Function Before Fashion: How to get your photo booth ready before your first big event

August, 20, 2018

I’ll admit it! Overcoming technical updates is not typically where I find my happy place!

It makes my cringe to think how people made it work before the Youtube era. Depending on how you look at it, the brightside is … When you’re your own business owner, you don’t have a choice!

I discuss my visual design process in Denver Westword’s Tacolandia 2018: Our First Big Event with a VW Photo Booth. Here, I’ll give other photo booth owners technical insight into the steps I took to customize the Social Booth interface, and adding the texting feature to the same software. 

We’re Open for Reservations Announcement

Edited with Adobe Photoshop by Veronica Vay

Photo Booth Features

There are substantial values in making these updates! For one, your photo booth software is an extension of your brand, culture, and the service you provide clients. While the photo booth should be easy enough for anyone to use, you also want to make sure guests know who’s providing this excellent service! Updating the interface to reflect your company name, logo, and brand colors is essential in helping users get to know and remember you.

For example, people at Tacolandia event kept saying to me, “We love Vinny!” Or afterward, I’d get comments on Instagram like, “VW Vinny was so much fun!”

The name of my car wasn’t being advertised, but users knew about it because a page on my interface says, “Please take your time exiting VW Vinny! Thank you!” This simple update gave users insight to the fun we have in with business, they now feel like they know our product, and the comments afterward are proof it sticks!

Secondly! The texting feature. Although Social Booth gives the option to instantly share photos via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest – texting is still the number one feature my photo booth users take advantage of.

The scared feeling people used to get about entering their credit cards to make online purchases? This is how most people these days about giving out their email addresses. Unless visitors subscribe to our newsletter on our website, we never use their email for anything other then sending their photos.

Where is the trust, ya’ll? But we’ve all been there. Businesses fall through on this promise and ruin the email party for the rest of us. *sigh*

All the sharing options listed above were available by the time of our event. We had at least 260 people use our photo booth that day, totaling in 130 separate photo booth sessions. 77% of users chose to text themselves the photo, which significantly exceeded any other share feature used!

Do not deprive people of these digital take-aways! You will not regret it. So, how to get started?

One thing to know about Social Booth is that, although they have a lot of video tutorials, once you purchase and download it there is a significant lack on sequential instructions. In my experience with it, you’re left to find the resources for the issues as they come up rather than reading how to do everything in the forefront. Yes, I’m one of those people that enjoys reading instruction manuals. Ha!

Fortunately, I’ve done the leg work for you already!

To customize your Social Booth interface, locate the Photo Booth Solutions folder on your computer. For me, this was hiding under a Local Dick (C:) folder on my desktop. You’ll be able to identify it, because it will have file versions of the default interface already saved in there.

Display Settings Screenshot from Social Booth

Photograph by Photo Booth Solutions

The premade versions will be very useful in this process. You can use these copies as templates to guide your new updates. Their outlines are successful because it works around the buttons Social Booth has already designed, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel here. Simply complete the following:
     1. Identify the pages you want to include in the photo booth guest process (ie. Welcome screen, thank you screen, etc.) Download a copy of one of the premade pages that works for your Desktop size.
     2. Open a new document in Adobe Photoshop using the sized page you just chose. This step is not to edit the actual .jpeg. This is to achieve the correct dimensions for your interface.
      3. Once you have that created, and after making a copy of the background in Photoshop, begin customizing your interface by adding new layers. I’ve included some examples of the results.
     4. Test! Test! Test! As I mentioned, you must make sure your interface serves as an effective background for all the buttons Social Booth has pre-generated.

Modbug Photo Booths Customized Interface Example

Edited with Adobe Photoshop by Veronica Vay

Pro tip: Test your interface page by page as they are being created. It’s not a thrill spending a long time creating all of them just to find out adjustments need to be made so there’s no button overlap.

Take my word for it!

To add the texting function, Social Booth is pretty spot on in respect to their instructions and fixes. I found both the setup and fix instructions to be equally important in getting things set up. However, the site they recommend to trigger texts is more complicated than they let on.

When registering with the website, there are an overwhelming amount of prompts to build a store and a bunch of extra nonsense. This is not what you’re trying to do. Just stay focused on the texting feature, adding credit to the account, and you’ll be good to go.

The main thing here, and throughout this process is to remain patient. Give yourself extra time to test your services. Plan for the fact that your first interface draft is going to have some overlap. Assume the first texting test is not going to go through.

I’ve given you all the tools you need right here to overcome these moments of frustration! So do your best to enjoy this moment of focus.

And of course, if you have any additional questions or tips on what’s worked for you in making these updates, feel free to leave them in the comments section below! OR! If you have any blog topic requests, I’d love to hear them.

Modbug Photo Booths is a photo booth services in the great Denver area, based out of a Volkswagen Bug named Vinny! I hope you keep our photo professional services in mind for your next celebratory event!

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