DIY Photo Booth: Equipment Work Flow

Photo Booth

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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.

Wedding Photo Booth

The Backdrop

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…

Photo Booth

Materials:

  • 2 paint colors
  • plaster of paris
  • sandpaper
  • paint brush
  • 4 door hinges

Photo Booth

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.



Photo Booth

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

Photo Booth Sign

Photo Booth

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.

Equipment:

  1. Canon EOS 60D with Canon 35mm f/2 IS USM Wide-Angle Lens
  2. AC Power Adapter Charger kit for Canon Cameras
  3. Wireless Shutter Remote Control Release
  4. Eye-Fi Mobi Pro 16GB WiFi SDHC CARD
  5. Tripod
  6. Batteries

Photo Booth Equipment

Setup:

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.

Power Up

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.

Remote

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.

Instant Access

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.

Tripod

You’ll need a tripod (6) to keep your camera off the ground and at eye level.

Batteries

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!

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Megan Ford
    June 13, 2016 at 7:44 AM

    Hello! Thank you so much for all of this information! I plan on doing this at our wedding on June 26, 2016. Any other tips to make this an easy experience for our guests? Also, do you know how to set up the eyefi to go directly to flickr? I was thinking of displaying an ipad for guests to immediately see the photos.
    Thanks!

    • Brian Marquis
      Reply
      Brian Marquis
      June 13, 2016 at 8:45 PM

      Hi Megan! Congrats on your upcoming wedding! The one tip I would say is run a walk through of your photo booth. Make sure everything works as you want it. Depending on your wifi, uploading times may be prolonged. As for Flickr – that is setup in the EyeFi software. Good luck!

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