Southern Maryland Entertainment
These are not *all* of the questions we are asked, but they are the most commonly asked questions. Have fun browsing thru them!
How do the Southern Maryland Entertainment photo booths work?
* Hire us.
* We coordinate with you for all of the necessary details.
* We show up at your event and are setup and ready to go at the start time.
* We operate the photo booth during your event.
* At the end, we take everything down and you’d never know that we had been there.
* We provide added fun and entertainment to your event!
What is the difference between a classic photo booth and an open air photo booth? What kind of booths do you have?
We believe in sharing the fun of a photo booth, and as such, we will only use open style photo booths.
Open style is just as it sounds: open to be seen and enjoyed by all. This has been a positive feature of our business, where some guests may have been shy about getting in the booth, but they are now excited to join in on the fun.
A classic or closed style photo booth can also be fun, don’t get us wrong, but it does not fit our preferred business model. It can be a blown up wall, a set of pipe and drape curtains, or a smaller style booth with a smaller space. If you are looking for a closed style booth, we have other boothers in the community that we can give you an excellent referral to, and know they will take great care of you.
What makes Southern Maryland Entertainment “The Cadillac of photo booths”?
Photo booth companies are a lot like automobiles, ranging from the Hooptie booths to a classy Cadillac booth. At SoMD Entertainment, we are proud to intentionally be The Cadillac version!
We use Canon DSLR cameras with PRO series lenses, with professional photography lighting and printing. This ensures that you have the best quality images – images you can enlarge and make into other art, such as wall canvas prints. We do not use lower end cameras or webcams.
For printing, we use professional Dye Sublimation photo printers.
We treat our customers as we want to be treated. We go the extra mile to provide to you an excellent eperience of a photo booth, memory booth, head shots booth or whatever type of booth you hire us to be at your event. You will not be disappointed. Read on to see some of the many other reasons we are the photo booth for serious inquiries.
Do you carry liability insurance?
Why, yes we do! Any valid and respectable business should have insurance! We have always had insurance, and are happy to will provide our COI to our clients upon request.
What if your photo booth is “too expensive” for our budget? How can we still hire you?
The possibilities are practically limitless, but here are a few recommendations that have worked well for others:
Spread the wealth: Is it a WEDDING? -- You can make your photo booth a wedding gift from your wedding party! Per The Knot, the average wedding party has 8 bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen. Splitting the cost of your photo booth by 16 of your closest friends and family is easy, affordable and an awesome gift!
Party Favors: Who needs party favors when you have a photo booth? The photo booth IS the party favor! It gives each of your guests a timeless keepsake of their photo booth experiences.
Monthly Payments: We are willing to work with anyone who wants to ask. If you need to do monthly payments, we can make that as an available option. Don’t be shy, come talk to us!
Find a Sponsor for Non-profit: If you are a non-profit, this is a perfect solution to get a photo booth at little to no cost to you at an event. Get a sponsor or multiple sponsors. We will put their info all over your printed template – a win-win for everyone!
Find a Sponsor for Corporate event: If you're a corporate client, you may be successful in partnering up with another company or more. All sponsors get a space for their logo on the printouts. The prints find their new homes on workspace bulletin boards, office desks, home refrigerators and more, not to mention social media! It is great advertising that your guests will see every day!
Why don't you show your prices on your website?
Are you only looking at pricing to determine which photo booth to hire? We can give you a ballpark price or an actual cost -- which would you prefer? We have done our homework and know the cost of doing business, as well as the market cost of photo booths like ours. We have excellent inclusive and fairly priced packages that satisfy many of our clients. We also have many extra bells and whistles of value added items you may want to include.
How do we book you and pay for our event?
Go to our website, click on the Book Us tab, then follow the yellow brick road. We accept personal checks, company checks, cash and credit cards. Sorry, no PayPal.
What if I need to change my date?
All changes are subject to availability. If a new date is available and is more than 30 days after your original date, then there will be no charge for the date change. However, any date changes made 30 days or earlier of the original date will be charged a $50 change fee. Again, any changes are subject to availability.
Do you require a damage deposit?
We do not. However, you are responsible for the actions of your guests.
Do you price match with your competition, or other businesses and coupons, such as Groupon?
