How To: DIY Your Wedding Photobooth


How To: DIY Your Wedding Photobooth | A Practical Wedding

 

How To: DIY Your Wedding Photobooth | A Practical WeddingAfter Intern Lauren mentioned how much she wanted a photobooth at her wedding, and how out-of-reach that seemed to her cash-strapped self, I thought it made sense to lead off our How-To Series with a post on DIY Wedding Photobooths. The excellent Emily (pictured at left, how cute is her dresssss?) sent this in. The post is so Team-Practical-spirited that it cracks me up. At the end of writing her wedding photobooth tutorial, Emily says basically, “Hey, we forgot to charge our camera, so the pictures didn’t really turn out so well… but here is the How-To anyway. And um, charge your camera.” The girl is so un-shaken by her photobooth going a little wrong, that she’s willing to write you a How-To post about it. And I LOVE that. L-O-V-E. So, this tutorial ended up being a bit of a collaboration between Emily (who provided the words), and Cara (who’s amazing photobooth you’ll remember from The Wedding In 73 Seconds movie, one of my favorite things I’ve ever ever run on APW), who provided the pictures.  And um, may I suggest that if you take this project on, you DELEGATE it to someone else altogether on your wedding day? Yes. Do that. So without further ado, the DIY Wedding photobooth.

PhotoBooths were one of the blog-chic wedding features that I absolutely fell in love with. I love photographs and had grand plans of making a photobooth station in which guests would sign a card, take their own picture, and then I would later assemble a gorgeous scrap-guestbook with all the photos. This later got downsized to just having the photobooth and I set my budget for this project at $50.

How To: DIY Your Wedding Photobooth | A Practical Wedding

Here’s what I decided and what worked for me:

1. Use a DSLR. I’m a bit of a photo snob and felt I needed to honor that aspect of my personality. Luckily, I have a friend who owns an old DSLR that she rarely uses so I didn’t feel bad about borrowing it. If you don’t have such a friend and don’t have your own camera to use (you likely won’t use it that weekend anyway), a regular digital or film camera would work fine.

How To: DIY Your Wedding Photobooth | A Practical Wedding

2. There must be a remote shutter device. I think it’s important that people can sneak over to the booth and take their own pictures. This is especially important for kids who might get embarrassed making silly faces at the camera in front of their moms or strangers. The remote allows for surprising pictures.

How To: DIY Your Wedding Photobooth | A Practical Wedding

3. The tripod setup must be sturdy. You don’t want anybody knocking over the camera after a few glasses of wine.

4. A viewing station where guests could click through previous photos did not work. The viewing station is an amazing feature, but was too expensive or didn’t work with my DSLR requirement (Party Booth software).

My solution was a combination of borrowing from friends and using the expertise of a photography store. In Baltimore, that place is Service Photo and their help was invaluable. If you don’t have a photo store in your town, call these guys and I’m sure they can help. They have catalogs that detail which accessories work with which cameras and they can also recommend off-brand accessories that are just as good. Service Photo rented me a big sturdy tripod for the entire (3 day holiday) weekend for $17. Renting a Compact Flash card for the quirky ancient DSLR was $5. They also sold me a 6 foot long remote shutter for about $15. Studio lights were $70 so I nixed that and figured guests would just have to stand still!

How To: DIY Your Wedding Photobooth | A Practical Wedding

Here’s how it worked:

My brother and one of my bridesmaids (the owner of the camera) set up the “booth” in about 5 minutes.

1. We hung a piece of fabric over a door at the hall and that was the backdrop. We are not mustache people, so we didn’t have any cute props, but obviously those could be added. Felt or construction paper and a few wooden dowels or bbq skewers would probably work nicely.

2. The photobooth was set up in a corner. This was to minimize the impact on the rest of the room (surprising pictures must be somewhat secluded, after all) and also to minimize the likelihood that somebody would bump over the tripod or walk off with the remote still in hand.

