You are the go-to birthday photo booth business in your local area.
Say It. Own It. Do It.
As you probably know, niching down in your photo booth is a powerful way to generate consistent business, a sterling reputation, and a major corner on the market.
And, yes, that can include birthdays!
I’ve compiled some evidence that niching into the birthday space can be profitable for many photo booth owners. However, it bears reminding that a birthday photo booth business is best run in a populous area.
Birthdays do come around every year, and every single person experiences at least one (hopefully many more) in their lifetime. So, yes, it can be profitable.
At the same time, birthday photo booths are currently on an upswing, meaning that not every one is aware or convinced that they need one. (Hint: You can help persuade them.)
This article introduces you to the concept of niching in the photo booth for birthday party biz, and shows you some advanced concept for being the obvious choice for birthdays in your area.
Birthday Photo Booth Ideas: The Big Picture
When it comes to marketing your birthday photo booth business, there are a few basics that you should set up.
These six ideas will form the basis for some of the more advanced techniques for specific audiences that I’ve provided below.
- Create Birthday Packages: Create different packages specifically tailored for birthday parties of all ages. Make sure to include all the necessary information like the number of prints, hours of service, and add-ons like customized backdrops or props.
- Offer Referral Discounts: Encourage your customers to refer you to their friends and family by offering them a discount on their next booking. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool and can help you attract new clients.
- Collaborate with Party Planners: Connect with local party planners and offer them a commission or a partnership for referring clients to you. This can help you get more bookings and expand your reach in the local market.
- Social Media Advertising: Utilize social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to promote your services specifically to people who have upcoming birthdays. You can create targeted ads to reach people in your local area and offer them a special discount.
- Host Giveaways: Run a contest or giveaway on your social media pages to engage your audience and attract new followers. Offer a free photo booth session as a prize for the winner. This can help you increase your visibility and attract new clients.
- Use Email Marketing: Collect email addresses from your clients and send them regular newsletters with updates about your services and special promotions. This can help you stay top of mind and encourage repeat bookings.
Marketing Tactics for Birthday Photo Booths In Schools and Community Groups
Marketing your photo booth business to birthday celebrants (or their parents) is substantively different from, say, targeting the wedding community.
Here are some ideas that will help your photo booth business get an angle on your local market, specifically tied to school-age children.
- Sponsor School Events: Offer to sponsor school events like a school carnival or a fundraising event. Set up your photo booth at the event and offer discounted packages for attendees. Make sure to have flyers available for parents to take home.
- Run a Birthday Contest: Host a photo contest for the best birthday party photo taken at your photo booth. Encourage parents to share their child's birthday photos on social media using a specific hashtag. The winner gets a free photo booth session at their next birthday party.
- Create Birthday Packages for Schools: Offer special birthday packages for elementary and middle schools. Make sure to include everything necessary for a fun and memorable birthday party, including themed backdrops, props, and prints. Send flyers or brochures to schools in the area.
- Partner with PTA or Parent Organizations: Connect with PTA or parent organizations in local schools and offer them a commission for every booking they refer to you. Host a demo at a PTA meeting or school event to showcase your services.
- Advertise in School Newsletters: Contact local elementary and middle schools and ask if you can advertise your photo booth services in their weekly newsletters. Include special discounts for school families or a mention of your birthday packages.
- Partner with Local Sports Leagues: I’ll have more tips on this below, but it’s a good idea to connect with local sports leagues and offer them a discount for booking your photo booth services for their end-of-season parties. Make sure to include all the necessary information like the number of prints, hours of service, and add-ons like customized backdrops or props.
- Host a Library Event: Host a photo booth event at the local library for kids to celebrate their summer birthdays. Offer a special discount for parents who book your services during the event.
- Collaborate with Churches: Connect with local churches and offer them a commission or a partnership for referring clients to you for their birthday parties. Set up your photo booth at the church events and offer discounted packages for attendees.
