Check out our super tutorials

Before/After: Black & White

Before/After: Black & White

Learn how to get creative and dramatic black and white images with Lightroom as you watch me edit 10 photos from start to finish in this video tutorial

Extremely Essential Camera Skills

Extremely Essential Camera Skills

A multi-media tutorial designed to help you get control over your camera, and get creative and confident with your photography.

Incredibly Important Composition Skills

Incredibly Important Composition Skills

Discover the secret weapon of great photographers - composition! This practical eBook makes it easy to master this fundamental topic and create stand-out photos.

Super Photo Editing Skills

Super Photo Editing Skills

Bring out the best in your photos with this step by step video guide to using Adobe Lightroom. Become an editing guru in just a few hours, or do it at your own pace.

Simple Wedding Photography

Simple Wedding Photography

A complete guide to photographing every step of a wedding, beautifully. PLUS learn how to build a successful business and make more money, with less effort!

Really Easy Retouching

Really Easy Retouching

Get fast natural retouching skills with this video guide to Adobe Photoshop. Watch as I show you how to easily correct the most common retouching problems.

Awesome Album Design Skills

Awesome Album Design Skills

Albums equal serious profits. Get the skills you need to design beautiful albums with Adobe InDesign quickly, easily and profitably. In just one day!

Before / After

Before / After

Gain powerful editing skills super fast as you watch me edit 11 unique photos in Lightroom. Learn how the essential tools work and when to use them.

The Creativity Field Guide

The Creativity Field Guide

Boost your creativity with this illustrated guide, packed with 100+ ideas, activities and sources of inspiration. Your next great idea is just a few pages away!

Backup or Die

Backup or Die

You will lose your photos some day - make sure they're not gone for good. Create your perfect backup system the simple way - and save money with this fairytale eBook

How We Did It: Lobster Island

How We Did It: Lobster Island

Go behind the scenes of our documentary project. PLUS learn how to create a rewarding documentary project of your own.

Tutorials to get you skilled

Before/After: Black & White
Extremely Essential Camera Skills
Incredibly Important Composition Skills
Super Photo Editing Skills
Simple Wedding Photography
Really Easy Retouching
Awesome Album Design Skills
Before / After
The Creativity Field Guide
Backup or Die
How We Did It: Lobster Island

How To Create A Simple Photo Booth

_MG_0443.jpg

At a recent wedding Lauren and I had the opportunity to set up a photo booth. Photo booths have become a popular addition to weddings and are a ton of fun for party goers. So here’s a look at how we did it, so hopefully you can get a few tips for one of your own!

lightroom-before-after

First, a little disclaimer: there is likely no single right way to setup a photo booth. I’ve seen a variety of awesome setups all producing great shots, so feel free to adapt these instructions to your liking! Experiment! Have fun!

The Setup

  1. We used a single AlienBee 800 placed right beside the camera in order to reduce shadows. We bounced the light out of a white umbrella. AlienBees are some of the most affordable lights on the market and I feel it worked excellently for the booth.
  2. Our lovely couple provided the awesome background. It was fabric they had purchased from an outlet. They had created a rather elaborate PVC structure to hold the fabric, but you could just as easily tape fabric or paper to the wall. Interestingly, you need much less fabric or paper than you would think. I think you would be more than safe with an area covering about 5 feet high and about 8-10 feet wide. If you’re super fancy, white seamless paper on a proper stand would be very lovely. I’d suggest trying this out before investing a lot on gear though, since you can do it very simply! Renting or borrowing paper and a stand are other options.
  3. We used PocketWizards to sync the camera and the light, but since you only need one light and it’s extremely close to the camera you could easily just use the free sync cord that comes with the light.
  4. The camera was a Canon 5D on a tripod set to shoot large JPEGS (I didn’t want to process all the RAW files!). We set our shutter at 1/200 (can’t sync the light faster than that). The aperture was set at f/5.0 in order to get larger groups in focus. Aperture was set to 125 ISO, and the light was set to almost it’s lowest setting. We also set the camera to all points focus, in order to hopefully maximize the sharp shots given that many people would be in the shots and not all standing on the properly marked X. :P
  5. Surprisingly we used a 50mm lens. I thought we would need a wider lens but the 50 just perfectly covered the amount of fabric background. If you had a larger background using a wider lens, shooting from farther away, or shooting vertically would all be interesting options to experiment with.
  6. We used a cheap eBay remote to allow the guests control of the camera. I think this is a pretty great part of the photo booth. You could try to man the booth yourself, but I think you’d get very different photos from the ones they would take themselves. This is where the all points focus and the larger aperture of f/5.0 help out.
  7. It’s useful to have some instructions printed out explaining what people should do. Our couple had a sign up that invited guests to grab a friend. I would probably also add where to stand, where to look (yes, some people looked at the light, not the camera) and how to use the remote. All simple things, but very helpful!
  8. Props and costumes are part of the fun! Have a box next to the booth filled with stuff from the dollar store and you can’t go wrong.

photoboothdiagram.jpg

The Details

  • If you can swing it bring a spare remote. It would suck to have the remote break half way through the shoot!
  • Make sure you bring extension cords, you never know how far away the outlet could be
  • Bring gaffers tape to tape down cords, and masking tape to mark out where people should stand
  • You might want to switch your camera to single shot mode. Or reduced burst mode. For some reason people like to hold the button down and then you end up with a ton of less-than-funny, usually-unflattering images.
  • If you can, bring your tripod and light stand in a bag, and bring your lights, extension cords, and cables in a large lidded bin. It makes tear down and setup pretty quick.
  • Try to setup your photo booth near or even on the dance floor. I think there was a lot more traffic through the booth because of this.
  • Put a “Please Do Not Touch” sign on the back of the camera. A lot of guests want to see the image, but the camera will invariably get bumped and the settings will get changed if they’re all over it. In fact, check back frequently to make sure everything is setup properly (and framed correctly).

