We've all seen those super fun photobooth pictures from a wedding or party! They look something like this:
We wanted to do something similar at our wedding, so we took to finding a way to do it with items we already had and using the Internet as our guide. Nick gave me a very nice Sony DSLR camera a few years ago and I had read online that if you have a DSLR, you're going to get much better results from a photobooth than you would with a regular point and shoot camera. Since we already had the camera, that was one big thing we needed, but already had so no money spent. Next, I decided to explore options for how to run the booth. We could print up directions and guests could run it on their own, just pressing the button for others, etc. But I figured there was probably a remote option for my camera. I put the remote on my Amazon wishlist so I'd remember where to find it. Then, my mom bought it for me for my birthday – score, no money spent! It took me quite a while to figure out how to get it to work with my camera (Sony Alpha a390), it was buried in the menu and the symbol for enabling the remote looks kind of like a wireless symbol – in case anyone else is struggling with a similar issue! Once I got the remote working, I took a few test shots and was pretty pleased with the quality. Sorry – no real samples to show you, so instead another funny photobooth picture!
We then decided it would be awesome if we could get the photos to automatically upload to our iPad so that we could let guests see them right away or at least shortly after the photo was taken. I had given Nick an Eye Fi card a few years ago and figured there must be a way to do it. I took to the Interweb to research and came across this super helpful video! We got super excited because the directions were really easy to follow. Unfortunately, the Eye Fi card is not compatible with Sony DSLR. It did work with Nick's Sony H9, but we decided the quality of the photo and ability to use the remote was more important to us than immediate sharing to the iPad. If we want, we have a memory card reader for the iPad so we can transfer some photos mid-reception to get more folks to take their photos at the booth.
We lucked out with our wedding being in October because we've been able to score some fun props with being so close to October. The other night in Target we checked out the dollar bins and found some interesting props that we thought would make for some fun pictures of our guests:
I'm looking forward to seeing some of the silly pictures we get. My fiance knows of the guy who owns bkbooth.com through the Internet world and liked the funky backdrops he had done. We spent about an hour in Jo-Ann's looking for the perfect fabric and taking sample photos of ourselves in front of the backdrops. I wish I had taken those photos on my phone – they were pretty hilarious! We ended up deciding on this fabric in the end, not super bold, but still fun! We also wanted it to be budget savvy, we had found another fabric we liked, but it was $8 a yard a not eligible for our coupon since it was already on sale. We ended up buy 4 yards of this fabric, since it was only 44″ wide and cutting in half and sewing together. These sticky sequins were a pain to sew, I ended up spraying my needle with Goo Gone and that did the trick, I also worked very slowly to keep the needle from building up heat and getting gummed up.
Once we picked our backdrop, I decided I could use clips and attach it to a rolling garment rack that I have. This would make it high enough for our taller guests – like my fiance who is 6′ 6″ and also easy to move around once we decide on where to set it up at the reception. We'll have the camera set up on a trip and the remote available to our guests with some basic directions on how to use our self-run photo booth. We hope our guests enjoy it!
We'll probably also make a bit of signage like the one below to instruct guests on how to use our photo booth since ours is self run. I'm thinking something like: 1. Grab a friend 2. Grab a prop 3. Grab the remote or something like that to keep it simple for our guests to figure out.
Money Spent on our DIY photobooth:
Camera – already had – $0
Tripod – already had – $0
Remote – gift – $0
Backdrop – Jo-Ann's – $16
Garment rack – already had – $0
Poster – printing at home – $2?
Grand total: $28
I'd say that's a pretty budget savvy project – what do you think? Any other props we should include. We plan to make little dry erase or chalkboard signs and will print the instructional poster. Are you doing a photobooth? DIY or hiring someone?