So you’re planning for a photobooth rental and are looking for a decently priced, self-service photo booth for your guests. But with so many options on the market, how do you choose which photo booth provider to go with?
Well that’s where we’d like to be able to help you out!
In this blog post we’re going to compare Pixilated Photo Booth rentals with other leading market optionsBooth By Mail, Booth By Demand, and Shutterbooth.
Why are we comparing our business with our competitors?
Well, firstly, a lot has changed with planning events over the last few years.
What used to be a priority may now no longer be possible, and your needs will be different. But, above all, we want to help you make an informed decision about what’s best for you.
While we’d love it if every person chose us for their next big event, it’s also important to us that you have all of the right information before you make a decision.
So, let’s dive right in and start looking at each of these options!
Booth By Mail
Booth By Mail offers a nationwide, 24/7 service, anywhere in the lower 48 United States.
With a variety of backdrops available, you can select your booth as a digital option only (photos will be received by text or email), or with a printer and limited number of prints.
Tech support is also on hand in case you need help troubleshooting, with a handy phone number to call.
What do you get?
Everything you need for your event can be ordered through their website.
With every rental you’ll get:
- The camera, stand, and light
- A sequin backdrop with stand
- Paper props
- Touchscreen tablet
- Printer and packs of photo paper (if you selected this option)
Bear in mind that you can either connect the booth to WiFi or to the printer, but not both at the same time.
Additionally, the photo paper will need to be cut by hand in order to separate the prints.
Rental is for the entire night of your event, with no hourly time limit, so the party doesn’t stop until you say it does. You can even add a custom logo to your photos for an additional $25.
If you opt for the Instant Digital Sharing option, you’ll receive instant text and email sharing of your images, as well as a free digital album of all of the event’s photos.
For the Instant Printing option, you’ll get 100 photo prints as standard (which you can add to), and a free digital album of all of the event’s photos.
How is it Shipped?
About 1–2 days before your event, your photo booth package will arrive at your designated address by UPS.
The first business day after the event, you simply pack everything back up, stick the provided UPS label on it, and drop it off to your local UPS depot. Shipping on both ends is free.
Is it Hard to Set Up?
Set up should only take 5 minutes, as it has been designed to be user-friendly.
To set up the booth, simply take everything out of the box, pick where you’d like to place it in your venue, and put it together.
You will need a nearby power outlet in order to power the tablet, light, and printer, as well as your own tape to keep things safe for your guests.
And while you don’t need an attendant, you will need someone to periodically reload the photo paper if you opt for the printer option.
If you run into difficulties, you can always get in touch with their technical support for help.
- Free round-shipping anywhere in the lower 48 United States
- You don’t need an attendant
- Set up is quick and easy
- You can opt for either digital prints or physical ones
- Pricing starts at $288, which is very decent for a photobooth service
- You can add a custom logo to the prints
- 24/7 tech support is available
- While you don’t need an attendant, some customers have reported that functionality was confusing and you needed extra instructions available so that the guests knew how to work the booth
- Someone needs to monitor the printer if you opt for the physical prints, which can be time-consuming
- You need to physically cut the photo paper strips, as they don’t come pre-cut
- You can only receive photos digitally or physically, not both, as the booth can only connect to one or the other
- You need to be near an outlet, as the entire system needs to be plugged in
- Some customers reported that the single continuous light from the camera was not enough light for the booth
- Multiple customers reported that the paper props were of poor quality, and so had to provide their own higher-quality props
- There is only one option for photo booth and camera, with or without physical prints
Booth By Demand
Booth By Demand is one of the original DIY photo booth options on the market.
A family-run business, Booth By Demand has expanded into a DIY DJ/Karaoke and movie night parties.
With free round-trip nationwide shipping, Booth By Demand can service your event needs all over the country.
Need tech support? The owners themselves are available for 24/7 assistance.
What do you get?
Order everything on the website, and choose from 21 different colored and sequined backdrops- or opt for the stand alone with no backdrop, or no stand or backdrop at all.