- Offer Daycare Packages: Create special daycare packages for summer birthdays. This can include a customized backdrop with summer themes, photo props, and digital prints that can be sent to the parents.
- Reach Out to Homeschool Groups: Contact homeschool groups in your area and offer them a discount for booking your photo booth services for their birthday parties. Make sure to promote the educational value of your photo booth, like teaching kids how to pose and use technology.
Birthday Photo Booths In The Sports Community
You may find that a large percentage of your target market, at least for kids, is sports-centric. If this is the case, or if you want to more effectively explore this as a customer base, try these ideas.
- Advertise in Sports League Newsletters: Contact local youth sports leagues and ask if you can advertise your photo booth services in their weekly newsletters. Include special discounts for league families or a mention of your sports-themed backdrops and props.
- Set Up at End-of-Season Parties: Partner with local youth sports leagues and offer a discount for booking your photo booth services for their end-of-season parties. Set up your photo booth at the event and offer a special package for league families.
- Offer Sports-Themed Props: Create sports-themed props like baseball gloves, basketballs, soccer balls, or hockey sticks, to attract sports-loving kids and their families. Make sure to advertise these props in your marketing materials.
- Host a Photo Contest: Run a photo contest for the best sports-themed photo taken at your photo booth during the league season. Encourage parents to share their child's sports-themed photos on social media using a specific hashtag. The winner gets a free photo booth session at their next birthday party.
Photo Booth Ideas for Sports Themes
I live in an area where some of the population is maniacal about football. For those who celebrate birthdays during football season, there are party themes specific to the Clemson Tigers and Carolina Gamecocks. If some of your customer base is sports-obsessed, the next five tips will help.
- Create Sports-Themed Birthday Packages: Create special sports-themed birthday packages that include customized backdrops and props, and digital prints that can be shared on social media. Partner with local youth sports leagues and offer a special discount for league families who book your services.
- Offer Themed Backdrops and Props for Sports Teams. Create customized backdrops and props that feature the colors and logos of popular local sports teams. You can include items like foam fingers, pom-poms, or jerseys to enhance the theme of the party.
- Create Special Packages for Game Days: Create special packages for game days that include a photo booth session and custom prints with the game score and team logos. These packages can be marketed to tailgate parties or game day events.
- Partner with Sports Bars: Partner with local sports bars that show popular local sports team games and offer them a commission for referring clients to you for birthday parties. Set up your photo booth at the sports bar during big games and offer a special package for attendees.
- Advertise in Game-Day Programs: Advertise your photo booth business in game-day programs for popular local sports teams. Make sure to highlight the sports-themed backdrops and props that you offer.
- Host a Tailgate Party: Host a tailgate party before a big local sports team game and offer a special package for attendees. You can set up your photo booth at the tailgate party and offer prints with the game score and team logos.
- Create a "Back in Time" Theme: Use vintage backdrops and props to create a "back in time" theme for over the hill birthday parties. You can create a photo booth experience that feels nostalgic and reminiscent of the birthday person's younger years.
- Offer Humorous Props: Offer props that poke fun at aging, such as walking canes, reading glasses, and hearing aids. You can also offer props that make light of aging stereotypes, such as "over the hill" signs or "senior citizen" sashes.
- Highlight the "Forever Young" Element: Emphasize the idea of being "forever young" and ageless in your photo booth marketing for over the hill birthday parties. You can offer "timeless" backdrops and props, such as disco balls or vintage record players, to create a fun and youthful atmosphere.
- Use Social Media Influencers: Partner with popular social media influencers who have a significant following in the age group of over the hill birthday parties. You can offer them a free photo booth session in exchange for promoting your services to their followers.
- Create a "Golden Years" Package: Offer a "Golden Years" package that includes a photo booth session and prints with golden accents, such as a golden frame or lettering. You can market this package to friends and family of the birthday person as a unique and meaningful gift.
