Why adding interactive photo systems to your event makes it so much better?
A PHOTO BOOTH, A MAGIC MIRROR, A SELFIE STATION OR OURSMILE?
WHICH PARTY PHOTO SYSTEM WILL SUIT YOU BEST?
Whether it’s for a wedding, birthday, anniversary, corporate event, prom, christening or Christmas party, people are constantly looking for fun, innovative ideas to make them more original, more fun and more memorable.
In fact some of the most popular Google questions on the topic are:
Many websites offer great ideas, some quite simple and cheap to implement, such as dressing up your home for a theme party, playing good music and planning your playlist in advance, mixing up your guest list, planning games and/or activities (this helps to mingle), making sure that food, snacks and drinks look good, etc.
Other great ideas require a bit more investment, such as interactive photo systems, which is our main topic here. We’re going to have a quick overview of four very popular systems that no doubt will have all your guests engaging and having fantastic fun. What is more, you’ll have loads of photos to share with them as mementos.
WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?
Selfie Station or Selfie Pod
Depending on your budget and venue size you can have one, two or all of them at your party! Oursmile, for example, can be more affordable than some of the basic ideas mentioned at the beginning. Let’s take a look.
WHAT IS A PHOTO BOOTH?
For those still not very familiar with it, a photo booth is a touch-screen camera kiosk designed for individuals or groups to take and share photos, often with value-added lighting, props, backdrops, or take-away prints. They create fun pictures effortlessly. They come in a wide variety of sizes and backdrops too. It is a very popular party feature that has been around for quite a few years.
A photo booth can be used at any time during the event, so guests can wait till the mood strikes or take a moment when they are surrounded by friends to capture a special moment.
Some photo booths can print out an extra copy of each photo. At weddings, for example, guests are encouraged to place a copy in the book along with a message for the happy couple.
A good suggestion when hiring a photo booth (and this goes for the Magic Mirror and Selfie Station too) is to try to make room for it in the back or at either end of the room so it doesn’t cause distractions during a reception, for example, away from the head table, podium, dance floor, etc.
With hiring prices ranging from £250 to £400 or more per hour depending on various factors like the total number of hours required, the day of the week and location of the party, and accessories wanted, a photo booth may not be accessible for parties on a low budget, and it may not really be practical for small or home parties either.
Photo Booths are widely available in many countries around the world, including the UK of course, by many different suppliers.
WHAT IS A MAGIC MIRROR?
The Magic Mirror Booth is a more modern photo concept. It captures full length photos using a touch screen reflective screen. Strike a pose then customise your pictures using the on-screen paint pad. Your pictures are printed in seconds.
Some of the newest “Mirror Booths” offer very sleek designs and a user-friendly interface, communicating with participants through a touch screen of colourful animations and entertaining voice guidance.
Again, this is a great party feature to send your guests home with a fab memory. Ideal for any big social event with a sizeable budget.
Just like a photo booth, a Magic Mirror may not be accessible for parties on a low budget, and it may not be practical for small or home parties either. With hiring prices starting between £150 – £250 per hour (and generally most companies have a 2 or 3-hour minimum hire) and average prices ranging from £250 to £950 depending on the package chosen (number of hours, accessories, day of the week, location, etc), plus with custom backdrops and custom artwork matching your wedding theme further increasing the cost the Magic Mirror might be the most expensive system in this review.
Just like Photo Booths, Magic Mirrors are widely available in many countries around the world, by many different suppliers.
WHAT IS A SELFIE STATION?
Also known as “Selfie Pods” or the “Selfie Photo Stands” (different companies name it differently). They are similar systems to a photo booth in that a selfie or photo group is taken using a touch screen. However they are much smaller and simple set ups.
All these systems are very easy to use and take up very little floor space, as the camera and pad come in light, very sleek single stands that can also accommodate a small printer. They can capture unlimited photos of your guests and video messages, and they can come with the option to print two copies of the picture, one for the guests and one for the party guest book. They also often come with props and other accessories.
With prices ranging from £300 to £450, again depending on the package type chosen (as with the photo booth or Magic Mirror) they may not be accessible for events on a small budget or for home parties.
WHAT IS OURSMILE?
You can think of Oursmile as the modern replacement of the throw away cameras that we used to see (and still see!) at parties and functions, etc. With Oursmile, all that is needed is the use of a smartphone to take pictures and post them on a live slideshow on a screen at the venue, the possibilities are much greater!
Oursmile is a live and interactive photo slideshow shown on any existing screen with connected computer or smart TV at the venue, which saves space. Let’s face it, almost all pubs, clubs, hotels and corporate venues already have screens in place nowadays. Using their own smartphones guests can instantly upload their selfies, photos and messages to the screens.
Oursmile slideshows come with free “themes” to suit the occasion. You can also upload your own backgrounds, change the background colours and even have a bespoke branded theme made just for you (a small cost applies). At the end of the event, the photos are downloadable by the host to share as fantastic mementos.
Oursmile is safe and very user friendly, there are no apps to download and it works with any smartphone. Plus it’s very low cost and simple to set up. It also offers the functionality to invite remote guests who can share the experience from their own location, see the event’s pictures live and even upload their own photos. Connect with anybody, anywhere, worldwide.
Oursmile has been developed and commercialised by a company based in Wales, UK called GOLD Software Solutions. GOLD Software Solutions Limited are the proprietors of the software, and have full control over the quality and performance of the system, unlike some other companies offering similar solutions on a “licensed” basis.
The developers believe that “the real essence of a party is captured in the pictures that guests take”, as quoted on their website, and we agree. With Oursmile every guest is a photographer for the occasion, helping to “capture the event’s story” on one, easy-to-use and secure platform.
On the grapevine we hear that Oursmile will soon be offering props and printed packages to spice up your photos. Watch this space!
Another great advantage of Oursmile is that you don’t have to queue to get your photo taken, In-fact you don’t even have to leave your seat. You can take photos and upload them to the system from literally anywhere.
All in all Oursmile is a great system, a great concept and with a variety of packages ranging from as little as £3.99 for small home based parties up to £499.99 for a package of 10 very large corporate events, there is an option that will suit everybody. What’s more, because of its affordability, people hiring photo booths or magic mirrors are also sure to find an Oursmile package that they can include too for the same event, taking the party entertainment experience to even higher engagement and levels of fun.
Why have an interactive photo system at your event?
They engage with your guests and provide great entertainment.
Provide long lasting memories and mementos of the occasion.
They are an opportunity to capture photos of the event that would have otherwise been missed.
Are they all still in style?
Very much so! In recent years, they have become a staple at weddings, corporate events, and even private parties. They are becoming more and more popular with the new generation.
We love all of them!
The most interactive and engaging system seems to be Oursmile because everybody can take pictures and share them instantly with everybody else, but each system has its own merits and can be great fun. Whatever system you choose, you will add massive levels of fun and entertainment to your party.
The Photobooth and Magic Mirror are both dependent on larger budgets and venue sizes. The Selfie Station can be used at most venues, but still comes with a sizeable price tag. Oursmile can be used anywhere, in any size venue including your home and suits any budget size.
If your budget and venue allows, why not have a combination, for example a Photo Booth (or Magic Mirror) AND Oursmile would definitely be a hit!