If you are asking if we price match our Cadillac services for Hooptie services – the answer is absolutely not! Would you do that with your own business, honestly? Why would we want to match Groupon, that typically pays businesses 25% of the value the services?
We are a non-profit organization, will you do our event for free or for publicity?
There are certain times when we may offer specials or discounts, such as at some wedding shows, it may be included. We often run upgrade specials, which are significantly more valuable to our clients.
* We offer a military discount and we do special pricing for some organizations, such as elementary school PTAs and non-profit organizations. We strongly encourage companies to consider getting a sponsor to help with costs.
* We do not “need” free marketing or publicity. We have a reputation for donating to worthy causes since we first opened our business, in addition to over a decade of PTA/PTO and a lifetime of other volunteering. A business cannot be a business if it is only doing "free for publicity" events. As such, we do strongly support our community. Talk to us if you have ideas regarding renting our booth for your events.
Do you offer weekday discounts?
Our prime time is Friday thru Sunday. Please contact us to discuss any weekday event openings and to discuss any possible pricing strategy.
Can you do corporate branding?
We LOVE to do corporate branding! Contact us to ask us how we can do that for you!
Have your seen our own corporate branding? We went with a local theme.
What happens to the photo booth if our dinner is in the middle of our event (such as at weddings, awards ceremonies, etc.)?
We are willing to work with your schedule and turn off the booth services during specific times such as your dinner, the first dance, speeches, etc., especially if we are located in the same room as the primary festivities or activities. If there is a substantial down time, then we would build in an “idle time” fee to your contract. Talk to us about your needs and expectations, so we may find a solution that is best for all of us.
Hey, I am the bride – I am worried that the photo booth will take away from me being the center of attention!
* Yes, you ARE the bride! You deserve a lot of attention at your wedding, and you will certainly get it! The photo booth will not take away from any of that fun and glory, trust us! We have provided our booth for many kinds of weddings and it has never been an issue that we took away from the attention for the wedding participants, any of them!
* The truth is, not everyone will want to dance. Not everyone will want to drink. Heck, not everyone will want to get their photo taken, in the photo booth or otherwise. However, the photo booth is an ADDED layer of entertainment at your wedding! It is also a long-term investment in the memories made and the photos you get to keep to preserve those memories. These are photos your primary photographer will never have the time or opportunity to take! Folks like instant gratification! If they get to take a fun or intimate photo with someone at your wedding, get a printout, AND get to text or email it to themselves, to share on social media….looks like the photo booth is a value added to your wedding, and is never an attention thief of your day, of you as the spotlight.
* No worries! We’ve got this! We’ve got you! We want to keep you happy!
* Yes, we have been asked this question more times than you would imagine.
Speaking about brides, what if I am a "Bridezilla"?
For real? Ain't nobody got time for that! We know that weddings are meant to be fun! We are in the business of having fun, making fun, being fun. Indeed, "if you are a Bridezilla" and you don't disclose that up front, along with a detailed plan on how to make this business relationship work well, then we suggest you will not enjoy working with us. Please note that there is a substantial add-on fee for this specialty service.
How many hours or photo booths should I have at my event, for maximum fun?
* For most of the photo booths we have done, a 3-hour rental is perfect! If you have over 200 guests, you may be happier with a 4-hour rental.
* We recommend 1 booth for up to 400 (“maybe” up to 500 guests). For more than that, we recommend more than one photo booth. With a single photo booth, an event with 150+ guests typically needs about 3 hours for excellent booth coverage. For every 100+ guests we recommend adding 1 hour. For an event with 500-600 guests, 2 photo booths may work great for 3 hours. For more than 700 guests, perhaps 4 hours would work better. It also depends on the type of event you are having, the types of guests in attendance, and any other type of activities going on at your event. Let’s talk to make it fit best for you!
* We often do 2-hour rentals for school dances and occasionally for other events. Two-hour rentals are not available during prime rental days (Friday thru Sunday) unless it is a school dance that only lasts for 2 hours. If you have an exception to this guideline, please give us a call to discuss the possibilities.
What if we need or want more rental time during my event?
If the photo booth attendant(s) is available and willing, you may have the option to pay for an additional hour or more of the photo booth to extend your festivities. We have the ability to produce a digital contract and get it to you in short order so there would not be an interruption in the evening.
