Our DIY Photo Booth17

Our DIY Wedding: The Ultimate Photo Booth How-To Post

One of my personal favourite things about our DIY Wedding has got to be the Photo Booth. I put up the photographs from it recently, and the reception they got was great. Today I am attempting the mammoth task of writing the ultimate DIY Photo Booth How-To Post.

Our-DIY-Wedding

This is where I share all I’ve learned about the joy that is the photo booth, and all the hints, tips and advice I can give you to making your own little bit of photographic magic.

 

 

Props

This is the fun bit! You can re-live your childhood in the dress-up box and gather all sorts of strange and wonderful items for your guests to pose with. Here are a few ideas…

DIY Moustache on a Stick Tutorial

  • Dry-Erase/Chalkboard Speech Bubble – get the template here in our Awesome Free Printable – DIY Photobooth Kit
  • Heavy Black Glasses – click for chic and eco-friendly tutorial
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats of every kind – trilbys, cowboy hats, hard hats, top hats, crowns, jester/clown/viking/nurse hats, fascinators, sun hats, cloche hats, bobble hats… you get the idea.
  • Strings of pearls
  • Long evening gloves
  • Retro cameras
  • Clown noses
  • Feather Boas
  • Silk flowers
  • An empty champagne bottle
  • Clip-on earrings
  • Scarves
  • Fans

If you are having a themed wedding, choose your props appropriately, they’ll really reinforce the feel of the theme.

Background

There are lots of options for backgrounds for your photo booth. We had a yellow fabric sheet made from some IKEA KAJSASTINA material. I simply hemmed the top and threaded a length of twine through it, looping the ends to hang up. Here’s some more inspiration…

Arty Day After Session

Ribbons! Autumn and Adam handmade their ribbon backdrop for their Cute and Arty Day After Session with Tara Welch Photography which we featured back in September. If you like the look but want a more budget-friendly way of doing this, why not tear some brightly coloured bedsheets into strips, and hang for the same effect?

Oh Happy Day Sequin Backdrop Tutorial

Sequins! This amazing DIY sequin backdrop will make your photo booth pictures look like they were taken inside a massive disco ball! The full tutorial is over on Oh Lovely Day.

Sean Curtin Photography's Awesome Photo Booth

Living room! This amazing backdrop shows how unlimited the possibilities are! For their wedding, photographer Sean Curtin and his wife Kate made this full-scale living room backdrop. It now lives on – for couples who book Sean for their big day.

Equipment

First of all, you’ll need a camera. Most couples opt for a D-SLR for the best quality, but for a retro vibe you could use a polaroid camera, or a point and shoot camera.

Using a tripod will mean you won’t have to have the booth manned. Most D-SLRs are remote-control compatible, and for as little as €15 you can pick one up and make your booth an unmanned affair.

And you might need some lights…

 

Lighting

  1. Daylight -If you are having a summer/outdoors wedding, then you’re in business. Natural light is the best light for photographs, even better if it’s a little overcast (not that a bride would be hoping for a cloudy day). If you are expecting a scorcher of a day, be sure to hang a light-diffusing bed sheet overhead to diffuse the shadows.
  2. DIY Lighting – Indoors, wintertime? Your photo booth will need a bit of help in the lighting department. Halogen work lights are ideal as DIY lighting. You can get them in any Home Improvement Shop, and sometimes they are available as specials in Lidl and Aldi. Set the light up to bounce off the ceiling or a wall, instead of being trained on your subject for a better result. Just remember to take care – those bad boys get hot.
  3. Professional Kit – If you are fortunate to have a friend who owns a studio lighting kit, don’t be shy about calling in a favour. Professional kits will produce the best light for your photos.

 

Printing

There are lots of options to consider. Instant photographs will definitely help spread the word about your photo booth to guests who might otherwise have missed it, but there are practical and budgetary concerns to take into account.

  1. Polaroids – if money is no object, you could opt for Polaroid cameras for instant prints. These work especially well with vintage/modern theme weddings. One drawback with polaroids is you only get one copy, which the guests will probably want to keep, so sharing photographs will be more difficult.
  2. On-site Printing – arrange to have a printer on-site to churn out prints as they happen. Using pict-bridge you can hook the printer up directly up to your camera, eliminating the need for a computer. Just make sure to have plenty of ink and paper on hand!
  3. Professional Printing - you can of course just save up all the photographs and send out prints with your thank you cards – this a budget-friendly option. Imagine your friends and relations’ faces as they open their post and see pictures of themselves with funny glasses and dodgy moustaches!
  4. Social Media – you can of course decide not to print the images at all and share them on facebook or on a photoshare website.

 

Setup

If you have the time, definitely do a run-though, and if you can do it in the venue, even better. It will give you a chance to resolve any unexpected issues, like lighting and camera settings, and how best to display your props.

 

Non-DIY Alternatives

If that all sounds like too much hard work, there are lots of people out there who can help you out -

Photographers

Photo Booth by White Tea

Photo Booth by White Tea

Photo Booth by White Tea

Have a chat to your photographer – they might already offer a booth service. If you’re lucky enough to have booked White Tea Photography or Sean Curtin Photography already, you’re in luck – this is a service they are delighted to offer.

Photo Booth Rental Services

Picture Booth and Photo Booth have actual booths that they come and set up for your big day, with the option of having it manned.

 

Further Reading

Moustache-on-a-Stick How To

Ready For Your Close-Up: The Rise of The DIY Photo Booths

White Tea-flavoured Photo Booth Inspiration

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