How To Start & Scale Your Photo Booth Business in 2024. The Ultimate Guide & Secret Strategies For Success

I love being a photo booth business owner. Unlike other businesses I’ve started, it’s quick to launch and generates money fast.

Within two months of starting my photo booth, I recovered my equipment expenses and saved most of my earnings as profit.

If you’ve read my article, Top 21 Reasons to Start A Photo Booth Business, you’ll see why I highly recommend this business for various other reasons.

But, how do you get started? How do you start your photo booth business, especially as a beginner with little or no knowledge of the industry?

The good news is that in this industry you learn by doing. Like anything else, you will make mistakes along the way.

These are the major lessons I’ve learned (and mistakes I’ve made) in starting and scaling a profitable photo booth business quickly.

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What Makes a Photo Booth Business Thrive? Hint: It’s Not The Equipment

Grumpy vs. Happy

Before we break down the steps to start your photo booth business, it’s essential to address what makes a successful photo booth business.

The photo booth business is only as successful as the person or people who run it.

Now if you don’t have good equipment, software that fails, and a lack of good lighting, that is a problem.

However, it doesn’t matter if you own the shiniest, most deluxe, and most expensive photo booth equipment.

If you fail to deliver exceptional customer service and engage clients and guests, this will kill your business.

The photo booth business is about how you make your clients and their guests feel.

They hired you because they want a fun attendant, who engages with their guests and provides a memorable, and positive experience.

They don’t want a wallflower who stands in the corner, never makes eye contact, and is on their phone the whole time.

So, before you even take the plunge and start a photo booth business, consider who you are and what your attitude will be when you bring your photo booth to an event.

Are you engaging, friendly, and easy to deal with? Do you have conversations with the senior citizens, kids, and everyone else?

If your client has a last-minute change to the details of the set-up do you complain or do you go with the flow with a smile on your face?

Are you friendly and helpful with the guests? Do you engage guests and make them feel comfortable to stay and enjoy the booth or do you run off and hide in the corner?

You might be thinking this is all obvious. But unfortunately, it’s not so obvious to everyone in the industry. Customer service will make or break you in the photo booth industry.

But if you start with the mindset that you are there to deliver the best experience for your client and their guests, you will quickly discover that you will be the one they call back year after year and they will refer you to everyone they know.

Furthermore, you’ll be heads above the rest!

Is The Market Overly Saturated? Does It Matter?

Different types of photo booths

When I first considered starting a photo booth business, I began by looking at my local market. There were plenty of photographers based near me but not many photo booth owners nearby.

I explored the closest photo booth websites to see what types of products they offered. There seemed to be a large variety of photo booths offered in the Portland metro area where I live.

There were photo booth businesses that offered large mirror booths, enclosed booths, open-air booths, 360 booths, and various other types.

I felt comfortable starting a photo booth business in my area because I was offering a very versatile photo booth that could fit in with any event.

Also, I knew I could outrun the competition by delivering exceptional customer service, creative backdrops, and unique props that would make my photo booth rental business stand out amongst the others.

So, unless there are photo booth businesses on every corner like Starbucks, clients will appreciate your unique take on your photo booth rental business and the outstanding customer service you deliver.

Business Outline

When I first started my photo booth business, I did not have a comprehensive business plan. I wanted to launch quickly and did not want to spend a ton of time on a long business plan that I would need to alter and change anyway.

My initial focus was to purchase the bare minimum of what I needed to start working quickly to generate income.

I created an outline of my first-year goals which looked similar to this:

  • Start with a budget of $3K – $5K
  • Purchase one versatile photo booth and the necessary equipment to launch
  • Develop a logo (or have one made)
  • Develop a website (or have one made)
  • Research competitive pricing in my local market
  • Market to corporations and organizations through Facebook groups
  • Market to community groups on Facebook
  • Use Google ads to generate bookings
  • Generate 25 bookings within the first 3 months
  • Generate 100 bookings within one year

Keep in mind that you’ll need to budget for monthly software costs, advertising expenses,

I’d highly recommend starting a photo booth business concurrently with other employment. Many business owners do leave their full-time jobs to pursue their booth business full-time after they establish themselves in the market.

  • After you get a feel for the photo booth industry and your own business,

Which Equipment To Purchase?