If I hired a photographer, why do I also need a photo booth?
This is a great question! If you hired a photographer, chances are you have specific pictures or a “story” you wish them to cater to. You control what you want your photographer to capture in photos. The photo booth pictures cannot be controlled by you -- or by us. Your guests control the photos that are taken in the photo booth! Yes, we will help guide, but we cannot control what happens in the photo booth at all times. That is the true beauty and magic of a photo booth…it captures your guests as they want you to know or remember them. Sometimes, it is a surprise to your guests, as well! While we are also photographers, there is a world of difference between event photographers and a photo booth. The best part is that both are fantastic!
Is the photo booth handicap accessible?
Our photo booth is VERY handicap accessible! We recently had a group of 8 adults in a single photo, where 2 of them were in electric wheelchairs. To date, we have not met a single person that we could not accommodate!
How many people can you fit into your photo booths?
We can easily fit from 1 to 20 people of all ages and sizes into our photo booth! Some of our photo booth peers have fit between 20 and 35 into their photo booths like ours, we’ve seen the photos to prove it. We like a challenge! If you want to try to beat our personal record of 20, then let’s do this!
What flavors of events do you do?
SoMD Entertainment will do almost any kind of photo booth. Chance are, we already have: weddings, graduations, birthdays, retirements, baby showers, school dances, kissing booths, beer festivals, unicorn festivals, non-profit events, holiday parties, memory booths at funeral receptions, corporate galas, corporate head shots, school pictures, and much more! There is something for everyone. We are NOT your typical photo booth!
What kinds of booths do you do? Can you do a gif booth?
* Classic Open Style Photo Booth -- This is us!
* GIF Booth – YES! We provide a gif image with every set of pictures that has 2 or more images. You can email this image to yourself from the sharing station kiosk. If you want just a GIF BOOTH, and not receive the standard printouts at an event, we are happy to make this happen.
* Animated GIF Booth – Yes, we can also animate your gif booth.
* Mirror Booth – No. This is a new style of photo booth, and is not something we want to do.
* Slo-Mo Booth – Not at the moment.
* iPad Booth – No. We use professional grade DSLR cameras for the best quality of prints.
How much space and what do you need to be able to setup a photo booth at an event?
Ideally, we prefer a minimum of a 10’ x 10’ space to setup in. This includes the backdrop, the photo booth equipment, a sharing station kiosk, and a table for props. If we are offered more room, we really appreciate the extra room. At times, we have had to shrink up less than 10’ x 10’ – we do our best to make it work.
How long does it take for you to setup and take down the booth?
We can setup in 30 minutes, but we prefer an hour (or more, especially if it is a new venue) to setup and test our photo booth. This testing has already been done ahead of time, but sometimes “things” happen – like the time that the electrical outlet was dead. We like to have a window for unexpected surprises. Taking the both down is typically 30-40 minutes.
What do you recommend to get my guests to use the photo booth?
You are your own best motivator to get your guests to use the photo booth, in the event there is a lag (honestly, we almost never see “down time” in the photo booth). You can make an announcement, tell people directly, have your DJ make an announcement, put notices on the tables, run a contest, the ideas are endless. In case people do not realize we are a photo booth, mostly by us not having an enclosed room, then an announcement is perfect.
Does the photo booth print on the spot, and how many prints can we get?
Unless we agree on a contract that does not include printing, we plan to print at each event. The prints are available literally seconds after the last photo is taken in each set. We print a copy for each person in the pictures, i.e., if there are three in a picture then we print three copies.
May I get a copy of all the photos taken in the photo booth?
We have several upgrades and add-on specialty items, such as a full set of prints from the photo booth. Depending on which option you choose, we would print the add-on option and get them to you asap. This may be an option you want if you are making your own scrapbook.
Do you offer photo scrapbooks?
Our photo booth services come in a great package, and we are happy to offer other add-on services such as a scrapbook. For an on-site memory book or scrapbook, we would bring an extra attendant as dedicated help with the scrapbook. Our experience has shown that this is necessary by virtue of how the scrapbooks “work” at events like yours. Another option would be a digitally designed photo album.
Do you offer digitally designed photo albums?