- Camera/touch-screen system and built in ring-light
- Your choice of backdrop and stand
- Basic free graphic design
You can also add on:
- After-event unlimited printed photos, or on-site printed photos (108 or 216 photos)
- A WiFi hotspot (important to note that venue Guest networks will not connect to the printer, so if that’s the only WiFi option at your venue, you’ll need to pay for the hotspot)
- A variety of different props
- Accidental damage insurance
- An upgrade to a custom graphic design, which includes 2–3 designer proofs in the theme/colors of the event, and 3 change requests
If you opt for the digital only prints, then your guests can download these by touch-free QR code, text message, or email from the booth.
For on-site prints, you’ll have to set up the (supplied) printer and photo paper. Bear in mind that you’ll likely need to add on the WiFi hotspot option.
You will need a nearby outlet, as this is a wired system, so be sure to factor in gaff tape to stick cords down onto the floor, too!
As with the other DIY photo booths in this review, no attendant is needed, but you may want to assign someone to check on the printer periodically if you go for that option.
After your event is over, Booth By Demand will email you a private gallery of all of your photos from the evening.
There is also a corporate option, which starts at $375, and includes the option to add on extra days, a balloon garland, or balloon banner.
How is it Shipped?
Again, you’ve got free round-trip UPS shipping on Booth By Demand.
It should arrive at your designated address 3–4 days before your event, and is due to be returned the following business day after your event ends.
When you’re finished, simply pack everything up and then either drop it off at a UPS location, or schedule a pick-up.
Booth By Demand will even email you the day before the due date with a link to schedule this.
Is it Hard to Set Up?
For first timers, Booth By Demand claims it takes 15 minutes from start to finish.
Other reviews we’ve read said that it was a very simple process, and if there was any troubleshooting required, the 24/7 tech support was very helpful.
- Excellent customer service—it’s the owners you’re talking to, 24/7, so they have a vested interest in helping you out. They also have a chat function on the website
- Huge amount of choice when it comes to backgrounds and prop kit add-ons
- Probably one of the lowest priced photo booth rentals on the market, starting at only $275
- Free basic graphic customization on all of your prints
- Simple, easy to use system, which your guests will be able to work without needing any assistance
- Great range of digital photo download options, as well as the option to add-on prints
- The hotspot ensures that you won’t be stuck without WiFi
- While there’s great choice with the backdrops, they’re not very wide, so to get best use out of them you’ll need to really get in tight
- You don’t need an attendant, but you will need someone to monitor the printer, which can be time consuming
- The photo paper available in the packages is quite limited and expensive
- The whole system needs to be plugged in order to work, meaning you’ll need to make sure cables are properly managed so that your guests don’t trip, and your set-up will have to be near an outlet
- There is only one option for a touch-screen camera, which has a built-in ring-light
- They tend to sell out early, especially around busier periods, such as the holiday season, so you may not be able to book when you want it
- Due to the WiFi limitations, you’ll probably have to pay extra for the hotspot option
- The information on the website is a little sparse and hard to navigate, so if you’re looking for specific information (such as exactly where they ship, or how your photo booth works), you may not be able to find it.
Shutterbooth is a nationwide franchise photo booth service, with 74 different locations available.
Of all of the options on the list, it has the most customizable elements and different photo services.
Unlike the others on the list, you will need an attendant—what they call a ‘Host’—to help you operate on the night, and this is not a ship-to-you DIY option.
All of the Shutterbooth photo booths are customizable, and there are a whopping 10 different booths to choose from.
Some are more what you’re used to, such as the Kiosk, Open Air, or Old Fashioned booths, while others, such as the 360º Booth, Hashtag Printer, or BoomArray booths offer a little bit more in terms of pizazz.
You can even live out your best Matrix life with the 3D Camera Array.