Equipment & Expenses to Launch Your Business:

  • Photo Booth & Software subscription
  • iPad (if using an iPad-based booth)
  • Backdrops
  • Backdrop Stand
  • Printer (if offering prints)
  • Lighting
  • Props
  • Extension Cords & Power Strips
  • Collapsable Cart for Transporting Equipment
  • Gaffe TapeOptional But Highly Recommended:
  • Canva Pro subscription (for photo design templates)
  • Check Cherry CRM subscription
  • Google Ads
  • Bark Credits
  • Fiverr or Upwork for Design Contractors
  • Website Hosting Service

The Photo Booth & Software – How To Choose?

There are various types of photo booths to choose from. There’s the trendy 360 photo booth, the iPad-based photo booths, DSLR booths, interactive mirror booths, self-roaming booths, enclosed booths, vintage booths, and the list goes on.

With so many choices out there, how do you choose which equipment to purchase first if you’re just starting off?

Depending on your budget, you may be tempted to buy a variety of photo booths and test the waters on how they each perform.

I’d recommend against that unless you really know the market well and/or have solid, established connections within the photo booth or entertainment industry.

When I was first beginning, I wanted a photo booth that would appeal to a wide variety of customers and events.

I also wanted a photo booth that had exceptional software, and great customer service, and that I could manage loading and setting up on my own.

After much research, I came across the Salsa Booth from Photo Booth Supply Co. This booth is elegant, stylish, and can fit into any venue with ease.

Salsa Photo Booth from Photo Booth Supply Co

It is an open-air booth with a wide lens to capture a large crowd of people in one shot. It’s very easy to transport and set up and the equipment is sturdy and very well-made.

The Salsa Booth runs on an iPad-based photo booth. It not only takes great pictures, but it also is very user-friendly. Anyone can operate it on their own – even kids – as it provides easy prompts to guide the user through the screens.

With the Salsa, you’ll need to purchase an iPad. I use the 12.5 iPad Pro for my Salsa booth. It captures beautiful pictures and I have bundled the iPad payment into my monthly phone bill.

With the Salsa Booth, guests can capture photos, GIFs, Boomerangs, and videos. These captures can be printed, emailed, sent via text, through AirDrop, or even assigned a QR code.

Since I had so much success with the Salsa Booth, I bought their new 360 booth, the Tortilla. Unlike other 360 booths that are heavy to transport, one person can transport the Tortilla.

Tortilla 360 Booth

This was one of the biggest selling points for me. Instead of having to hire employees, I could transport the Tortilla and set up the event myself.

The Tortilla also has some innovative features. It has a Bluetooth-enabled remote, motion detection, and an elegant, minimalist design.

All of the Photo Booth Supply Company products come with ready-made photo templates that can be directly edited within the program.

Designs can also be uploaded through Canva or other design sites.

Salsa Photo Booth Template with Revisions

There is 24-hour customer support through the Photo Booth Supply Co so if you’re in a bind and need help, they will help you quickly.

If you are already a photographer or have experience using DSLR cameras and would like a sharper, professional-grade image, I would highly recommend the Guac and Chips offered through the Photo Booth Supply Co.

The Guac and Chips booth includes the same software as the Salsa, but instead of an iPad, it operates through a DSLR camera with an iPad-based interface. It also comes with an accompanying DNA 620a fast dye printer that will spit out professional and high-quality shots in seconds for your guests.

The price tag on the Guac and Chips is higher due to the camera and printer included, but it also allows you to charge more per event.

Whichever route you go, make sure you read the reviews of the various photo booth suppliers out there. A quality supplier should provide exceptional equipment and seamless software. They should also rate highly for customer support.

Photo Booth Backdrops and Stands

photo booth backdrop from PB Backdrops

Photo booth backdrops come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them look very cheap while others look very professional.

Don’t skimp on the backdrops or the backdrop stands.

High-quality backdrops will make your pictures stand out and set you apart from photo booth businesses that try to take shortcuts.

PB Backdrops offers high-quality backdrops at good prices. I highly recommend the double-sided pillowcase backdrops. There are a ton of styles to choose from.

As a new photo booth business owner, I would offer a minimum of 6 backdrops on your website for your clients to choose from.

Before deciding, look at the latest Instagram and Pinterest posts to see which backdrops are trending.

Here are the backdrops I offer on my site. These backdrop choices have worked very well for the diversity of events I offer.

For your backdrop stand, I would recommend the Atlas Stand from the Photo Booth Supply Company. These stands work seamlessly with the PB pillowcase backdrops. They are well-priced and excellent quality.

If you have the budget to purchase two stands, I’d highly recommend doing this as you never know when you’ll have a part break at an event. Having a back-up stand will ensure you are prepared.