3. A test shot or two was necessary.

4. I jumped into a couple of shots to get the party started. As soon as we took a few, everyone wanted in.

5. Unfortunately, I failed to charge batteries for the camera (ha!), so we only had about 2 minutes of the proper photo booth. My brother took over and shot some family poses with his camera that turned out to be awesome. But seriously, charge the batteries, yes? CHARGE THEM. The end.

How To: DIY Your Wedding Photobooth | A Practical Wedding

To echo the advice from APW’s DIY wedding flowers post, do not be afraid! This will work! Be brave, ladies! Your guests will love it, and the pictures will make you laugh.

Intro photo by Gabriel Harber.

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  • http://leahandmark.com Mark

    Depending on your technical ability (or the technical ability of your friends) – for that viewing station – you can ‘tether’ your dSLR camera to a laptop so that all of the photos appear on the monitor right after they’re taken (face the monitor towards the people so they click and immediately see the photo.. which will also make it so you have exponentially MORE photobooth photos since the gratification is immediate.)

    If you don’t feel like spending the money on actual specific software – a good option is to download the free 30 day fully functional trial of Adobe Lightroom 3 – just enough time to practice the setup, AND use it at your wedding. It’s not a difficult setup and like everything else, you can probably find a youtube tutorial.

    The only other suggestion I would make is that you make sure you have enough light – either by turning on more lights in the room or having another flash other than the one that’s just ‘on’ your camera – as long as you have enough light it doesn’t really matter how expensive of a dSLR you have.

    • meg

      Excellent. I was going to pick your brain on lighting, till I got to the end of your comment. I know that renting a full scale lighting set up is not always going to be an option (nor will you always have space), but lighting will make ALL the difference in how professional your photos look.

      So as always, listen to Mark, people!

    • Andrea

      Mark–do you have instructions or websites explaining how to tether your DSLR to your computer? Are certain computers better for this than others?
      Thanks!

      • Vmed

        I really like a naked floor lamp or directed-at-the-subject task lamp for improving my crappy laptop camera’s snapshots.

        I figure, it’s a tiny camera. If I expect it to work for me, I deserve to get a bunch of light in my face.

        (Hi Mark!)

        • http://www.vigorotaku.com Dan at Vigorotaku

          Excellent setup. I have used a similar setup for years and many occasions. I summarized it here.
          Photobooth

          Dan at Vigorotaku

      • http://www.dslrbooth.com msleman

        Andrea, dslrbooth.com has step by step instructions as well as software supports tethering to all dslr cameras.

    • http://www.dslrbooth.com msleman

      Great advise. Also if you want to print the pictures right away, I suggest you check out http://www.dslrbooth.com for their software that will assemble several images together and print them with your customization. They also have some more information howto tether your camera and lighting which might be useful.

  • http://townhousetohome.blogspot.com adria

    I’m loving this series already.

    A photobooth is really important to us for our wedding because we both adore fun, slightly candid shots and want to give our guests a chance to just be themselves. While we ended up getting our photographer to throw it into our package without an added cost (and I’m considering myself incredibly lucky for that!) I did create a backup plan involving my DSLR (a gift I gave myself as an amateur photographer last year), a $13 cordless shutter release from amazon.com (which we used for some decent family photos at Christmas this year), and my dad’s old tripod.

    Our wedding is this November, so I don’t have any end results of the photographers photo booths, but I know that I need to get a vintage frame like the one above for us to use…I wasn’t falling in love with the props that I’ve seen in other places (mostly because I don’t think our guests are really the big sunglasses and silly hat group…although, I might change my mind on this), but a nice frame might be just enough icing for our crowd.

    In other words, I have the complete set-up for the DIY photobooth and am in the DC area where things are expensive, and since I love everything about APW, I’m willing to offer up my totally unprofessional services to other people in the DC area who might want a photobooth but not have everything available to them.

