Inflatable Props are pretty cool additional for your portable photo booth business.
Not everyone will agree with me, but I love inflatable props. They are easy to transport, relatively cheap and the ones I use are very colorful and so they blend in nicely with the pictures. They do have a couple of drawbacks. They don't last forever and yes, you do have to blow them up at the start of the event and let the air out at the end, but usually I don't have a problem making the time as I generally arrive quite early at my events anyway and rarely have any problems.
At a minimum I will carry a blowup guitar, blowup sax and 2 blowup mics. They are readily available from any of the novelty stores.
Higher End and Custom / Specialty Prop Websites
There are many companies that make custom props besides RBA Photobooths. Check them out on the internet and then order from your favorites.
www.etsy.com – has lots of prop vendors – just do a search for “photobooth props” and you will see them all listed.
In the case of the photobooths I do sometimes use the limbo sticks for decorative purposes. I do sometimes make a joke that you must do the limbo in order to get your picture taken. I've seen some girls use the limbo sticks as a strip pole props which sometimes can be a bit embarrassing, but then again, it's all about entertainment.
Now just so I make this perfectly clear – the limbo stick can only be used as a simulated stripper pole for pictorial purposes. It has no vertical strength and could not be used as an actual stripper pole.
The biggest thing I like about the limbo stick is that it folds up very easily no matter what I do with it. I recall the times when I sold the limbo sticks back at EZ Photobooths which was my old company, which is now known as RBA Photobooths.
What To Do About Stolen Props
This is a difficult one. Sooner or later, and many times unintentionally and by drunk guests, some of your props are going to disappear.
There are ways to limit the loss. The best way is to have adequate staffing for the size of the event and to maintain effective control over your booth. There are many reasons why you should not lose control and let the inmates run the prison, for lack of a better analogy, but holding onto your props is not one of them.
Also be very careful with drinks. I try to have a table nearby where the guests can place their drinks while they are at the booth. I am very vigilant in not allowing guests to put drinks next to the props and will remove the drink placing it aside if necessary. The risk of losing props to spilled alcohol is in my experience an even greater risk than losing them through other means. There is nothing worse than a box of props that smell like an old stale bar, and well, I don't allow that to happen, but have seen that with other photobooths I had nothing to do with where I happened to be either a guest myself at the party or the DJ.
There are some who have suggested charging the client for lost props and making that a part of the contract. I recall when I was still renting portable photo booth heavily, I thought of doing the same thing. However, I am way too busy building RBA Photobooths now as a house hold name nowadays. While I don't completely disagree with that approach I won't use it myself for a number of reasons. First off, if you are running the booth properly in the first place, the losses should be both infrequent and relatively minor, so I write them off as a cost of running the service. Secondly, it leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth and puts you in an adversarial position with the client – the $20 you got for the props may end up costing you a future $1000 booking. Third, it is a logistical nightmare. I keep a relatively good inventory of my props and add and subtract effectively where necessary, but in order to charge a client for the props, you must first completely inventory and have the client sign off on what was delivered, and then re-inventory again at the end of the night, at a time when you most likely want to just pack up and go home. All in all, its just not worth it for me to do all this work for the sake of a few props here and there. I have generally lost more props just due to regular wear-and-tear than to theft. It's best to simply just keep moving forward and focus on renting your portable photo booth to generate that extra income.