The available photo booths are:
- 360º Booth: A rotating platform with camera, to capture you in a 360º video
- Open Air booth: Most similar to the DIY booths, you can use provided backdrops, custom backdrops, green screen, and more. Photos can be shared through email, text, social media, and instant prints
- Kiosk booth: A flat screen kiosk with built-in camera, this is the sleekest solution in the range. Photos can be shared through email, text, social media, and instant prints
- Marketing kiosk: Ideal for corporate events, this booth features a small touch-screen with built-in camera and ring light
- Old Fashioned booth: Styled like a vintage stand-up camera but with a built-in touch-screen, camera, and light, this booth will print both black and white or modern photos.
- Enclosed booth: A classic curtained photo booth, you can collect your prints outside the booth when you’re done
- Hashtag Printer: With this interactive station, the photos will automatically be added to the gallery on the printing station with a pre-selected event hashtag. Images can then be printed, emailed, texted, or shared on Facebook or Twitter.
- BoomArray: This booth specializes in Boomerang-style GIFs.
- 3D Camera Array: 3D GIFs or .mp4 videos can be created with this special bit of equipment, so if you really want to go for the Matrix slow-mo action shot, you can!
- Shutterpod: very similar to the Open Air booth but in a slightly slicker design, this booth has all of the same capabilities.
In addition to this, there are various services you can add, such as the Glam Booth option which virtually airbrushes all of the photos, various video booth options, a green screen, filters, animated backgrounds and overlays, music add-ons, glitch, pop art, and comic book effects, and more.
For corporate events, they can even do custom installations and branding, as well as entire social media walls. You can add props, guestbooks, photo favors, and signage, too. Whatever you can think of, it can be part of your package.
They even have virtual solutions for online-based events—increasingly useful in a pandemic world. These include online photo mosaics, virtual photo booths, and remotely created mosaic GIFs.
- Huge range of booths to choose from, as well as services
- Most of the cameras in the booths are actual SLR cameras, meaning high-quality photos
- The most customizable of all of the options
- No need to worry about setting it up or packing it down, as everything will be done for you
- A wide range of options for how you can receive your photos, digitally and in print, as well as display options at your actual event
- Someone will always be manning the stations for you, so no need for you to have to troubleshoot
- As each Shutterbooth is locally owned, they may not have all of the services offered on the website
- Quality of service may vary from location to location
- You need to request a quote and, considering all of the technology and the fact that you need a ‘Host’ to run it for you, it’s likely very pricey
- If you want a simple ‘set and forget’ option, that’s not going to be a Shutterbooth
- The footprint can be quite large for set-up, especially on some of the larger booth options
- You’ll need access to outlets for all of their booths and have to deal with cables
- Some customers reported that with larger events, there was a huge photo backlog
- The website is quite confusing and they aren’t very transparent with their pricing, making it hard to know what you’re actually looking for.
Pixilated Photo Booth Rentals
While office hours are from 9–5, Monday to Friday, there’s a 24-hour text (SMS) support number available if you need it.
What do you get?
Everything you need for your photo booth rental comes in a single 24” x 24” x 10” box, weighing less than 25 pounds.
Here’s what you get in the standard box:
- Your photo booth kiosk
- A tripod floor stand
- x2 battery power packs
- x1 USB wall charger
- x1 instruction card and x1 return label
In addition to this, you can add extras. These include:
- Additional rental days (rented by the day, rather than the hour)
- 4 different styles of backdrop
- Prepared props, or printable props
- 4x6 high-quality gloss prints to be shipped to you 7–10 days after the event (with free shipping!)
- A WiFi hotspot device (with USB power cord, wall plug adaptor, and protective case)
- Customized design and display on your photo booth
And here’s where Pixilated are a little different for an affordable DIY photobooth.
Instead of having a single booth option, there are 4 different booths. These are:
- The original photo booth: This comes with either the standard 8MP camera (includes an LED light source with different brightness settings), or you can upgrade to the pro 18MP camera (built-in smart flash that adjusts to lighting automatically)
- The GIF photobooth: With our GIF photobooth rental you can either use it for traditional photo booth images, or for animated GIFs
- The Black & White photo booth: This booth applies a monochrome filter to every photo, with just the right amount of contrast for that Old Hollywood glamor effect
- The Green Screen photo booth: Provided with a green screen backdrop and stand (shipped separately), everything for the green screen gets dialed in before it’s shipped out to you for your event.
