Renting vs. Buying Photo Booths: Pros & Cons

Renting vs. Buying Photo Booths: Pros & Cons

Introduction: Renting vs. Buying a Photo Booth

Which Option is Best for Brands and Businesses?

In the digital age, businesses are constantly seeking innovative ways to engage with their customers and leave a lasting impression. One popular solution that has gained significant popularity is the use of photo booth rentals.

These interactive and fun setups offer a unique opportunity for brands to enhance their marketing efforts, promote their products or services, and create memorable experiences for their target audience. 

However, a common dilemma faced by brands and businesses is whether to rent or buy a photo booth. In this article, we will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of each option, specifically focusing on the needs of brands and businesses that utilize photo booths for marketing and engagement.

Under Armour Volleyball Photo Booth

1. Renting a Photo Booth: Convenience and Flexibility

When considering the rental option, brands and businesses can enjoy several advantages that make it an appealing choice. Let's explore the key benefits of renting a photo booth:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Renting a photo booth eliminates the upfront investment associated with purchasing one. This allows businesses to allocate their resources to other areas of marketing and expansion.
  • Variety and Customization: Rental companies often offer a wide range of photo booth styles and configurations. This allows brands to select a booth that aligns with their specific requirements and brand image. Additionally, many rental services provide customization options, such as branding overlays and tailored backdrops, to create a cohesive brand experience.
  • Easy Setup and Maintenance: Renting a photo booth means that the rental company takes care of the setup and maintenance tasks. This saves brands and businesses valuable time and effort, allowing them to focus on other aspects of their marketing campaign or event.
  • Flexibility: Renting offers flexibility in terms of the duration of usage. Whether it's a short-term marketing event, a trade show, or a long-term campaign, brands can rent a photo booth for the desired period and return it once their objectives are achieved.

Tito's Vodka Photo Booth

2. Buying a Photo Booth: Long-Term Investment and Customization

While renting provides flexibility, purchasing a photo booth presents its own set of advantages. Here are some reasons why brands and businesses may choose to buy a photo booth:

  • Long-Term Cost Savings: For businesses that foresee consistent and prolonged use of a photo booth, purchasing one can be a financially viable option in the long run. By eliminating recurring rental costs, brands can maximize their return on investment.
  • Total Control and Customization: Buying a photo booth gives businesses complete control over its design, features, and functionality. This allows for greater customization to align with the brand's image and marketing objectives.
  • Revenue Generation: Owning a photo booth presents an opportunity for businesses to generate additional revenue streams. By renting out the booth for events or partnering with other businesses for joint marketing initiatives, brands can turn the photo booth into a profitable asset.
  • Brand Consistency: With a purchased photo booth, brands can ensure consistent branding elements across all their events and marketing activities. This enhances brand recognition and reinforces the desired brand image among the target audience.

Pandora Jewelry Photo Booth

3. Factors to Consider: Rental vs. Purchase

When making the decision between renting and buying a photo booth, there are several factors that brands and businesses should take into account. Let's explore these considerations:

  • Budget and Financial Resources: Assessing your budget is essential in determining whether renting or buying is the more feasible option. Evaluate your financial resources and consider the upfront costs of purchasing a photo booth versus the ongoing rental fees.
  • Frequency of Use: Consider how frequently you plan to use a photo booth for your marketing and engagement activities. If it's a photo booth rental for weddings, renting may be the more practical choice. However, if you anticipate using a photo booth regularly, purchasing might be a better long-term investment.
  • Customization Requirements: Evaluate the level of customization you require for your photo booth. If you need complete control over the design, branding, and features, purchasing allows for greater customization. On the other hand, if you're comfortable with the standard options provided by rental companies, renting may suffice.
  • Logistics and Storage: Consider the logistics and storage requirements associated with owning a photo booth. Purchasing a booth means you'll need adequate space for storage and transportation, whereas renting eliminates these concerns.

