Your photo booth business is growing and you're booking more and more events. But, you're starting to realize that you're turning down a lot of events because they fall on the same day.
I mean, you can't be in two places at once.
If this is you, it may be time to hire some photo booth attendants in order to double book those events.
Today, we're going to be going through the process of hiring photo booth employees, what to pay them, and everything else you could ever need to know!
What Kind of Employees Should I Have?
So, this section isn't going to be relevant to everyone, but if you already have an employee or two and you're looking for more, make sure to keep reading!
We sat down with Catalina from MDRN Photobooth Company and asked her about her photo booth attendants, or Booth Butlers as she calls them. She has her employees broken down into three categories:
- Managers: Responsible for picking up the photo booths, tearing them down, and setting everything up. Normally managers don't run the events, but they're on standby in case there are any technical issues throughout the day. Managers are also typically used on days where there are multiple events.
- Employees: Employees are, pretty much, able to do everything! They know how to set up the booth, tear it down, troubleshoot most technical problems, and they're also interacting with guests. Employees are used in almost every booking.
- Models: They're, quite literally, models hired from a modeling agency. They're typically hired for corporate events with over 500 guests in order to crowd control and provide a five-star guest experience.
As we continued to talk about the employee model that Catalina uses, she shared with us the "employee combinations" that are most typical for her photo booth company. They are:
- Employee Only: This is the most typical scenario, especially for weddings. The employee is in charge of picking up the photo booths, setting them up, tearing them down, running the event, and providing an amazing guest experience.
- Manager and Employee: This is a typical scenario if there are multiple events in one day. As we mentioned above, the manager will typically be in charge of picking and setting up the photo booths at their respective venues. The employees will then arrive at the various venues to run the event as normal. Managers stay on standby near to the venues in case of any issues.
- Employee and Model: This scenario mostly applies to large, 500+ guests, corporate events. While the employee is running the photo booth and making sure everything is working properly, the model is in charge of the guest experience and talking to the guests while they wait.
While your employee combinations may be different based on your business and market needs, this is a great stepping stone for you to use.
We receive a lot of questions about writing up employee contracts. With that said, this section will be short.
Go see a lawyer.
Every city, county, state, etc., has different labor laws. It's recommended to hire an attorney as they will know best and create a solid employee contract. Just make sure that you outline the employee's pay (whether fixed or hourly) and what their responsibilities are.
What to Pay Employees?
Assuming your employees are working events that are within your market's "normal radius," most photo booth business owners pay between $120-$180 per event. You can also opt to pay your employees hourly, but having a fixed wage makes it easier for you and for them.
Remember, what you pay your employees is going to directly reflect in the work that they do. Pay them well as they're going to be, ultimately, representing you and your photo booth business.
Where to Find Employees?
We recommend checking out your local photographer or second-shooter Facebook groups. If you're able to hire a photographer, they're likely to know more about ISO, shutter speed, exposure, etc. This will make them a great fit as long as their personality matches your brand and company culture.
Additionally, hiring second shooters is a great idea because they'll likely make as much with you as they would second-shooting a wedding. Of course, photo booth events tend to be shorter and they'll make less, but they'll also work a lot less.
Alternatively, you can also reach out to your local high schools and universities. There are a lot of schools that have photography classes or clubs full of aspiring photographers. This is a great way for them to learn more about the industry and they'll likely be more than happy with what you're paying them.
Once you've found some potential employees, it's time to train them.
If you find that they lack technical skills, don't worry. You can teach skills, but you can't teach personality! It's much more important to find someone who is going to provide an amazing guest experience for your clients.
The first part of the training should be in-house. You should teach them how to set up and tear down the photo booth alongside the basics of using it.
Walkthrough at Events
Once your employee is familiar with how to set up and tear down the photo booth, it's time for some first-hand experience. They should accompany you to an event and be there shadowing what you do. Of course, let them set up the photo booth, tear it down, and share with them any troubleshooting you have to do.
Do this two or three events, each time minimizing your involvement.
It's important that you're there so that the event goes well and you maintain your reputation, but it's also equally important that your employee gets comfortable with the photo booth and knows how to run it.
After all, the goal is to leave them alone and let them run the event.
And that's it! We hope that this guide will help you when it comes to time to hire or expand your photo booth business team!
Want to learn more tips and tricks on how to have a successful photo booth business?