Yes, indeed! We will design you a hard (or soft) cover flat book from one of our online digital labs that we use. This is also an add-on feature, but a beautiful one that is fully customized to your event, something we love to do for our customers. You may even want to design your own digital photo album for printing. Ask us how!
What kind of photo printouts can we choose from?
We can create 2x6” photo strips, or the popular 4x6” photo postcard printouts. The 4x6” prints are bigger and are often preferred by most of our customers. For the 4x6” printouts, we can make them portrait or landscape oriented, with from 1 to 4 pictures on them. We can do more than 4 pictures, but then the pictures are too small to see any details, so we recommend sticking to 1-4. Also, guests do not like to stick around for more than 3 or 4 photos in a session.
What about the photo printout designs?
ALL of our photo booth printout template designs are fully customized to your event. We work with you to determine what you want your template to look like, including the colors, graphics and wording. No two events are ever the same.
May I design my own printout?
We will try to work with whatever artwork you are using for your event and we can work with any graphic file type that is HD quality. You may also provide any logos or custom artwork. In order to preserve the quality of our work and give our clients a premium printed photo, we do not allow clients to do their own final designs.
How do we and our guests receive the photos?
* Get a printed copy of the photo booth printout immediately, onsite (unless you opt out of printing).
* Use our kiosk and instantly share digital copies via emailing or texting, provided the wifi signals are working and available. We bring our own wifi.
* We host a private online gallery with a password (if desired), for reprints, enlargements and more.
Will I get a digital copies of all of the event photos?
* You will receive a digital download of all of your event photos, including the original pictures, via an email download within 48 hours of your event. We usually deliver this service much faster than that.
What is a Hashtag Printer, and do I need one?
If you want to use a Hashtag -- #HashtagYourEvent – then our Hashtag printing allows your guests at your party to instantly have access to print their own photos by using your hashtag when they upload their pictures to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
* Hashtag printing adds a fun and interactive element to weddings and parties, encouraging people to share their photos to receive a physical print at your event.
* For corporate events, hashtag printing also gives your company the perfect opportunity to brand and to expand your social media outreach. This is done by having more interaction with your hashtag.
* How it works: your guest takes a picture with their phone. They post their picture on a social media account, such as Instagram, with your event hashtag (that you decide on). We have our hashtag printer server scanning the internet for your hashtag during your event. When it finds the photo that your guest posted, then that photo shows up in our photo gallery of the social media sharing station (provided that their account is not locked) and then you have the option to print it at your event. This is an add-on feature with our services.
What about picture quality?
* We only use professional equipment, including professional grade Canon DSLR cameras, each with a professional lens, as well as professional grade dye sub printers. Typical DIY setups and iPad cameras cannot match the level of quality of a photo booth with the equipment and software that we use.
* If picture quality is something you want, then we have it!
* You can enlarge the photos from our photo booth, with the digital images you will receive, and make beautiful prints or artwork for your home, and love the results!
Can you provide B&W photos or photos with filters?
* We can make your entire event a classy B&W or monochrome event, it is your choice to do this. We would do this with our camera vs. using a filter in our software, for the best results.
* If you want to use a different filter, we can also provide you fun choices for that, as well. For example, you can choose one of the following per event: Sepia, Vintage Filters, Cartoon Sketch, Warhol, Dave Hill, Night Vision, Thermography, Pixel Art, Comic Book, Mosaic, Cross Process and more. More than one type of filter will slow down the photo booth process and we don’t do that.
Will you tell me about your backdrop options? Also, may we use our own backdrop?
* We have a lot of options for large or small sequin elegant backdrops in various colors. If you want a color we don’t have, please inquire about the possibility of adding that color.
* We can do a fabric backdrop, sequins are not the only kind around.
* Green screen or blue screen backdrops (this is an add-on feature)
* Specialty backdrops are custom made and are also add-on features, to include:
o Custom balloon backdrop
o Floral backdrop
o Boxwood (beautiful greenery)
o Step and Repeat (vinyl)
* You may also opt to use your own backdrop, but we will need to discuss the details to ensure that what you want to use will work with our system. For example, it needs to be long enough, NOT transparent, and more. Talk to us.
* Sometimes a venue has a beautiful brick wall, garden wall, or some other desired option that may serve in place of a backdrop.
Tell us about your props! Are there any themed props?