    • Casey

      Adria. I’m not in DC and I don’t need a photo booth, but can I just say, you are so super cool for offering that? You rock, lady.

    • Aparna

      I am in the DC area but neither engaged nor married — I just love this site for the fantastic, thoughtful, and down-to-earth posts and comments — and I also want to give you a high five for this offer. I hope someone takes you up on it.

      On another note, what kind of camera did you get? If you don’t mind, I might shoot you an email to get your advice. I am searching for a dSLR which would be good for a beginner like me.

    • http://www.vestainteriors.com marbella

      Adria, if you are serious I would love to take you up on this offer. We really want a photo booth, and I had been thinking of setting one up with a point and shoot, as all our DSLR friends will likely be using theirs during the party!
      Our wedding is Feb 26th in Herndon, VA, about 25 miles outside DC. If you are interested, maybe we can arrange a skill-swap for something you might need help with for your wedding? Alternatively, I’m an interior designer if you need some design work.

      • http://townhousetohome.blogspot.com adria

        you can e-mail me…i’m totally serious – it would be fun and would give me some experience (and it would be free, because i really have like next to none when it comes to experience, so if you wind up with no good photos you can’t hunt me down and sue me or anything…)

        adria1211 (at) gmail.com

    • kasondra

      Hello,

      I’m getting married in the DC area July 5th 2013 (Friday after 4th of July).

      Are you still offering up your services? Let’s chat!

    • Lauren

      Hi Adria,

      I just saw your comment regarding help for anyone in the DC area trying to work with photo booths! I could definitely use some help! My sister’s bachelorette party is next weekend and it Oscar themed- with red carpet and hopefully a photo booth set-up. I would love any help you can offer!

      Thanks in advance!

      Lauren

  • http://www.midwestlantern.typepad.com Mel

    What is DSLR?

    • http://townhousetohome.blogspot.com adria

      a digital SLR camera – basically, a camera that is fancier (for several reasons) than a point and shoot pocket one…

    • http://thisisjacksonriley.blogspot.com Jackson Riley

      digital single-lens reflex camera… not that the name itself is important. i’m (very) not technical, but my boyfriend has one. basically, they are cameras with a little more ‘oomph’ and take quite nice pictures, but are priced to be avaliable to consumers and not just professionals photographers. They have a variety of lenses you can attach, and you can an accurate moment of preview of how your photo will look, better than other standard cameras. I *think.* Anyway, we have a Cannon Rebel and are very happy with it.

      And if anyone has a better/more accurate answer… jump in!

  • http://modernspartan.wordpress.com Nadine

    Thanks for posting this! I’d love to do a photobooth, but the prices are insane, and the technical setup involving a computer seems a little risky. This is a good alternative.

  • http://shellynn.wordpress.com Michelle

    My photographers did their version of a photobooth (they called it a crazybooth) with a professional backdrop and one of the two taking the photos. I bought a little chalkboard and eraser for the only prop. I loved it! I only wish I had pictures of everyone at the wedding. Some people didn’t get to the photobooth before the photographers left.

    This looks like an easy/cheap way to get the same fun, silly shots of the people you love. Yay!

    • Amy

      i LOVE the chalkboard idea (not so into props in general) – brilliant!

  • Jeff

    I second Mark’s thoughts on lighting – we used a dedicated flash unit that mounted to the top of the camera, and bounced it off the ceiling to get the results you see above. One note – make sure you have plenty of extra batteries for that flash, and consider the fancy lithium ones that are a rip off for any other purpose (they let the flash recharge more quickly, making sure you don’t miss any shots.) As the batteries wear down, you’ll have to wait longer between shots, so don’t hesitate to replace them early, just this one time.

  • Nini

    Yay! I highly recommend this, I know our photobooth was a huge hit at our wedding. We also included a white board for people to write a little guest book messages to us, and then afterwards we printed off the pictures that people were kind enough to pose in, unless it was one of their guest book message pictures, and included them with our thank you notes.

