Pay per use vs. flat fee?

We were just contacted by a local bar about setting up Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night for the Halloween weekend. Instead of them paying us our flat fee, they want us to charge patrons per use of the photo booth, and we would keep all of the proceeds.

Has anyone ever done this with success? How much would you charge? Our booth is not the type where we just set it up and leave. We man it 100% of the time.

Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.



  • Mike
    Flat fee only. The economics do not work to your favor with per use
  • LorneChesal
    It is sad & maddening to say this, but when you put a dollar value on a trip through the booth, nobody wants to do it. It has to be "free" or as I call it, sponsored.

    I have tried a fixed per-use value at various charitable events, and the only way is to make it a pay-what-you-feel-is-right. I just can't see a bar full of liquored up patrons being any better. I would also fear them becoming aggressive about paying as the night wore on.

    IMO, treat it like any other commercial event/client. Share the risk if you feel it's right, but don't assume it entirely.
  • necheez
    Mike and Lorne, what you are telling me is exactly what my gut instinct was telling me. We are going to pass on this "opportunity". Thanks for your help!
  • cpphotobooth
    I just want to chime in and say there is a time and a place for pay per use. If you are looking for exposure/to connect with the community/make connections, then I say go for it. Free advertising and people get to see what you're about (I have made great connections in the past through pay per events). This, however, does not seem like one of those cases, for the reasons listed above. Drunks+no money for you sounds miserable.
  • Unknown
    We never to pay per use, even for charities.

    Charities will sometimes have donation boxes, which we're fine with. On one occasion a charity had a local business pay our fee and we stuck their logo on the strip, which worked well for everyone.

    I feel that forcing people to pay to use the booth kills the excitement, and (even though it's not the case) potential clients will perceive that the experience will always be like that.
  • Instantphotocube
    Last week I did a fundraising type event where I was paid a flat fee and the "sponsor" decided to collect a fee for people using the booth. They provided a volunteer to collect the money which was $4.00 per session. The first hour was an epic failure. Few people used the booth, then for the second they removed the cost and allowed the use to be free. Pay per use just doesn't seem to work in my market. Like Lawrence, we have had moderate success with a donation jar at Charity events.
  • indy99
    I am trying out a new approach. 80/20 split of the gross. I will charge 3.00 per person. 3 people in the booth will be 9.00. Every person in the picture gets a strip of photos. This is for an animal shelter fundraiser. 80% to me and 20% to the shelter. Wish me luck.
  • Mike
    Good luck, hope that works out. Please let us know how it went after you do the event.
  • scottishmovies
    I've had similar "requests", mainly for charity events being held in big name stores. What they really mean to say is "Can you come and work for free and make us look goodto our customers - we know you won;t make much but it'll be fun for all the staff to have a go!" Once bitten.....
  • smilebox
    I was approached by a group of seniors at a high school here in Caracas. They are planning an event to collect funds for their graduation party 2014. The idea is for me to activate the booth for a couple of hours on a flat fee, BUT they would sell tickets in advance to the kids in the school, for them to have a Go on the booth. I think this has great potential but it is an upfront Charge. Who ever brings a ticket goes in the booth.

    Will see how this goes!
  • indy99
    Well I did The Day of the Dead thing.... 4.5 hours 200.00 gross, Net=160.00.

    Nice for the animals(fundraiser for the local shelter) just a little cash for me.

    I did win 100.00 of instant lottery tics and a ride-along-with-a-cop-day prize with raffle tickets.

    I have done several cash bookings and I don't think they are profitable if at all. I think I will be staying with the corporate/wedding/grad events as a sure thing.
  • Unknown
    I'd tend to agree that a FLAT FEE will provide you with a guaranteed profit for the night. I tried a "pay as you go" one night for a local adult sports team which barely paid for my costs. I could have charged more, but I figured having more guests (volume) would be more profitable than "gouging". I don't think I'll be using that system again. Some people used the booth over and over which was a good thing for me.

    I'm not sure I'd even want to set up a photo booth in a "bar" environment. I've been in hundreds of bars and entertainment venues to shoot "concerts" ( live music) and I just couldn't imagine setting up a photo booth in that type of environment - too many inebriated clientele.
  • cheese-it-up
    We did a 3 hour job for a Chamber of Commerce dinner, 150 or so couple there, EIGHT is all that came to the booth. They had us set up in an out of the way (out of sight) area. Glad we charged a flat fee!
  • Minh
    flat fee only.. just did a charity event for 3 hours.. only raised 150 for 3$ prints.. and in a bad location = ugh. but $150 is better than 0// I'll only do free for charity now. its silly to do tickets/per price.
  • Unknown
    I've down a few $1 ad $2 per session (per person) at grade schools and worked very well.
  • Photoboothcrazy
    I would never due a pay per visit, although we did a charity function, we charged the charity a flat rate, then they charged a per visit fee. But I got my money in full upfront
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