New Charity Utilizing the Open Air Photo Booth

I am contemplating starting a new project that would use a photo booth to raise funds for charity.  The way it will work is as follows.  I will work with different companies and corporations across the U.S. to sponsor my photo booth for different events in the community.  I would then set up my booth at the event and offer the photos for a nominal fee but people will also have the ability to make an additional donation for the benefiting charity.

This approach will probably not be a huge money maker but I am of the mindset that every little bit can help, especially with some of the smaller charities that are just getting started.  After the photo booth itself is paid off, the overhead involved in a project like this is relatively low.  Below is a list of the costs associated with running a photo booth for different events.

  1. Media– This is anything associated with the creation of the photo strips. (paper, ink, ect)
  2. Photo Booth Attendant
  3. Cost of the Photo Booth
  4. Cost of Gas to Travel to Event
  5. Cost of maintaining and fixing the different components (DSLR Camera, Dye Sublimation Printer, Touchscreen Computer and Back Drop.

One addition that I think would be fun for these type of events would be the addition of a green screen photo booth. If you do not know what a green screen photo booth is I will give you a quick explanation.  What happens is the open air photo booth is set up in front of a large green background.  This green backdrop makes it easier for the software on the computer to remove the background and replace it with the one of your choice.   I think that it would be fun especially for children could they choose the location of their background.  This could also be a fun option for any type of multi-cultural event since we could have backgrounds that are themed from different countries around the world.

I have been doing a ton of research about the different options that are available for purchase.  Something that I did not realize before I thought of this idea was the fact that getting started with a photo booth can be quite expensive.  Just like with anything else, you can do things on the cheap and not offer the best quality photos or prints or you can do things the right way and offer top quality images and prints.  The difference in price is striking.  If we went on the cheap end we could get started with everything we needed for about $2000.  I am leaning towards going the other direction though and doing so will probably end up costing around 5k at a minimum.  I am hoping to get some upfront help from different avenues to cover some of the costs that will be incurred.


Finally, the other choice I have to make in reference to starting this project is to choose between an open air or enclosed photo booth.  The difference between the two are simply the addition or removal of an enclosure.  An open photo booth will consist of a standalone kiosk  with a simple backdrop set up in front of said kiosk.  This would be the style that would need to be chosen if we were to add the green screen option.  The enclosed photo booth is exactly that…. enclosed with some type of structure. This can be a curtain and rod assembly or I have even seen some inflatable structures that are pretty cool but cost close to 1K.  I am leaning towards the open booth since they seem to be all the rage right now.  They are slowly taking over as the more popular choice for most companies.  This is actually a positive thing because it means that it becomes very easy to transport the booth.  With the open option I could transport the entire kit and kaboodle in my Ford Focus.

When thinking of different events for setting up a charity photo booth rental, Ann Arbor seems to be a great location for my first event.  Ann Arbor is only about an hour away from me and the people and community are very generous so I will probably start reaching out to some different companies in that area to see if they would be interested in something like that.  Ann Arbor is only about an hour away from where I live as well.

If you like this idea or have any suggestions for the nuts and bolts portion of how I could get this going please feel free to reach out to me via my contact page.  Let me know what you think in the comment section as well!

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