    Oh, and I second good lighting. For us it was a must really, our reception was in a greenhouse.

  • Stephasaurus

    I sort of already was thinking about having one of these at my wedding. I’ll just take this as a sign that I should have one!

  • http://www.holritzphotography.com amber

    Random FYI from a wedding photographer… There are plenty of companies out there who will even rent you DSLR bodies if you don’t have access to a DSLR any other way!

  • Caitlin

    Our photographer set up his laptop to do a photobooth – I think there was a program on it that automatically takes four in a row (he didn’t have a mac, which I know has that feature, but it must have been something similar). If you or someone you know is comfortable putting their computer out for people to touch and use (with clear instructions, of course), then I say do it! I only wish I could have had more people take pictures (including me!), and that I could print them out more easily. They came in long, photobooth strip style, so they won’t print like normal photos.

    P.S. I wore the same dress as Emily! Good taste :)

    • Helen

      Caitlin (and Emily) – LOVE the dress! Do you think it’s available online for Australian APW fans?

      • Caitlin

        I hope this isn’t too late to reply – I actually got mine first on the once wed website, accidentally got it hemmed too short and then got the second one on ebay – both together were less than the jcrew price (which is where it’s originally from). Or – in the off chance that you’re 5′ or shorter, size 0ish, I can send you mine!

        • Helen

          Caitlin – that’s so generous, but I would only be a size zero in my dreams. :-)

          But thanks for introducing me to once wed! I think I can see where the rest of my surfing time today is going to be spent…

  • Erin B

    I’m just loving this new DIY series on APW. All of the fun with none of the stress!
    We had a photobooth at our wedding, which was outdoors. My friends strung up a large piece of fabric between two pine trees, and we left a digital camera on a table nearby with instructions. We ran out of time and money, so we didn’t have a) a tripod, or b) a remote control. And you know what? It was great. There were so many people waiting to take their pictures in front of the fabric that there was always someone willing to act as photographer. And the mountains rising up just behind the fabric really made it amazing. Total cost: $4 for the fabric. (My girlfriends made hilarious moustaches and little signs that said “Wink Wink” or “Heh Heh Heh” out of cardboard the day before, which made it even better! But again: cost nothin’ at all.)

    • http://www.jwileyphotography.com Jen Wiley

      This is a really excellent point — if you have light and an outdoor space it makes things a LOT easier. 50% of a great photo is light, so mother nature gets you halfway there :)

  • http://www.jwileyphotography.com Jen Wiley

    Photobooths are supremely fun! I offer the custom backdrop w/DSLR camera on a remote trigger to my couples and I can second all the advice given here. Use a heavy tripod (or a light tripod loaded down with sandbags), and really good batteries in your flash (yes, put a flash on top of your camera and point it almost straight up at the ceiling). I absolutely do not think you need professional lights for your DIY set-up. (And, you can probably get away with a point & shoot camera that you already own if you don’t mind that the photos won’t look terribly polished.) Do make sure you give yourself about 6ft of space between your subjects and the camera. Also, I highly recommend covering up the back of the camera with a piece of paper telling your guests to please, please not touch the camera. People want to see their photos in-camera, and there’s a good chance that they’ll press a lot of other buttons in the process of figuring out where the playback is. This can lead to deleted photos or throwing off the settings in your camera and yielding unfortunate results for future photos.

  • http://penn.typepad.com Leah

    Awesome! This is one feature I definitely want to have at my eventual, some-day wedding. I’d already been planning out something similar to this. I bought a cordless remote for my dSLR for taking Christmas family pics — it was something like $10 or less on Amazon. This can definitely be something that’s done on a budget.

  • Kassy

    This is great! My fiance and I are planning to do a VERY low budget photo booth at our wedding. I was fretting about what the best way to do it would be: Just have people snag other guests to take their photos? Try to leave simple instructions on how to work the camera’s self-timer? I never even thought of purchasing a remote shutter, and it looks like it can be done very affordably, too! Thanks for the advice!