The design team will reach out as soon as your order is placed, and you then work directly with them to create the backdrop of your dreams.
You can either work with their templates or design from scratch! All you have to do then is turn it on and connect it to WiFi. Your guests can choose from up to 4 different backgrounds!
All of the booths provide you with a link to view and download images from your event, once the booth has been returned. All images on the night can be emailed or texted to up to 5 people.
We even have a virtual photo booth option now, for all live, virtual, or hybrid events.
How is it shipped?
There’s free 2-way UPS shipping, with your photo booth guaranteed to arrive at least one day prior to your event.
Simply pack everything up in the original box and drop it off at your nearest UPS store the next business day following your event to return it.
Return shipping is always free!
Is it Hard to Set up?
Pixilated photo booths are extremely user-friendly and easy to set up—it takes one person 5 minutes to set up any of the booths without backdrops, and less than 10 minutes to set up both the booth kiosk and backdrop.
We’ve developed our very own software system and designed our kiosks to perform right out of the box, so you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects–it just works!
There are picture instructions included, just in case, and you can always contact text support for help!
- With over 10 years in the biz, we’ve been through a lot of changes and have custom designed our booths to be user-friendly, lightweight and simple to operate. They’re made in the USA (by us!), so we know exactly how to troubleshoot them, if necessary
- There are four different DIY booths to choose from, with the cheapest option starting at $288 (incredibly affordable!) and the green screen at $899 (outrageously affordable!)
- You know what all of your costs are up-front, as our online ordering system will calculate it all for you—no hidden costs!
- The 18mp Pro camera is the best camera option in the self-service realm, meaning your photos are crisp, clear, and high-quality
- 24-hour fast text support, so that, if you need it and when you need it, we can help you
- Military, first responders, and teachers can all save up to 15% on rental, thanks to our partners GovX
- Crucially, all of our photo booth kiosks run on rechargeable batteries- so there are no pesky cables for your guests to trip over- and you can set the booth up anywhere at your event without being tied to an outlet. You’ll have two of these for your evening- plus a USB wall charger, should you need it
- It’s lightweight and has a small footprint—without a backdrop, the kiosk will only take up less than 3 square feet
- No attendant needed! The booths are so user-friendly, it’s easy for your guests to take their own photos
- There are various bundles available—eg. Wedding, Holiday Essentials, and Company Holiday Party—which include props, backdrops, and prints.
- While the prop options are extensive, they are all paper-based, so you may want to add in some of your own props
- If you’re in a remote or outdoor location, you’ll probably want to add in the hotspot option, just to ensure you can access your photos immediately
- No physical print option available on the night, only after the event
- While the light provided is very good, if you’re in a particularly dark venue, you may need to supply extra lighting.
So there you have it, the three major competitors—Booth By Mail, Booth By Demand, Shutterbooth—and us, Pixilated.
While the choice is ultimately going to be up to you and your needs, here are the main things that put us over the top of the rest:
- We have hundreds of 5-star reviews from happy customers. Those are real people with real opinions—so don’t just take it from us! Take it from all of them!
- We have the widest range of DIY photo booth kiosks, for the lowest price
- We have the leading highest quality camera (18mp) for a DIY photo booth
- We, crucially, have no attendants and no cables! Completely battery-powered, baby! That means no tripping over cables, and no tethering to the corner where the one outlet in the venue is
- It is so user-friendly—we know that anyone can use our booths, because that’s exactly how we designed it–both software and hardware–and what our customers say, time and time again!
We hope that’s given you a bit of extra insight into why we think we’re the best out there, as well as what our leading competitors can offer.
We’re proud of what we do, and we’d love to help you put on your next event. That's why we love serving you all the information you need to know about photo booths. So that you can make a well informed decision.
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and place your order, and let us help you make memories that last a lifetime!