Before purchasing the backdrops, email PB Backdrops owner Brian to ensure your order is compatible with the Atlas Stand. He understands the dimensions of the Atlas Stand and will ensure you receive the right order.

PB Backdrops also offers sale items and bundles to keep costs down. They are well-known in the photo booth industry and are always coming out with innovative designs.

In fact, they just came out with an LED Party Wall backdrop that looks amazing.

*Important Tip: DO NOT set up your Atlas Stand free-standing. Set up the Atlas Stand against a tall barrier (wall or fence) at all your events. Without a tall barrier, guests may fall back on it. This will break your backdrop. It has happened to my stands several times.

Props – To Use Them Or Not to Use Them?

Taylor Swift themed photo booth

This is a recurring debate in the photo booth industry. Some photo booth business owners attest to never using a prop as it takes away from the elegant nature of the setup and event.

Other photo boothers always use props.

What I recommend is to ask your clients. It depends on what they want since they are the ones paying for the event!

Some clients will really appreciate customized props and screens and others don’t care or prefer not to have them.

Regardless, instead of making the decision on props for them, I always ask my clients if they have a thematic event and if they are trying to follow a color scheme. Clients really appreciate this.

If a client elects to have customized props, you can buy or make props that fit their theme and color scheme.

For example, recently I was hired at a Taylor Swift-themed birthday party. The client wanted props to make the colors of the banners they were using so I worked on Canva to create a customized screen to match these colors and brought some high-quality hats and sunglasses to fit the theme.

For unique props that last, I would highly recommend buying a Cricut machine and making your own. It’s very easy to use and the props look so much more professional than the paper cutouts from Amazon and you don’t have to keep ordering props for every customized event.

Here are some that I’ve easily made on my Cricut

Original Props

You can buy blank, unfinished wood boards and blackboards from Amazon and then use the Cricut adhesive rolls to customize and apply them on the boards.

I buy all of my hats, sunglasses, and LED signs from Amazon. I like to buy higher quality and unique hats and sunglasses that wow clients and last a while.

If you’re not crafty and would rather pay someone to mail you props, I’d recommend going through PB Backdrops. They have a huge variety of quality props, backdrops, LED signs and whatever else you are looking for.

Offering distinctive backdrops, themed props, and personalized experiences can help you stand out in the photo booth market.

Marketing Your Photo Booth Services Effectively

Social media marketing

Businesses need effective marketing to succeed. The power of social media sharing and networking with event planners can play a significant role in your business’s success.

The marketing of photo booth services heavily relies on social media. It facilitates brand awareness, and customer engagement, and drives traffic to your website.

Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter are particularly effective for marketing a photo booth business due to their large user base and visual-centric content.

However, merely having a social media presence isn’t enough.

Here are some strategies to increase your reach and customer engagement:

  • Offer incentives like contests and giveaways
  • Use custom branding
  • Share photos with the right hashtags
  • Collaborate with influencers and local businesses
  • Create engaging content
  • Run social media ads

Implementing these strategies can significantly increase your reach and customer engagement.

Networking with Event Planners

Establishing connections with event planners can pave the way for diverse opportunities in your photo booth business. It creates opportunities for:

  • Partnerships
  • Referrals
  • Increased bookings
  • Exposure to new potential clients

To establish a successful networking relationship, you need to:

  • Provide a unique pitch showcasing the distinctiveness and advantages of your photo booths
  • Provide evidence of previous accomplishments
  • Propose competitive pricing
  • Underscore the convenience and exceptional customer service of your company

A good relationship with an event planner can lead to a steady flow of business.

Buy Google Ads

Google Ads are a great way to kickstart leads to your website and secure bookings. Unless you know what you’re doing, I recommend hiring an ads professional to expedite your site to the first page so you can focus on the business and not the marketing.

Encouraging Customer Feedback

The growth and improvement of your business greatly benefit from invaluable customer feedback. It provides insights into the performance and reception of your services, highlighting areas that require enhancement or additional features.

Encouraging feedback can be as simple as asking for it. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Request reviews from your customers.
  2. Provide exceptional service to encourage positive feedback.
  3. Create a branded hashtag for social sharing.
  4. Select the right review platforms to reach your target audience.
  5. Offer unique incentives for customers to leave feedback.
  6. Prioritize guest experience to increase the likelihood of positive reviews.
  7. Directly seek feedback from customers through surveys or follow-up emails.