  • Erica

    I did a similar photobooth at my September wedding, and have one more tip: learn how to use the camera before you set it up. Know what the quirky little buttons do.

    On the morning of my wedding, I walked down to the tent site to set up the photobooth. It was beautiful morning, sunny and dewy. I was really excited about the wedding. I grabbed my fiance’s digital camera, and began deleting pictures that I had already transferred to a computer, so there would be room on the card for more photos (and so our guests didn’t go through all of our memories). I came to one that was really funny–he had jumped into the bathroom right after I had gotten out of the shower, and snapped a picture. Needless to say, it’s not too flattering as I’m naked and screaming.

    I saw a button with a strange symbol while that picture was on the screen. Like an idiot, I pushed the button and voila! the awful naked screaming picture of me was saved and locked, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out a way to delete it.

    For about 15 minutes, I decided I would rather ditch the whole photobooth setup rather than risk all of my wedding guests snooping around and finding this decidedly un-wholesome picture of the bride. Luckily, some other random button-pushing managed to delete it forever.

    So, learn how to use your computer. Or, just bring the user manual with you. :)

    • Joanna

      I have to say, that’s absolutely hilarious! Thank goodness you figured out hope to delete the photo. I doubt I’d have as much luck, in that position!

    • Erin

      Umm, yes. Thank you for sharing this bit of hilarity…. er, I mean advice :) Glad you sorted it out ;)

    • http://discerningdilettante.blogspot.com ka

      Hahaha, I love this story/tip. a) that would totally happen to me and b) the story would then join a whole collection of similarly hilarious ones too embarrassing to share w/o the anonymity of the internet, or a couple glasses of wine…

  • http://lilikoiandthyme.com Christine

    LOVE IT. So I’m building my photo booth plan for my Hawaii beach wedding in April and know what the components are so far. Green bushy plants in front of the mountain view = backdrop. Bridesmaids are manufacturing some props (love the frame and the chalkboard ideas above!), and I have a DSLR. But…the lighting! The whole reception is outdoors. Would it work to just collect my family’s lamps and set them up all around the bench?

    • http://www.jwileyphotography.com Jen Wiley

      While a lot of lamps sound absolutely dreamy and beautiful, they probably won’t be enough to light your guests in the photos. And once it gets dark, anything beyond a few feet from your camera (like mountains) won’t show up very well in your photo if you leave your camera’s auto settings in place. Definitely attach a flash to the top of your camera — it’s much more powerful than the one that comes built into a camera. Depending on how ambitious you’re feeling technically, the easiest thing to do might be to just leave the camera in “auto” mode and experiment a little with adjusting the angle of the flash so that it best illuminates someone who’s about 6 feet away from the camera. If the flash you’re using has a little plastic piece that you can pull out and cover the flash with, use that as well. If you’re up to getting more technical, put your camera in manual mode and slow down the shutter speed to let in more ambient light. Around 1/60th of a second is a good place to start. Then put the camera’s other settings on a high ISO around 2000 (depending on what camera you’re using) and put your aperture at around 5.6.

    • starkville

      I’m anti-flash, so my recommendation is to get one or two of those 3-bulbs-on-a-stick lights (easily found at thrift stores), stick some moderately high wattage in there and aim them towards the booth. The old round light bulbs are more flattering than the new CFC ones. Having light directed at the people is better than overhead lighting that causes awkward shadows (hello eye circles), and the result will easier for the camera’s auto-exposure algorithms to process– basically you won’t get that awful white ghost, flash-in-face look.

      Try googling “3 bulb light tree”. There’s a ton left over from the 80s.