Marketing Your Photo Booth Business for Summer Birthdays
In the United States, 25-30% of birthdays happen during the summer months according to the US Census Bureau.
For the 2010-2020 decade in the United States, August and July experienced the highest number of births, according to Live Science.
Pro Tip: This 2010-2020 birth year demographic may be a strong one for your birthday photo booth business.
Don’t neglect your summer demographic, since they could account for approximately one third of your market!
I want to spend a little time on this, because focusing on a season and a demographic can be the recipe for success. (Enter the cliche, “riches are in the niches.”)
Here’s some evidence that could allow you to place more of a marketing emphasis on photo booths for summer birthdays.
- Summer birthdays often coincide with school breaks, making them a popular time for parents to plan special celebrations and activities for their children. Additionally, the warm weather and longer days provide more opportunities for outdoor parties and events, which can be more expensive to plan than indoor parties.
- According to a survey conducted by RetailMeNot, parents in the United States spend an average of $500 on their child's birthday party. However, this number can vary depending on the time of year. The survey found that parents spend more money on summer birthdays than on winter birthdays, with an average cost of $535 for summer birthdays compared to $478 for winter birthdays.
- Another study by credit card company Visa found that parents spend an average of $450 on summer birthday parties, compared to $250 on non-summer birthdays. This could be due to the fact that summer birthdays often involve more elaborate celebrations, such as pool parties or trips to amusement parks.
So, how do you make a splash in the industry this summer?
- Partner with Summer Camps: Reach out to local summer camps and offer your photo booth services for their end-of-summer parties or events. This can help you reach a large group of kids and their parents, many of whose parents may be interested in booking your services for their own birthday parties.
- Attend Community Summer Festivals: Participate in local summer festivals and fairs, and set up your photo booth to offer fun, themed photos to attendees. Be sure to advertise your services and hand out flyers or business cards to potential clients.
- Offer Discounts for Weekday Bookings: Summer months are often slower for event bookings during the weekdays. Offer discounts or special packages for weekday bookings to incentivize clients to choose your photo booth for their birthday parties.
- Use Social Media: Use social media to promote your photo booth services to parents and kids during the summer months. Share photos of past summer events and parties, and offer special discounts or promotions to followers who book during the summer.
- Advertise in Local Parenting Magazines: Advertise your photo booth services in local parenting magazines or online parenting groups. This can help you reach a targeted audience of parents who are actively seeking out fun and unique ideas for their child's summer birthday party.
Birthday Photo Booth Ideas For Quinceañeras
A significant portion of your birthday events may come from quinceañeras.
Here are some ideas for marketing your birthday photo booth business to the quinceañera community.
- Partner with Local Dance Studios: Reach out to local dance studios that teach traditional Latin dances, like salsa or bachata, and offer them a commission for referring their students to your photo booth services. This can help you establish relationships with families who are likely to plan a quinceañera in the near future.
- Offer Personalized Photo Booth Templates: Create photo booth templates that are personalized with the quinceañera's name and theme. This can add an extra touch of personalization and make the experience more memorable for the birthday girl and her guests.
- Advertise in Hispanic Media: Advertise your photo booth services in local Hispanic media outlets, such as Spanish-language newspapers, radio stations, and online publications. This can help you reach a wider audience of potential clients who are specifically interested in celebrating quinceañeras.
- Host a Quinceañera Expo: Host a quinceañera expo that showcases various vendors who cater to quinceañera celebrations, including your photo booth services. This can help you establish connections with families who are actively planning a quinceañera and are looking for vendors to hire.
- Offer Referral Discounts: Offer discounts to clients who refer their friends and family to your photo booth services for their quinceañeras. This can help incentivize existing clients to spread the word about your business and attract new clients who are interested in booking your services.
- Attend Quinceañera Expos: Attend local quinceañera expos and events to showcase your photo booth services to potential clients. Be sure to bring sample prints and backdrops that showcase your unique style and customization options.
