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What The Heck Are Open Air Photo Booths?! | Booth Boy Photo Booth
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Open air photo booths, also referred to simply as an open photo booth is a relatively new photo booth trend to hit the market. Fast gaining popularity the open air photo booth is becoming hugely popular for weddings, corporate events, festivals, parties and school formals.

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But what exactly is an open air photo booth?

The first vision that generally pops into a persons mind when they hear the term photo booth is that of an enclosed box which you step into. Concealed behind a curtain there is generally a bench seat and enough room for a few people to squish in. After following instructions on a touch screen the photo booth takes a series of photographs and prints out photo strips for you to take home.

Whilst there are certainly similarities between open and closed photo booths the open style booth generally tends to build upon the virtues of a closed booth, offering a fun and modern twist on the classic closed style booth.

“it’s for these reasons we’re seeing a steady increase in the popularity of open booths”

The easiest way to describe an open air photo booth is that it is like a portable photographic studio. There is no ‘booth’ as such that users step into, but rather a photographic backdrop that users stand in front of. From here the setup can vary greatly from one open photo booth hire company to the next, both in quality and setup.

At the simple end of the spectrum some photographers will place a camera on a tripod and use this to capture photographs. Guests will stand in front of the backdrop and the photographer will instruct them to pose whilst capturing their photo. At the time guests can’t see their photographs, nor do they receive prints. Rather, the photographer will deliver the photographs as digital files after the event.

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Stepping up a notch we have photographers with a similar setup, they will however include a printer and offer instant prints during the event.

The problem with such a setup however is that guests have a photographer posing them, instructing them and generally playing a large role in the process. This can make a lot of guests feel uncomfortable and self conscious and thats not the experience a good photo booth should offer, nor is it the experience that leads to the most candid, creative and fun photos possible.

So then, what would you consider a good open photo booth to be?

Well, similar to the way closed photo booths are operated by the user via a touch screen, there are a number of open air photo booth hire companies offering booths based around a similar user experience. This is the kind of photo booth we offer at Booth Boy.

These style open photo booths typically consist of a unit which houses a touch screen and a camera, the units are usually the height and size of an average person and can be self standing or sit on a tripod or stand.

Here’s how the experience plays out from a users point of view:

  • grab some props from the props box or table
  • stand in front of the background
  • touch the screen on the open photo booth to begin a series of photos
  • photos are printed instantly, collect them, stick them in the guestbook or take them home
  • Leave with a smile on your face!
  • Drink more alcohol
  • Repeat
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Why would I hire an open booth over a closed booth?

There are many reasons why someone might choose to hire an open photo booth over a closed booth and it’s for these reasons we’re seeing a steady increase in the popularity of open booths. The closed photo booth on the other hand is starting to become somewhat dated. Lets take a look at a few of the virtues of an open photo booth –

  • Open air photo booths can generally fit a lot more people in the photo! A closed booth offers a small space for users to squeeze into, the camera is only a few feet from the user and typically it can be a struggle to fit more that a few people in one photo. On the other hand, because open photo booths use a large backdrop guests can walk freely into the area and strike a pose using their entire body! The most people we’ve ever had in one of our open photo booths is 15, although we once had a conga line of 50 people dance through it 🙂


  • Image quality. A great photograph is about a few factors, in the case of a photo booth, two defining factors are camera quality and lighting. It’s not uncommon for many photo booth operators to use a low quality camera, some even use webcams. This stands for both open and closed photo booths, so it’s important to make sure your operator uses a professional DSLR.


  • Lighting is one area where open photo booths really excel, the setup offers great potential for operators to provide extremely high quality lighting with flattering yet vibrant photographs where everyone looks great. In order to achieve such results however the operator must have a good understanding of photography and lighting, it’s what really sets some hire companies apart from the crowd.


  • Accessibility. Open air photo booths are incredibly portable, the setup can be broken down and carried into difficult to access areas, such as up stairs and through narrow doors. This can pose many a problem for closed booths which tend to be quite bulky and heavy.


  • Super happy mega fun! Yeah, that’s right. One awesome aspect of open photo booths is that it’s easy for guests to jump in on the action, photo bombing has never been easier! Wasn’t to drag aunty May into the shot? No problem! It’s simply more interactive and that leads to super happy mega fun!

So there you go. Hopefully by now you’ve learnt a little more about open photo booths and can make an educated decision when deciding what style of photo booth to hire! While you’re here feel free to take a look around we offer photo booth hire on the Northern Beaches, Sydney, Newcastle, Hunter Valley, The South Coast and Sutherland Shire.

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Published by Booth Boy

Booth Boy, AKA Samuel Burns is a professional photographer with over 15 years experience in the industry. With a background in both commercial and wedding photography and a host of awards to his name Samuel founded Booth Boy to raise the bar in the photo booth industry and offer the highest quality service available.

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