Remember, negative feedback can also be an opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction and service improvement.

Innovations in Photo Booth Technology

Innovative photo booth technology

Keeping abreast of the latest technological innovations is instrumental to maintaining competitiveness in the rapidly evolving photo booth industry. From cutting-edge software to new booth types, let’s see how you can leverage technology to keep your photo booth business ahead of the curve.

Utilizing Cutting-Edge Photo Booth Software

The customer experience can be significantly elevated by integrating advanced photo booth software into your business operations. Augmented reality, green screen backgrounds, and social media integration are just some of the features that can make your photo booth stand out.

Software not only improves the customer experience but also streamlines your operations. Some tools that can make your work much easier include:

  • Tools for managing bookings and payments
  • Tools for supporting efficient content production
  • Tools for enabling user-friendly delivery of high-quality images

When selecting software, look for advanced features like:

  • VideoFX
  • DSLR capabilities
  • Airdrop functionality
  • Customizable branding
  • Options for creating static images, GIFs, and videos
  • Seamless integration with social media
  • Photo printing capabilities

Expanding Your Offerings with New Booth Types

Expansion of your offerings with novel booth types can help cater to a wider range of clientele. The current market offers a variety of options, including:

  • Open-air booths
  • Ring light booths
  • Mirror booths
  • LED booths
  • iPad-based booths
  • Video booths

These different booth types can appeal to a variety of clients. For instance, mirror photo booths can engage retail businesses, while 360-degree photo booths can offer a unique entertainment option. Offering a variety of booth styles shows that you are adaptable and committed to meeting diverse customer needs.

Scaling Your Photo Booth Rental Business

Having established the foundation of your photo booth business, the next question is how to elevate it. The escalation of your business necessitates strategic planning, encompassing the expansion of offerings and management of growth challenges.

Strategies for Expansion

While expanding your business may appear overwhelming, appropriate strategies can facilitate a seamless transition. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Attract corporate clients
  • Choose a specific market and niche
  • Optimize your website for search engines
  • Utilize social media marketing
  • Offer incentives and promotions
  • Invest in quality equipment
  • Diversify your services

By implementing these strategies, you can increase your chances of successful business expansion.

Don’t limit your business to a local market; the global photo booth market offers immense growth potential. And remember, launching new products or services requires careful planning and execution. Partnerships can also contribute to your business expansion by:

  • Offering comprehensive packages
  • Leveraging existing networks for lead generation
  • Building relationships and getting referrals from other photo booth companies
  • Collaborating with local newspapers for increased exposure and trust.

Managing Growth Challenges

The growth of your business is directly proportional to the magnitude of the challenges you will encounter. Some common challenges include:

  • Heightened competition
  • Fluctuating demand
  • Limited resources
  • Changing market trends

However, with effective strategies, these challenges can be successfully managed.

Offering exceptional service, fostering customer reviews, implementing competitive pricing, establishing a strong brand, and delivering high-quality, engaging photos can help you handle heightened competition.

In managing fluctuating demand, consider investing in efficient equipment and preparing for season-based variations in demand.

Lastly, maintaining quality service during expansion is crucial, so focus on punctuality, a professional appearance, broadening marketing efforts, and potentially offering services for events.


Starting a successful photo booth business involves understanding the industry landscape, crafting a comprehensive business plan, setting up your company with high-quality equipment and necessary permits, effectively marketing your services, ensuring customer satisfaction, staying updated with the latest technology, and strategically scaling your business. While the journey may seem challenging, the rewards of capturing smiles and creating lasting memories are worth it. So, are you ready to click-start your photo booth business?

Frequently Asked Questions

How profitable is a photo booth business?

A photobooth business can be very profitable, with an average net income of around $800 per event after covering expenses.

Is 360 photo booth a good business?

Yes, a 360 photo booth can be a good business opportunity as it can lead to more bookings and referrals for your business.

What equipment is needed for a photo booth?

You will need a photo booth shell, camera, printer, and touchscreen monitor to control the software. Additionally, consider a camera tripod, background stand, background, spotlight, lighting umbrella, tape, and a hammer and nails (optional).

How do I get photo booth clients?

To attract photobooth clients, utilize social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok to showcase your work, share pricing, display your photo booth setup, and highlight positive reviews. This can help you reach a wider audience and attract potential clients.

What is the current market size of the photo booth industry?

The current market size of the photo booth industry in the United States is USD 593.45 million, projected to reach USD 1,234.23 million by 2032.

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