      • http://love-vs.blogspot.com Vilija

        Not using a flash properly will lead to the “awful white ghost, flash-in-face look.” If you have a properly lit set-up and angle your flashes correctly you can avoid that look all together and have properly lit beautiful pictures. My husband is an amateur photographer and one thing I’ve learned more about is the purpose of the flash. In direct sunlight the purpose of the flash is to fill in shadows on the face (all of those under-eye dark circles that make you look 100 years old). Direct sunlight is one of the times you want to use a flash to eliminate those dark shadows and make you look young and refreshed.

  • Trisha

    I love this! I wish I’d been able to read it before my wedding. It’s totally bookmarked for other big parties in the future though!

  • Sidni

    I did a version of this at my wedding in September. We got married at a historic lodge on a lake. There were old quilts hanging on many of the walls inside. My photographer brought her tripod, and my sister loaned me her $100 point-and-shoot (I didn’t want my $900 DSLR to get broken), and we set up in front of one of the quilts. No fancy lighting, no computers. It did require someone to push the button, but it was completely free and the pictures came out cute!

  • Amanda

    We did something similar, all for the cost of 2 gift cards (as thank-yous) for my younger cousins (we borrrowed a DSLR from my hubby’s brother, and had our own tripod; frames were borrowed from my Mom’s stash of antiques). D & D acted as the “photographer and gopher” (they are 17 & 13), rangled people to a quiet corner of our reception area, and took their photos with individuals or groups holding frames. My cousins loved having the “job”, looked totally stellar in their brand new suits they bought for our wedding, and everyone loved them!

    One piece of important advice that we missed — make sure the bride & groom are in a shot or two! The only photolog-style pic of hubby & I is from the test run, the day before :( I think Casey will have to photoshop us into a picture!

  • http://thatcardboardbox.blogspot.com Elizabeth

    My husband and I had a bit of a photobooth set up at our wedding in October. The ceremony and reception were in our backyard, so we used an old picket fence as the backdrop for the pictures. He and I spent a summer working together in a costume shop (he learned to sew so he could hang out with me!), so we included a basket of fun hats, capes, parasols and (yes, I’m on the bandwagon) a couple of awesome fake-fur mustaches on dowel rods that one of my bridesmaids made for us.

    We put a photo album with space to write next to the pictures on a table next to the set-up and had people sign it as our guest book. It’s been so much fun printing out the pictures and matching them up to peoples’ signatures and well-wishes in the album. Everyone’s personality really came out in what props they chose and how they posed. My favorite is a picture of my great-aunt in a giant sunbonnet with her best friend of 50 years, who is sporting a mob cap. That’s priceless.

  • http://twentyfivetowife.blogspot.com Amanda

    What about a few bunches of white xmas lights (probably on mega-sale right now) all around the area (but probably not in the frame)? Would that be enough light? If so, it seems like it would also provide a nice glowy effect.

    Anyway, love the series, and so far it’s way more interesting than the step-by-step-tutorial how-tos all over the web.

    • http://leahandmark.com Mark

      It’s hard to say really. The short answer is probably ‘no’, not on their own. A long answer would be to ‘test’ it out – and make sure that you keep your camera settings consistent (meaning on manual) – plus you would also need to make sure that you have enough light on so that your camera’s autofocus feature doesn’t have trouble and keeps ‘searching’. There really are so many different things about the ‘settings’ and adjustments that it’s way too easy to make things much more complicated than anyone except a photographer would want them to be.

      What you want to keep in mind is being able to make the same decent photobooth pictures with enough light, over and over again – with ANYONE and EVERYONE just pressing the button. Simplicity at all costs is (should be) the rule with photobooths – so that everyone just wants to keep making photos ya know?

      • http://twentyfivetowife.blogspot.com Amanda

        Thanks! I was definitely always the one in photo class with really dimly-lit exposures ::bashful grin:: Luckily I was doing lots of yoga at the time and had a really steady hand ::bashfulness increases at admission of not having a tripod::

  • Ariel

    I LOVE this series! Can’t wait for more installments.