Pixilated DIY Photo Booth Rental

  • Technical Expertise: Assess your technical expertise or the availability of resources to handle the setup, maintenance, and troubleshooting of a photo booth. If you lack the necessary skills or prefer to outsource these tasks, renting provides the convenience of having the rental company handle all technical aspects.
  • Marketing Objectives: Align your decision with your specific marketing objectives. Determine how crucial a photo booth is to your overall marketing strategy and whether owning one provides a competitive advantage or strengthens your brand image.
  • Event Duration and Scale: Consider the duration and scale of your events or marketing campaigns. If you anticipate large-scale, extended events where a photo booth is a central component, owning one may offer more control and flexibility. For smaller, shorter events, renting can be a practical choice.
  • Future Plans: Assess your long-term plans and growth projections. If your business is expanding rapidly and expects an increase in marketing events, it might be more cost-effective to purchase a photo booth to cater to future demands.

By carefully evaluating these factors, brands and businesses can make an informed decision that aligns with their goals, resources, and marketing strategies.

GNC Pittsburgh Marathon Photo Booth

4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To provide further clarity on renting versus buying a photo booth for marketing and engagement, let's address some common questions:

Question: Is renting a photo booth expensive compared to buying? 

Answer: Renting a photo booth can be cost-effective, especially for short-term or occasional use. It eliminates the upfront costs associated with purchasing and provides flexibility in terms of budget allocation.

Question: Can I customize a rented photo booth to match my brand's image? 

Answer: Yes, many rental companies offer customization options. You can add branding overlays, tailor backdrops, and even incorporate your brand's color scheme to create a cohesive experience.

Question: What if I want complete control over the design and features of the photo booth? 

Answer: If customization is a top priority and you require full control over the design and features, purchasing a photo booth is the best option. This allows you to tailor the booth precisely to your brand's specifications. 

Question: Are there any additional revenue opportunities with a purchased photo booth?

Answer: Yes, owning a photo booth opens up revenue generation possibilities. You can rent out the booth for events, collaborate with other businesses for joint marketing initiatives, or offer photo booth services as an additional revenue stream.

Question: What if I only need a photo booth for a specific event or campaign?

Answer: Renting a photo booth is an ideal choice for short-term or one-time events. It provides the convenience of setup, maintenance, and removal without the long-term commitment or storage requirements.

Question: Does purchasing a photo booth offer long-term cost savings?

Answer: Yes, purchasing a photo booth can lead to long-term cost savings if you anticipate frequent and prolonged use. It eliminates the recurring rental fees, allowing you to maximize your return on investment over time.

By addressing these FAQs, we hope to provide you with a clearer understanding of the considerations and options available when deciding between renting and buying a photo booth for your brand or business.

Brooks Running Photo Booth - Hyperion House at Boston Marathon 2023

5. Common Concerns About Renting or Buying a Photo Booth

When considering the decision to rent or buy a photo booth, it's natural for brands and businesses to have concerns or objections. Let's address some of the common objections and provide answers to help you make an informed choice:

Objection: "Renting a photo booth may limit my branding opportunities."

Answer: While it's true that rented photo booths may have some branding limitations, many rental companies offer customization options. You can incorporate your branding elements, such as logos and color schemes, through overlays, backdrops, and digital props. Additionally, you can maximize branding opportunities through promotional materials and signage around the booth.

Objection: "Purchasing a photo booth seems like a significant upfront investment."

Answer: While purchasing a photo booth does require an upfront investment, it can be a cost-effective choice in the long run. Consider the frequency of use and the potential revenue streams from renting it out or partnering with other businesses. Calculate the return on investment (ROI) over time to determine if the upfront cost aligns with your long-term marketing objectives.

Objection: "Renting a photo booth might limit my control over the user experience." 

Answer: Rental companies understand the importance of user experience and offer options for customization. You can work closely with the rental company to ensure the user interface, features, and photo quality meet your requirements. By clearly communicating your expectations, you can maintain a high level of control over the user experience while renting.

Objection: "I'm concerned about the maintenance and technical support of a purchased photo booth."

