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South Australian photographer Sarah Petrusma's photography blog. Full of thoughts, ideas & favourite stories

 

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Judging for Elegant Hire - Which is the Best Photo Booth Photo?

Recently, Elegant Hire Australia got in touch with me to judge two sets of photo booth photos. In their words; "in the photo booth industry the critique from professional photographers is largely missing often resulting in an industry standard of poor quality photos for customers." Their desire to present a photo booth that has been critiqued by a range of professional photographers is certainly admirable.
Disclaimer: I have received compensation for my time to judge these two sets of photo booth photos. Little Car Photography is an independently owned professional photography business, and the opinions expressed here are my own. Please note that for the purpose of this blog post, the sample photo booth photos have been shrunk in size.

Do I Need a Photo Booth?

Before presenting my comments on the two sets of photos submitted for judging, I want to very quickly address a question that many brides and grooms are facing as they plan their wedding day. "Do I need a photo booth?" While it's not something for everyone, for a large number of people it can be a great addition to your reception and your professional photography coverage.

Reasons to Hire a Photo Booth:

  • Having a wide variety of fun (and often silly) photos of all of your guests is important to you.
  • You want a unique guest book, full of fun photos from your friends enjoying your wedding night right next to their well wishes for you.
  • You want an easy and personal bomboniere for your guests, take home photos of them looking their best on your wedding day.

What is the difference between a professional photographer and a photo booth at your wedding reception?

A roaming professional photographer is great for capturing all the little details; the important moments such as speeches and cake cutting, candid laughter and dancing. Your photographer captures the candid moments and essence of your celebration in a way that only a roaming professional can. Your photographer is all about you - the bride and groom - and your special day.

The photo booth is like a mini photography studio, with their own backdrop, lights and props. It is a great way to capture fun, and often quirky and surprising, photos of your guests. It is a special addition, all about your guests and their lovely, happy faces.

Photo Set 1

Photo Sourced from Elegant Hire Australia. Click to enlarge photo.

Photo set 1, against a white curtain. This set is how the photo booth originally came setup to use, when Elegant Hire Australia bought it from a reputable retailer.

Photo Set 2

Photo Sourced from Elegant Hire Australia. Click to enlarge photo.

Photo set 2, taken against a red curtain after Elegant Hire Australia made modifications to the photo booth set up, with a beauty dish and strobe.

The Results

Colour
Looking at the colour consistency across the three photos in both sets, there is no adverse shift in colour, and both sets have performed well in this regard. That said, in terms of colour balance, photo set 1 has a slight blue/magenta hue that gives a purple tint to the white background and shirts. This colour tint cools and detracts from the overall image. Looking at the whites in set 2 they are more crisp and the skin tones are warmer. That along with a red backdrop gives a nice warmth to the images. In this regard, photo set 2 out performs photo set 1 for colour balance and tone.

Sharpness
In looking at photo set 1, my eye is immediately drawn to the out of focus movement in the first image. This motion blur is caused by a slow shutter speed, and is not desirable in any photo booth photo. Whilst the other two photos in this set are not as adversely affected by the slow shutter speed there is definitely room for improvement here. Photo set 2 has nice sharp focus and bright eyes in all three photos, and is a clear winner for sharp images.

Lighting
The lighting across both sets of images is nice and soft, with no harsh shadows. There is some shine on the skin in both sets, though this is mostly unavoidable with strong studio lighting. The winner of this category is also set 2! The use of a beauty dish is most evident here in the eyes - with the bright reflection adding that little extra something to the photo. The lighting is also not as flat as set 1, with soft shadows adding depth and definition to the photos in set 2.

Conclusion
The photos in set 2 have, in my opinion, taken out every category with consistent warm colours, sharp focus and even lighting. Whilst the backdrop for your photos is often a personal choice, (and I personally normally prefer a simple background or something rustic at the venue), I also find that the red curtain helps to add some warmth and subject separation. Overall, set #2 is a much nicer and polished set of photo booth photos in my view.

If you want to learn more about these photos and the photo booth they came from, please visit the Elegant Hire Website here.

Sarah PetrusmaComment