  • B

    So glad this series has started up again! I wasn’t going to have a photobooth at my March wedding but now I want one! Hmmmm…… :)

  • http://mrsmoment.blogspot.com/ Mrs. Moment

    Excellent! So crazy how the collect always seems to think of the same thing at the same time! :D After I finished reading the announcement about APW’s DIY series I felt inspired and sat down to write a blog about our make-shift photobooth. I finished it and then came back today and THERE IS WAS a post about making your own photobooth. Crazy.

    So, here is the main thing that we did different that also works. We used a laptop webcam and the Apple computer photobooth program. The effects also added a little flare to the pictures. Since APW already has a post about photobooths I published it on my blog here: http://mrsmoment.blogspot.com/2011/01/eclectic-wedding-idea-make-shift.html

    Blisses!

    Kat

  • Jessica

    I usually skip DIY posts, but this is great. My single biggest disappointment from wedding planning is that I have not the budget for a professional photo booth. My fiancé has said that he’s going to make me a photo booth for the wedding because he knows I want one so bad. I hope our pictures turn out like this! Seeing how great this looks makes me realize how limiting a real booth is. Now I’m excited for our DIY version.

  • Nicole

    This looks like so much fun! Our venue actually has 2 mall style photo booths in it, yaay! I was wondering if anyone could recommend small-ish fun props to include.(there’s not a ton of room in those things) Also, is it completely tacky to provide money for the booths, since they aren’t free? I’ve seen pictures from a few weddings there and people either had a basket full of singles, or seemed to give 3 dollars as a favor to use the booth.

    • meg

      Dude, it’s AWESOME to provide money for the booths. Ditch the word tacky, yes? And honestly, you don’t need props. People will just cram in and laugh. Mmmmmm…. it’s going to be great.

      • Nicole

        Consider it gone! :) I’m so excited that we have these already at our venue.

        • http://itsthejumpoff.com Nicole

          Soooo I just have to tell you that you were right, the photobooth was amazing!!! We ended up putting out a big basket of singles, gifted by my brothers and using it as our guestbook. We ended up with gems like this one.

          http://itsthejumpoff.com/images/PhotoBooth/PhotoBooth006-web.jpg

          So awesome! <3

  • http://glutenfreetravelette.blogspot.com/ Adina

    We DIY-ed our photobooth as well with a GoPro HD Camera.

    You can check out the details about what we did here; http://frecklesandblondie.blogspot.com/2010/10/our-photo-booth.html

    But basically that camera and the stand for it was all we needed. The camera can be set to take a still image every 3, 10, or 20 seconds (or something like that…my hubby is the gadget guy in our house). So we just set the camera up and printed up a sign to instruct our guests and encouraged the use by word of mouth.

  • Emmy

    Great post and comments (as usual!).
    I’d love a photo booth but as there is a public bar with easy access to our room I’d not feel comfortable leaving a camera (even a cheap one) near where someone could slip in and swipe it. I[‘m not worried about an old camera but think of all the lost pictures!
    Instead I’m hoping to recruit my dad into helping me make a photo wall where people can take their own photos with handheld cameras. I’m going to calculate what’s a good size for the “frame” and cut a window in a piece of chip board or something similar. I think I’ll measure the size needed to frame me and my fella stood shoulder to shoulder and after wallpapering the board I’ll fix some coving round the window to create a frame. We’ll also have to work out some sort of stand to hold the board in place too.
    http://ruffledblog.com/diy-photobooth-vintage-wallpaper-frame-wall-backdrop/ is the link that appears most often if you Google this kind of thing, but I’m hoping to find some other examples too.

  • Amy

    Just wondering – have people who used this idea designated a guest (or some guests) to be the picture takers, or simply to monitor the goings on and make sure everything was working properly? I’d love to do this and I think it’s totally possible on my ($0) budget, but what comes to mind is: who would man the camera? Is this too much to ask of someone (as many of us so often tend to be reluctant to accept help)? What if people start fussing around with it and the manual settings get messed up, or photos get deleted?
    Love the idea in general though, and totally planning on running with it.