Answer: Purchasing a photo booth often comes with warranties and technical support from the manufacturer. Many companies also provide training and troubleshooting assistance. Additionally, you can hire professionals or partner with third-party service providers for maintenance and technical support to ensure smooth operations.

Objection: "Renting a photo booth might not offer enough variety for different types of events."

Answer: Rental companies understand the diverse needs of businesses and offer a range of photo booth styles, sizes, and features. Whether you're organizing a corporate event, a wedding, or a trade show, you can find rental options that suit your specific requirements. Discuss your event objectives with the rental company to ensure the available options meet your needs.

Objection: "I'm concerned about the logistics and storage requirements of owning a photo booth."

Answer: Owning a photo booth does come with logistics and storage considerations. However, with proper planning, these concerns can be minimized. Evaluate the available space in your office or storage facility and explore transportation options. You can also consider outsourcing the logistics to specialized shipping and storage companies to streamline the process.

By addressing these common objections, you can gain a clearer perspective on the advantages and potential challenges associated with renting or buying a photo booth. Evaluate these answers in the context of your specific business needs and marketing objectives to make an informed decision.

Remember, each brand and business is unique, so it's crucial to consider your specific circumstances and goals when determining whether to rent or buy a photo booth.

GNC at Bonnaroo Photo Booth

6. Flexibility and Options at Pixilated: Blending Rentals and Purchases

At Pixilated, we understand that every brand and business has unique needs when it comes to photo booth solutions. That's why we offer a range of options that provide flexibility and cater to your specific requirements.

  1. Rental Options: We offer daily, multi-day, and monthly rental packages to accommodate events of varying durations. Whether you need a photo booth for a one-day conference, a weekend festival, or an extended marketing campaign, our rental options can be tailored to your schedule.
  1. Outright Purchase: For businesses seeking a more permanent solution, we provide the opportunity to buy a photo booth outright. Owning a photo booth offers long-term benefits, allowing you to maximize its use and integrate it seamlessly into your marketing strategy.
  1. Blending Rental and Purchase: At Pixilated, we believe in providing our clients with the ultimate flexibility. We offer the unique option of blending rentals and purchases. This means you can own a certain number of photo booth devices while still having the ability to rent additional devices for one-off events and activations.

By blending rental and purchase options, you can enjoy the best of both worlds. You have the convenience and cost-effectiveness of renting for shorter-term or occasional needs, while also benefiting from the long-term ownership and customization opportunities of purchased devices.

Photo Booth Rental

Value in Flexibility: 

Having the flexibility to blend rental and purchase options offers numerous advantages. It allows you to scale your photo booth presence according to your evolving needs and event calendar. You can maintain a consistent brand image across multiple events by owning dedicated devices while having the freedom to expand your photo booth fleet as necessary.

Additionally, blending rentals and purchases allows you to adapt to changing market trends and capitalize on new marketing opportunities. It provides the agility to experiment with different photo booth configurations, features, or event themes without committing to a permanent setup.

At Pixilated, we are dedicated to providing our clients with tailored solutions that meet their unique requirements. Our flexible options ensure that you have the freedom to choose the rental or purchase approach that aligns perfectly with your brand's goals, budget, and marketing strategy.


In conclusion, choosing between renting and buying a photo booth requires careful evaluation of various factors, such as budget, customization needs, frequency of use, and long-term objectives.

Renting offers convenience, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness for shorter-term or occasional use, while purchasing provides total control, customization opportunities, and potential revenue generation. Consider your specific requirements, event scale, marketing objectives, and future plans to make an informed decision that aligns with your brand's image and goals. 

Whether you choose to rent or buy, integrating a photo booth into your marketing and engagement strategies can be a valuable tool for enhancing brand awareness, driving customer engagement, and creating memorable experiences.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

DIY Photo Booth Kiosk

Capture memories at your next event with Pixilated

Photo booth rental kits available nationwide. Flexible timing starting at just $319 per day. Shipped free right to your doorstep. Hassle free online booking.

Shop Now
1 of 4