- Partner with Caterers and Venues: Reach out to caterers and venues that specialize in quinceañeras and offer them a commission for referring clients to your photo booth services. This can help you establish a network of trusted partners who can recommend your business to their clients.
- Offer Social Media Sharing: Offer the option for guests to share their photos from your photo booth directly to their social media accounts. This can help spread the word about your services and encourage future bookings from potential clients who see the fun and memorable photos on social media.
- Provide a Themed Photo Album: Offer a themed photo album that matches the quinceañera's theme and colors. This can serve as a memorable keepsake for the birthday girl and her guests, and can also help promote your services to others who see the album.
- Advertise in Quinceañera Magazines: Advertise your photo booth services in local quinceañera magazines and publications. This can help you reach a wider audience of potential clients who are actively looking for vendors for their upcoming celebrations.
Remember to always focus on the unique selling points of your photo booth services, such as personalized templates and backdrops, and offer customized packages that fit the specific needs of each client. By establishing yourself as a go-to option for quinceañeras, you can attract more bookings and build a strong reputation within this niche market.
Photo Booth Ideas for Birthday Kids!
In most cases, your customer will have a defined party theme, and will be telling you what ideas they’d like to implement for the photo booth. Roblox, AmongUs, Pokemon, Minecraft, you name it.
In other cases, you might be in the position of advising the customer on some handy ideas.
Of course, it helps if you actually know the child who is celebrating the Big Day. And, as time goes on, you’ll understand the trending birthday party themes and topics.
It may help to have in your back pocket a few photo booth ideas for birthday kids that we’ve seen trending in the past year or so.
- Glitter & Sparkles: Create a sparkly and magical photo booth set up with glitter and sparkles. Use glittery backdrops, sequin curtains, and confetti to create a glittery wonderland.
- Balloon Paradise: Create an entire balloon paradise with balloons of different shapes and sizes. Add in a balloon arch, a balloon backdrop, and a balloon ceiling to create a unique and fun photo booth experience.
- Themed Props: Create themed props to go with the birthday girl's favorite theme. For example, if the birthday girl loves unicorns, create a unicorn horn, unicorn ears, and a unicorn tail for her to wear in her photos.
- Flower Power: Create a floral photo booth with flower walls, flower garlands, and flower props. This is a great idea for a spring or summer birthday party.
- Neon Party: Create a neon party photo booth with neon backdrops, neon props, and black lights. This is a great idea for a nighttime birthday party.
- Vintage Vibes: Create a vintage photo booth with vintage backdrops, vintage props, and vintage costumes. This is a great idea for a milestone birthday party, such as a 30th or 40th birthday.
- Animal Kingdom: Create an animal kingdom photo booth with animal backdrops, animal props, and animal costumes. This is a great idea for a kid's birthday party.
- Hollywood Glam: Create a Hollywood glamour photo booth with red carpet backdrops, Hollywood props, and glamorous costumes. This is a great idea for a sweet 16 or quinceañera birthday party.
- Superhero Central: Create a superhero photo booth with superhero backdrops, superhero props, and superhero costumes. This is a great idea for a boy's birthday party.
- Carnival Fun: Create a carnival photo booth with carnival backdrops, carnival props, and carnival costumes. This is a great idea for a summer birthday party.
- Winter Wonderland: Create a winter wonderland photo booth with snowflake backdrops, winter props, and winter costumes. This is a great idea for a winter birthday party.
- Beach Bash: Create a beach party photo booth with beach backdrops, beach props, and beach costumes. This is a great idea for a summer birthday party.
- Rockstar Style: Create a rockstar photo booth with rockstar backdrops, rockstar props, and rockstar costumes. This is a great idea for a teen or tween birthday party.
- Fairy Tale Magic: Create a fairy tale photo booth with fairy tale backdrops, fairy tale props, and fairy tale costumes. This is a great idea for a young girl's birthday party.
