We talk to Jill Powell of ShutterBooth New England about why photo booths are so popular for any event – and are among the best fun wedding ideas – and she shares her favorite stories.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. Welcome to our series of podcasts with wedding vendors for The Essex Room, Woodman’s wedding and function facility on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Today I’m here with Jill Powell of ShutterBooth New England.
Jill Powell: Hi, John. How’re you doing?
John: Good. Jill, can you tell me a little bit about your business? You rent photo booths to events all across New England. Is that right?
Jill: We do, yes. We are New England’s premier photo booth company. We rent out photo booths for any special event. We basically will bring our photo booth to any wedding venue or any event venue, and set it up, and take some great pictures throughout the evening.
How to have a fun wedding: get a photo booth!
John: I’ve seen this before at a couple events that I’ve been to. What makes a photo booth a fun, unique feature to add to a wedding or event?
Jill: It actually provides an instant takeaway at each event. You go in the booth, you take four photos, and they print out on a photo strip, similar to what a lot of people used to do when they went to the movie theaters, or the mall, or a fair. It brings in that novelty aspect that a lot of weddings and events are looking for.
John: It’s something a little bit different and a little bit fun for people to do at these types of events and weddings. Sometimes you’re waiting at the reception for the bride and groom to go take pictures or something like that, and there’s a little downtime there. It provides a little something for people to do during those times.
Jill: Definitely. We do a lot of cocktail hours. We’ll stay there during dinner, and then it also is a nice break from the dance floor. If you need a breather to get off the dance floor, you can go hop in the photo booth, put on some fun props, and take a photo.
John: Photo booths really were quite popular for a while. Are they still in high demand for weddings?
Jill: Absolutely, yes. We’re busier than ever right now. We’re doing a lot, a lot of weddings. I think it’s once people go to a wedding and see a ShutterBooth there, then they’ll call us and want us to go their wedding. They’re in high demand right now.
John: Great. Can couples request specific props for their photo booth, to maybe match the theme of their wedding?
Jill: Absolutely. We get a lot of requests for themed props. Some of our most popular themed props are nautical props. We’ve had some beach‑themed props. We’ve had Mardi Gras. You name it we can do it for you.
We have a nautical‑themed prop box going out this weekend, so we got a lot of sailor hats and lobsters, sailboats. It’s going to be fun.
John: Some people are doing a country theme or something like that. You might have cowboy hats or things like that.
Jill: Absolutely. We’ve done a couple of country themes. We’ve done some Gatsby themes. We can do just about anything.
John: That’s a lot of fun. What if no one at the wedding uses the photo booth? Does that ever happen, or are they popular enough that people really get into it?
Jill: Someone is always going to use the photo booth. Every once in a while, it’s a slow start, but once one person goes in and gets their photo strip, they’ll go around the wedding, show everybody, and then before you know it we have a line.
We always send a host, who is there making sure everyone’s having a great time with the booth. If it’s slow at the beginning of the night, they might pop around to a few people, ask them if they want to take some pictures, and then it will spread like wildfire across the wedding.
John: Right. Once somebody at your table comes back and shows you their strip of pictures, you go, “Oh, where’s that? I need to go do that.”
Jill: “I need to have some, too.” Exactly, and then they keep coming back for more, too.
Fun props or themes to use with a wedding photobooth
John: What are some fun things that past couples or clients of yours have done with the photos after the event? Do people tend to take those photo strips home with them?
Jill: Yep. We offer unlimited photos, unlimited prints so they can bring home some copies. A lot of times, people will post them online using the bride and groom’s Twitter or Instagram hashtag right away, so that will go up on the Internet fairly quickly.
I know I’ve been to a lot of my friend’s houses who have had photo booths at their weddings and they have them right up on the fridge. We actually offer magnet sleeves that the strips slide right into, so you can bring it home and put it right on your fridge.
Then we have some great options for brides and grooms, also. We send them a CD with all of the images from the booths after their event and we actually have the capability to make a great memory collage for them. We’ll compile about 30 photos from the booths at their wedding, put it into a memory collage, frame it, and send it off to them.
It’s a really nice keepsake and something nice to have, as well.
John: That’s really great that you, in addition to getting the printed strip of pictures, you actually save all of those pictures and you can give those to the bride and groom afterwards.
Jill: Yes. We mail them a CD. We also post them online. Every event that’s booked with us gets an online gallery where guests can later go on, find their photos. They can order enlargements. They can order a canvas print of a photo that was in the booth. There’s a lot of different things that they can do with their photos.
John: That’s great. Why don’t you tell people a little bit about how they can get in touch with you, if they’re interested in renting a photo booth for their wedding.
Jill: Sure. We’d love to hear from you. We are ShutterBooth New England. Our website is ShutterBoothNE.com, or you can give us a call at (781) 215‑9515, extension 2. My name is Jill. You’ll be talking with me, and I’d be happy to work out a package for any event.
John: That’s excellent information, and that sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for speaking with me today, Jill.
Jill: Absolutely. Thanks for having me.
John: For more information about The Essex Room and tips on wedding planning, you can visit The Essex Room website at EssexRoom.com or call (978) 768‑7335.