* We give you the option to use props – or you can go Propless! We like propless! Your guests will “do what they do” with or without props.
* We have a huge variety of props, found from literally all over the world. Of course, we have the standard props, such as of all sorts of glasses, hand fans, hats, etc., but we try to keep the props fresh and interesting, and non-standard – and clean! You may look through our online galleries to get a visual on some of the props. We find that guests really enjoy using our royalty props!
* We make or design custom props for some events, such as graduations, bar or bat mitzvahs, holiday parties, weddings, etc. For example for wedding shows, we have a variety of non-traditional veils we use for the brides-to-be.
* If you want to have custom props for your event, it will be an add-on to your contract. If you want to use props we already have, there is no charge at all for them.
May we bring our own props?
Yes, of course, if you want to use your own props, you are welcome to bring them. However, we do prefer that no one brings the paper props/signs that are on little sticks. They do not work well, they get broken/torn, and then end up buried on the ever tussled prop table. Just resist the urge to make or buy thin paper props. Please.
Do you provide a photo booth attendant?
Yes, of course! We have at least one photo booth attendant, and often, we will have two.
May unattended children use the photo booth?
Because our booth IS an open style, there is always an open line of sight for anyone “in” the booth. As long as any guest is well behaved, including children, they are welcome to come and play in our booth. We do not care how many times a guest visits our booth. There is usually a line of folks waiting, and they can just get back in line.
If your child is “living” in the booth, we may start dressing him or her up with various props for our own amusement. We aren't gonna lie -- this has definitely happened before!
We are child-friendly and often will do “child” events, such as school dances, birthday parties and more. If/when any child is out of line, we first try to defer to the parents or teachers. If necessary, the use of our Parent Voices is enough to re-direct for appropriate behaviors.
May pets be allowed in the booth?
Pet lovers are we -- so yes, we welcome pets in the booth! Please do not let them pee on our backdrop or equipment.
We have done several “pet” events, including the annual fundraiser Breakfast at Sniffany’s in Calvert County. We have had a black Labrador as the wedding ring bearer in our booth, as well as snakes, Cayman alligators, other dogs and unicorns!
What happens if a guest takes an inappropriate picture?
As a general rule, you are responsible for your guests and their behaviors. On occasion, there has been a whoopsie in our photo booth, so we deal with that on a 1-to-1 basis. For example, if someone lifts another guest into the air and the resulting picture shows a little more than was intended…we can delete that photo as if it never happened. Photos such as this that would never end up in our online galleries. As always, if you or anyone else does not want their photo in an online gallery, we are happy to take it down. We recommend you get password on your gallery that you share with your guests.
Do you setup your photo booth outside?
* Short Answer: No!
* Long Answer: We can -- but we really prefer to do photo booths indoors or under large shelters (such as the huge event tents with sides. There are many logistical reasons for this, including:
o Weather does not always cooperate, and is often unpredictable. Our equipment is expensive and weather sensitive (not too hot, not too cold).
o In the wind, our backdrops become like boat sails.
o In the intense sun, printers can and do overheat.
o In the rain, snow, etc….just no.
* In the event we do setup for an outdoor event, here are some minimum requirements:
o A stable power source 30 feet or closer to our space.
o A flat, hard surface (no hills or uneven ground). o Under a tent or with a source of awning.
o No water or mud nearby.
Do you require vendor meals?
No, we absolutely do not require it, but we always appreciate it when it is offered. Thank you!
Do you ask for reviews?
We appreciate great reviews, and we do sent out requests to our clients to ask for an honest review after the event is over. Your reviews of us help others make their decisions on whether or not they want to hire a company like ours.
How far do you travel, what is your service area?
We normally travel within 60 miles of Southern Maryland (zip code 20619). Outside of that area, we charge 50 cents per mile each way. We've been as far as New Jersey, West Virginia, Virginia Beach, Arkansas and are happy to travel! If the travel is more than 100 miles each way, we will require overnight accommodations.
Do you like your job?
* We LOVE love LOVE our photo booth business!
* Wait! Did you say “job”? How can this be a job when it is So Much Freaking Fun!
* We love what we do, and we are the best we can be at it.
* What does this mean for you? It means you truly get the best Cadillac version of a photo booth experience that you can!
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us!