- Black & White: Create a black and white photo booth with black and white backdrops, black and white props, and black and white costumes. This is a great idea for a sophisticated and classy birthday party.
- Pirate's Cove: Create a pirate-themed photo booth with pirate backdrops, pirate props, and pirate costumes. Add a treasure chest and a pirate ship backdrop to complete the look.
- Space Odyssey: Create a space-themed photo booth with galaxy backdrops, space props, and astronaut costumes. Add in some planets and stars to create a realistic outer space feel.
- Dino Roar: Create a dinosaur-themed photo booth with dinosaur backdrops, dinosaur props, and dinosaur costumes. Add in some dinosaur footprints and bones to complete the look.
- Sports Fanatic: Create a sports-themed photo booth with sports backdrops, sports props, and sports jerseys. This is a great idea for a boy who loves sports.
- Superhero Central: Create a superhero-themed photo booth with superhero backdrops, superhero props, and superhero costumes. Add in some superhero masks and capes to complete the look.
- Under the Sea: Create an underwater-themed photo booth with ocean backdrops, sea creature props, and scuba diving costumes. Add in some sea shells and coral to complete the look.
- Wild West: Create a cowboy-themed photo booth with Western backdrops, cowboy hats, and cowboy boots. Add in a saloon backdrop and a wanted poster for a fun touch.
- Construction Zone: Create a construction-themed photo booth with construction backdrops, hard hats, and construction tools. Add in some caution tape and cones to complete the look.
- Medieval Madness: Create a medieval-themed photo booth with castle backdrops, knight costumes, and swords. Add in a dragon prop for a fun touch.
- Music Mania: Create a music-themed photo booth with music backdrops, musical instruments, and rockstar costumes. Add in a microphone and stage backdrop for a fun touch.
- Monster Mash: Create a monster-themed photo booth with monster backdrops, monster props, and monster costumes. Add in some spooky decorations for a Halloween birthday party.
- Racing Rampage: Create a race car-themed photo booth with race car backdrops, racing flags, and racing helmets. Add in a checkered flag backdrop for a fun touch.
- Jungle Safari: Create a jungle-themed photo booth with jungle backdrops, safari hats, and binoculars. Add in some jungle animals props to complete the look.
- Wizarding World: Create a wizarding-themed photo booth with Hogwarts backdrops, wizard robes, and wands. Add in some wizard hats and glasses for a fun touch.
- Comic Book Hero: Create a comic book-themed photo booth with comic book backdrops, comic book props, and superhero costumes. Add in some speech bubbles and comic book exclamations for a fun touch.
Common Questions About Birthday Photo Booth Businesses
Aren’t There Problems with Photo Booths at Birthday Parties, Especially Kid’s Parties?
Obviously, yes. Anything can go wrong. And if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong.
Generally, I’m not that pessimistic, but there are things to be aware of.
- Younger kids may not know how to operate the booth. Not a huge issue if you have a booth attendant on duty. Otherwise, the Salsa interface is really intuitive. My eight-year old was able to use it easily.
- Would kids be able to knock down a booth? It’s possible, but Salsa’s heavy base and durable design makes it unlikely.
- Isn’t the booth built for adult heights? Actually, Salsa (and Guac for that matter) is built for human height, even the little ones. Salsa has an adjustable head, which easily tilts to focus on the subject.
But we’ve gone a step further. Salsa and Guac have a removable stand section that allow you to put the camera right on their level.
For some visual context, the stand consists of two pieces. You can remove one to drop the height of the booth by half.
I dominated the birthday photo book market, but I think everyone has birthdays on the same day.
Okay, this is a legitimate problem. As a dad of school-aged children, there are those weekends when you can’t believe the number of birthday parties your kid has been invited to.
The same problem plagues the birthday photo both business owners.
First off, pat yourself on the back. Congratulate yourself on on your success and the high demand for your services.
If you're finding yourself double-booked on busy weekends or other days, here are a few tips to help you navigate this challenge and keep your customers happy.
