.
All our photo booths are portable and come with an extremely durable rolling case. The case is what powers the portability of the booths since it has sturdy wheels and a virtually unbreakable retractable handle.
Do I need special equipment or tools to transport a photo booth?
With our booths, nope.
You'll literally roll up to the event with this case.
Broadly speaking, it depends on the specific photo booth and how it's designed to be broken down and transported.
We like simplicity, so we designed our booth to be set up and broken down by hand into a few pieces and placed into the case in sixty seconds.
You can watch a video of someone setting up the Salsa booth and breaking it down on this page.
How easy is it to set up a portable photo booth?
It takes one person about sixty seconds to assemble a portable photo booth such as the Salsa.
The first time I set up a photo booth, it took me 2.5 minutes. And that’s only because I had never touched a photo booth and was holding one for the very first time.
The second time I set up a photo booth, it took me one minute.
Both the Salsa and Guac & Chips photo booths do not require tools for assembly.
How do I know if a photo booth is portable enough for my needs?
Before purchasing or renting a photo booth, consider your transportation needs and the venues where you plan to use it. If you'll be moving the booth frequently or setting it up in smaller spaces, you’ll definitely want a portable option.
The vast majority of photo booths on the market today are portable, so this won’t be a headache for you.
Can you use the portable photo booth outside?
For those situations where the power source at the venue is out of reach or nonexistent, having a portable battery pack can make or break an event.
It’s best if you are able to plug the unit into an outlet (or extension cord), but you can easily configure a battery-only assembly to operate remotely for several hours.
We recommend the Anker PowerHouse II 400 or equivalent.
The Anker PowerHouse II provides Salsa with the required 110 - 120V outlet and can last for 6 to 12 hours, depending on usage.
Another alternative is the Ryobi 40v Power Source and Battery. It is compatible with all Ryobi 40v batteries. It has less charge than the Anker above, clocking in at around 3 to 5 hours of power, depending on usage.
It is less expensive, however, so you can buy more than one battery to swap out mid-event.
Won’t portable booths overheat if they are outside at a hot event?
With our booths, it’s not likely.
Our booths have powerful fans built into the iPad enclosure to help keep the device cool even during blisteringly hot outdoor events.
Of course, we do recommend finding a shady area if possible. Oh, and you can even use our photo booth at night, using the light generated from the built-in customizable LED ring.
What about WiFi? Do portable booths work without Wifi?
Yes, portable photo booths can work without a local WiFi network.
Staying connected during an event is really important. and sometimes frustrating.
You may even have trouble with spotty WiFi at an event, which is why keeping your portable booth connected to an alternate network is a smart idea.
If you are using our booths, the text or email captures are sent directly to your guests' phones and queues when there's no Wi-Fi. AirDrop sharing also works without internet.
We suggest purchasing a dedicated hotspot from a reliable provider. Deciding on which hotspot to purchase might be dependent on your cellphone service provider, since they often have deals for existing subscribers.
Otherwise, here are the two we recommend.
Verizon Inseego Jetpack MiFi 8800L
The 8800L runs off of Verizon’s 4G/LTE network, widely considered the fastest and most reliable of the major carriers.
This hotspot can also run up to 11 hours on a single charge, ensuring you’ll be good to go for the entire event.
T-Mobile Inseego 5G MiFi M2000
The M2000 is for those who need the fastest internet speeds and are in an area where T-Mobile’s 5G network is available.
While a little more expensive than the 8800L, it is the cheapest of the 5G hotspots and T-Mobile’s plans can be more affordable than Verizon.
Are there different types of photo booths with varying levels of portability?
There are plenty of different photo booths, and their portability can vary depending on their design.
The models that we offer are all portable, and most other photo booths on the market are portable as well.
Photo booth businesses are inherently portable businesses, so making a decision based on ease of use and portability is a smart choice.
What are some factors that can affect the portability of a photo booth?
Obviously, size and weight of the booth, as well as its components, can play a big role in how portable it is. For example, a large, heavy booth with lots of equipment may be more difficult to move around than a smaller, more lightweight one.
Our Guac & Chips, which include a printer, umbrella, flash, photo booth, DSLR, iPad enclosure, fan, etc. — all pack neatly into two carrying cases.
How much do portable photo booths weigh?
Between 36 and 87 pounds.
87 pounds sounds like a lot (and it is), but with our products, all of that weight is carried within a rolling case. No lifting required.
The Salsa booth, which is an iPad photo booth, is 36 pounds (16.3 kilograms).
Within its ultra-protective carrying case, the Salsa photo booth clocks in at 58 pounds (26.3 kilograms)
Our Guac & Chips setup has two components, the camera/iPad/stand assembly (Guac), and the printer (Chips) with its own enclosure and stand.
The camera portion, Guac, weighs 32 lbs (14.5 kilograms). All packed up in a case, it’s 84 lbs (38 kilograms).
Chips, which is the printer, weighs 35 pounds (15.8 kilograms). Bundled up in its dedicated case, it weighs 87 lbs (39.4 kilograms).
Here’s what it looks like, all laid out, including the cases.
Are there any downsides to using a portable photo booth?
Portable photo booths can sometimes be less sturdy than their larger counterparts, and may not have as many features or capabilities. However, they are often more affordable and easier to use, which can make them a great option for events where portability is a priority.
The Salsa booth is one of the sturdiest booths on the market. The heavy-duty base plate and metal stand are the same for the Salsa as they are for Salsa’s bigger brother, the DSLR-powered Guac & Chips.
Got Any Questions About Portable Booths?
Remember, owning a portable photo booth is not just about providing entertainment for your clients, but also about creating lasting memories that will be cherished for years to come.
Always bring your A-game and deliver an exceptional experience for your clients.
As a final tip, don't forget to market your photo booth business effectively, network with other industry professionals, and stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.
We understand that starting and running a business can be challenging, and we want you to know that we are here to support you in any way we can. If you have any feedback or suggestions for us, we would love to hear from you.
Two Action Items
If you have reached the end of this post — maybe you read the whole thing or skipped to the end — I recommend taking action.
- First, book a demo. You’ll have a chance to ask any questions and get all the information you need about portable photo booths and more.
- Second, take one minute to find out how much money you can make from a photo booth business. You might be surprised.