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Photo booths are a great activity to have at your wedding. One way to cut this cost from your budget is to setup your own. There are so many ways to set up your own booth; iPads, point and shoot cameras, phones, Polaroids, and DSLRs. For our wedding, I setup a photo booth using my own DSLR equipment and built the backdrop out of old doors.
There are so many options for backgrounds. If you’re inside and looking to stay simple, think about layered fabrics or sequence backdrops. If you’re outside use the natural backdrop or construct something…
- 2 paint colors
- plaster of paris
- paint brush
- 4 door hinges
Before painting the doors, sand them down. To get the chalky look, I mixed one part plaster of paris for every 2 parts paint (i.e. 1 cup plaster = 2 cups paint). Make your mix and paint the doors. I painted two doors one color. Add a second coat if needed. Now, sand the doors. The trick to making doors look distressed is to sand them where they would be touched, knocked, or bumped the most. Start with all of the edges, corners, and around the door knob. Sand other areas as needed.
Using door hinges, connect the doors by screwing the hinges back onto the doors so they all connect. I ran a thin piece of wood across the top of the doors conencting the outer doors. This is where I strung the market lights. Add a cute sign and props. Voila! You have a backdrop
Photo Booth Equipment
At the very least, all you need is camera, tripod, and backdrop. BUT, if you want your photo booth to be self-run and able to share pictures immediately, then here is the equipment we use to setup our photo booths. You’d be surprised how easy it is to set up.
- Canon EOS 60D with Canon 35mm f/2 IS USM Wide-Angle Lens
- AC Power Adapter Charger kit for Canon Cameras
- Wireless Shutter Remote Control Release
- Eye-Fi Mobi Pro 16GB WiFi SDHC CARD
Camera and Lenses
I’ll either use my 35mm or 18-55mm zoom lens (1). I’ve tried the 50mm lens, but with a shallower depth of field, it’s hard to capture everything in focus especially if you’re trying to get groups of people in the photos. The 35mm while still intimate, captures a great shot. 18-55mm zoom is great for photos with a lot of people or a larger backdrop.
In order to not run out of battery power, I purchased an AC adapter (3). The pack goes right in to the camera battery input, and plugs into an outlet. This allows your camera to run on continuous power. Make sure you turn off your camera’s power save mode to ensure it does not turn off.
The remote I got with my camera had to be pointed at the camera – ANNOYING! I found this great remote (4) that works wirelessly through an FSK 2.4GHz wireless system – aka, this remote does not have be pointed at the camera and can be hidden anywhere. Make sure you focus your camera before the photo booth-ing begins and set the lens to manual focus. This way, when you press the remote, it will not focus the lens. This allows for fast shooting. You can enable focusing the lens by turning auto focus back on, however this may slow down your experience, especially if you’re going for a self-run photo booth.
The Eyefi card (X-Pro) (5) is amazing. Basically, it has the ability to upload your photos over wifi (as they are taken) to a preselected destination. This could be a computer, phone (via an app), or a social networking site like Flickr. Rather than printing your photos, you can have the photos upload to Flickr instantly for instant access and sharing.
You’ll need a tripod (6) to keep your camera off the ground and at eye level.
The remote and the receiver require batteries (7). Have a handful of them in your camera bag just in case the remote/receiver’s batteries die.
Do you photo booth? Let us know!