- Consider investing in additional photo booths or hiring subcontractors: Depending on the size of your business and the level of demand, it may be worthwhile to invest in additional photo booths or hire subcontractors to help you manage the workload. This can help you accommodate more customers and avoid turning away business. Just be sure to maintain consistent quality standards and ensure that any subcontractors you hire are properly trained and represent your brand well.
- Prioritize communication with customers: When you have multiple events on the same day, it's important to communicate clearly with your customers to ensure that everyone knows what to expect. Let your customers know if there will be any delays or if you'll be arriving at their event later than planned. Make sure to stay in touch throughout the day and provide updates as needed.
- Be prepared to adapt: Sometimes unexpected things happen, like equipment malfunctions or transportation issues. When you have multiple events on the same day, it's important to be flexible and prepared to adapt quickly to any challenges that arise. Bring backup equipment, have a contingency plan in case of traffic or weather delays, and be prepared to think on your feet.
- Offer incentives for off-peak bookings: If you're consistently double-booked on weekends or other busy days, consider offering incentives for customers who are willing to book on less busy days. This can help you balance your workload and avoid overextending yourself. For example, you could offer a discount for customers who book on weekdays or off-peak weekends.
- Consider raising your prices: If you're consistently in high demand, it may be time to consider raising your prices to reflect the value of your services. This can help you offset the cost of additional equipment or subcontractors, and ensure that your business remains profitable over the long term.
Remember, the most important thing is to prioritize your customers and maintain the high level of service that has made your business successful in the first place.
There is a reason everyone wants to hire you for their birthday event.
With a little planning and preparation, you can navigate the challenges of those ultra-busy weekends, holidays, and other heavy-booking days.
Pro Tip: Photo Booths for Pet Birthdays
When I create these articles, my goal is to provide insights and details that you’ll find nowhere else in the photo booth industry, and here is one such nugget.
Props goes to Amber, our social media manager and one of PBSCO’s many doggo parents for this idea.
If you're looking for a way to set your photo booth business apart from the competition and tap into a new market, creating a special offer for pet birthdays could be a great option.
Here are some reasons why you should consider offering a pet birthday photo booth package:
- Growing market: Pet ownership is on the rise, and more and more people are treating their pets as members of the family. This means there's a growing market for pet-related services, including pet birthday parties.
- Emotional connection: People love their pets and want to celebrate them in a special way. By offering a pet birthday photo booth package, you can help pet owners capture lasting memories of their furry friends and create an emotional connection with your brand.
- Differentiation: By offering a pet birthday package, you can differentiate your business from other photo booth operators who don't cater to the pet market. This can help you stand out from the competition and attract new customers who are looking for pet-related services.
- Additional revenue stream: Offering a pet birthday package can be a great way to generate additional revenue for your business. You can charge a premium for this specialized service and potentially increase your profit margins.
- Fun and unique: A pet birthday photo booth package is a fun and unique way to celebrate a beloved pet's special day. It can be a memorable experience for both the pet and their owner, and it's something they are likely to remember for years to come.
Pet-themed photo booth props are widely available on ecommerce sites like Amazon.
It's not just the pet that gets in on the photo booth fun. Everybody should get involved.
Throw in a themed backdrop or two, and you are ready for business.
This is a real thing. Our photo booth owners do get business from pet birthday owners.
Overall, offering a pet birthday photo booth package is a great way to tap into a growing market, differentiate your business, and generate additional revenue. So why not consider adding this special offer to your list of services and see how it can benefit your business.
Happy Birthday…And Many More
Birthday photo booth business owners, I wish you all the best in your endeavors.
Remind yourself that your work brings joy and cherished memories to so many families and friends celebrating special occasions.
The techniques in this article are straightforward and clear, but to be truly successful, carry forward that passion for what you do.
And may you never tire of hearing groups of people heartily singing “Happy Birthday to You” in off-key jubilee.