In this article we will be discussing what to do when a photo booth breaks down, or malfunctions.

free photo booth eventsWe have all been there, and if you haven’t been, don’t worry you will 😉.  Problems are bound to happen in an industry that uses so many electronics.  This article is all about what to do when your photo booth goes down, starts printing all black, reflections, etc.  So read on brave photo booth warrior, next time you have a challenge, you will handle it much easier!

Picture yourself at an event, you have 20 people in line and your photo booth begins to keep restarting on its own.  What do you do?

The first thing to really recognize when hitting a situation like this is to remember that you are serving clients, and that their experience is everything.  Do not tell them that the machine is broken or not working.  No one wants to hear this, and it creates stress in a situation where people should be having a good time.

A better approach is to say that you are just restarting the system, or giving it a little break.  This will buy you time as you figure out a solution.  Also turn off the lamp to let people know that the photo booth is off.  Hopefully you know your booth inside and out, and if you don’t… Now is time to learn, not during an emergency.

So obviously, if a situation that requires troubleshooting is going to inevitably happen, make sure that you know your booth really well.  If you are hiring booth tenders to service your events, make sure that they know it well too.

A common thing that we see people struggle with is actually heat.  They will place their booth in direct sunlight and expect it to work as if it is inside under AC.  That is simply not the case with electronics.  If you leave your phone in the hot sun, it will act the same.  Plenty of ventilation, and shade are required to keep things running smoothly.  Make sure to plan for that if you are going to be doing outdoor events.  This will help with a lot of the random shut downs and restarts that systems do to protect themselves.

Even when indoors, heat can be a major issue.  Make sure to keep your system as cool as possible to avoid heat related issues.

Another common problem we see people is with glare.  Especially with outdoor events.  The fix for this is really a covering.  Outdoor events are best serviced within some sort of enclosure, and don’t forget to pack a good fan to keep not only your photo booth cool, but to keep yourself and your guests cool too.  You can say it is for dramatic shots and flowing hair if you want to score extra points with your customer 😉.

What we are going to talk about now is your DSLR settings.  Obviously, this will be a little different for every type of camera but this is what we will mention here.  Write down the default settings that you know work in normal situations for your camera.  This will help you out a lot if yours or someone else’s kids starts to play with it and adjusts everything.  Keep your settings list somewhere and laminate it.  It might come in handy on a day where your photos are coming out black after you have just set up an event.

Something that is very often a problem with people’s machines are actually the connections.  Is the power steady to your machine?  Sometimes we share a power plug with a DJ, and they have a dimmer that lowers the power to that bar… Not very good for photo booths.  Get your own plug.

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There is also a fundamental and old troubleshooting technique to try.  It is very simple:  Check connections.

If wires are not connected, machinery obviously can’t operate properly.  Make sure to wiggle the wires inside the machine its-self to make sure that everything is plugged in correctly.  After you make sure everything is plugged in correctly, and that you have a solid power supply.  Do a simple restart of your system.  Did you install any software recently that you think might be interfering with your booth, now your photo booth to breaks down?  Did you do a system update with windows 10?  It is best to always test your photo booth software after you install new programs.  It is especially important to test your photo booth system after installing a new windows 10 update because they can sometimes cause some serious problems on some systems.

The last thing we will talk about here is if all else fails, turn to communities on Facebook and YouTube for support.  YouTube is good, because maybe there is a video to help you with your problem already with a step by step tutorial.  Facebook is good because you have people there on site to help you in real time.  Your photo booth manufacturer might also be a good resource if you are having an emergency, and your event is during their working hours.

A good thing we find that works well is to write down the solutions to any known problems that other people have had with your booth setup and how to fix it ahead of time.  Keep that for yourself and for anyone that you hire to service events for you.

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