  • Aunt Diane

    I was ar Emily’s wedding and – charged camera or not – it was a blast. We added a fan and I felt like a runway model. Great menories, and isn’t that what it’s all about?

  • Rachel

    This is perfect. We want a photobooth so badly but there is no room in the budget for it and the prices are ridiculous anyways. This may be just the ticket for us. Thank you so much for posting it!

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  • Brooke

    Intern Laura, I loved your attitude and confidence!!!!

    This is what I did for my wedding photo booth, because like you, I could not afford to rent an actual photo booth. One of my friends told me about this app that she used for the iPad called “Wedding Booth”. I checked it out and did my research. It seemed really neat, so my fiance and I decided to take a chance and purchase it (it was only $9.99).

    It ended up being amazing. The app allowed our guests to write personal notes to us after they took their pictures, and even though some were inappropriate, it was really nice to have these messages to look at after our wedding.

    My friend also told me that if you email the creators of “Wedding Booth,” they email you their instructions on how to build a DIY photo booth out of PVC pipes and curtains for $33 — so we did that and it turned out really cute. So in total, we spent $43 on our photo booth (but we already had an iPad and a stand for our iPad)

    I hope this helps!

    • Sabra

      Brooke – how did you set up the iPad to take pictures? Was someone manning the camera? My fiance and I have considered using the iPad for a DIY photobooth, with a similar app, but I’m not sure how the logistics would work for it.

      • Brooke

        Hi Sabra,

        I am so, so, so sorry for such a delayed response! I never got the notification that you commented on my comment.

        To answer your question, we put our iPad on a stand. Maybe you already have a stand and there are a lot of stand options out there, but here is the stand that we used and it worked great! http://www.ikmultimedia.com/iklip/features/

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  • Brigette

    Love your posts. I have a photo booth set up but I can’t get the lightening quite right. I am using photo booth software and I have a web cam so I don’t have a flash. My booth is in a black tent with a white background. I’m not sure if that is a good color with light bulbs in there. Is it a good way to set up some lights to make a good picture? What would you suggest since I do not have a flash? Right now we are using the light bulb dish.
    Thanks for any advise

  • http://www.vaughnbarry.com Orillia Photographer

    What an awesome idea, I’m totally trying out a photobooth! The setup seems so easy, thanks so much for sharing :)

  • http://www.orlandophotobooth.net/ Benny

    I love the photo frame idea….

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  • Kira

    We did this and it was FANTASTIC!!!
    We just told everyone it was our “guest book” and that they had to participate. All the guests loved it and it photos came out gorgeous. I cheated a bit because my dad is a professional photographer and had fancy lights and camera and etc, we hired one of his assistants to man it. Props from thrift stores. Exponentially worth it.

  • Robyn

    Hello, I’m preparing my friend’s wedding. We love your idea: DIY photobooth. Where did you find (or buy) those photoframes? Were they light enough to hold?
    Thanks,
    Robyn.

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  • http://capeofdreams.wordpress.com Jessica@CapeofDreams

    This post gave me the courage to make my own photo booth. It was wonderful. Visit my blog to see how I did it.

    https://capeofdreams.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/diy-photo-booth/

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  • Sasha

    We are also considering having a makeshift photobooth at our wedding in June. I am interested in doing it with a poloroid or instant print camera so that the pictures will come out right away. We will probably either look for a remote and tripod for it, or have someone designated to take the pictures. Any advice on this?

    • support

      Hi Sasha, you should try glitzycam (glitzycam.com). It will print your photos automatically. all you need is a laptop, a webcam and a photo printer to get started. Your guests can start shooting by just pressing Enter, no operator needed. Photos come out shortly with absolutely no user intervention.

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  • Alexandria E. Winder

    so i need an answer asap as i dont see it here, but WHAT SOFTWARE? I am running a windows computer an a webcam. I am thinking glitzycam but am open to suggestions…

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