Next Time

Because this was our first photo-booth there are a bunch of things that we would do differently next time. These are untested ideas!

  • Possibly setup a monitor to allow guests to review images. Even though guests kept knocking the tripod, and ignoring the Do Not Touch sign they loved seeing the photos of themselves. Seeing the images is obviously an important part of the experience. I’m not sure exactly how we would do this, if we would plug a monitor into the camera (which you can do) or shoot tethered into Lightroom, and have the photos automatically go into a slideshow.
  • Another option I know other photographers do is make prints available right away. I personally think this is too much work (either figuring out how to automate everything and setup a printer, or hiring someone to man a booth (which has it’s own draw backs)).
  • While it would be awesome to get a print into the hands of every photo booth guest I think the better option is to have cards available with information for where they can view and download/purchase the photos online. We’re giving the full set of hi-res jpegs to the couple, but it might be difficult for guests to easily get the shots. In the future I would try to make web resolution images available online for sharing as quickly as possible (great marketing potential via Facebook photos!). This also means that they have to visit your site! Double great marketing!
  • I might spend some more time thinking about more props and costumes. I don’t think they have to be super elaborate, just more options. It’s fun to get variety in the photos, and also to see how your guests creatively use the props. I think almost all the props got used!
  • A larger background might be nice in order to get more people in front of the camera.
  • Potentially move the light right behind the camera to reduce shine and shadows even more. Also would reduce confusion about where to look.
  • Might reduce the shutter speed to 1/160. It was a bit dark near the bottom of the images.
  • If we had a bigger background we’d use a wider lens (a 35mm would probably be perfect) to fit in more people easily. The large groups are always great fun. i>

Again, this being our first photo booth, we don’t claim to be experts at them! There’s plenty of room for experimentation and improvement! It was a very fun experience though, and I can’t wait to share the images with the bride and groom!

Here are a few examples!

 

_MG_0387.jpg

_MG_0547.jpg

_MG_0529.jpg

_MG_0586.jpg

_MG_0360.jpg

Happy Shooting!

If you have any great photo booth tips, feel free to share them in the comments below!

Rob Lim

Hi there, I’m Rob! I’m a photographer and head ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I love all things photography: shooting, teaching and always learning more! If I’m not reading up on the latest photography news, or studying a technique, I’m probably reading a book or planning our next adventure!

Want free stuff? Join the Explorers Club!

Become an Explorer to unlock The Freebie Library, with tons of photography resources like ebooks, presets, templates and more. Plus receive exclusive email content!

Extremely Essential Camera Skills

Extremely Essential Camera Skills

A multi-media tutorial designed to help you get control over your camera, and get creative and confident with your photography.

Learn more →

Discussion

102 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. I do a lot of these photobooth things at events and I do on-site printing as a part of this service. Normally this consists of a team of: two people (a photog and a printer) a sony snaplab and a a box of media including clear plastic frames.

    Usually the set-up is two lights with a white shoot through each at a 45 degree angle, one right, one left to eliminate odd shadows and stuff that can occur with a larger group. The person shooting shoots large jpegs and prints as the other is shooting (if i t's a smaller party you can do this alone) use two memory cards so there is always a card in the printer and one in the camera. Shoot, print, shoot, print. The snaplab allows for a custom border… USE IT, this way if guests want a better version of the photo later they can call you (your info will be on the back of the frame as a business card sticker) and you can charge them for a properly edited print. Booyah. What you do is arrange with the couple (as part of the whole wedding package) for a certain # of prints to be included and typically you print one photo per guest and provide a cd (WITH BORDERS) of the jpegs. The snaplab is easy to use, they have them set up in retail stores as photo kiosks so ANYONE who can press a button can print high quality images on proper thermal photopaper quickly and easily. Boom goes the dynamite. Snaplabs are expensive to buy (about $3000) but cheap to rent (about $100) and the media isn't too expensive but it's top quality.

    Alien bees sync to 125, use that as your shutter speed. (why you need to shoot faster than this is a mystery since your subjects are not moving athletes)

  2. Wow Holly! Thanks for taking the time to share your workflow. It's especially awesome that you've thought through a way to handle printing! And thanks for the tip on shutter speed!

  3. I shoot tethered to a laptop which is hooked up to an external monitor. As I shoot I have an Apple Automator Script Coupled with a PhotoShot Script that crops the image to a standard size and brands the image, with what ever logo/graphic I had present. I do tons of corporate events so I can charge a little more to have branded images for that company.

    From here I set the Desktop Background to show an automated slideshow of the images in the folder, which updates automatically with new images as they are taken.

    I found that people get much more into it when they can see their photos and everyone else's as well. People will tend to congregate around the photobooth to see what crazy things come up and what they can do next.

    If you ever want any other tips let me know.

    • Hi!
      I am a complete novice who has a granddaughter graduating, a family reunion, and a grandson getting married all this summer.
      I thought, if I could , the photo booth thing would be great for all 3 events. However, price is out of my range so I want to build one.
      The booth part is no problem but all the camera jargon is greek!
      Can you list out for me what I need to get? I have a couple older laptops and grandkids that can run stuff.
      Anything would be helpfull

      • John, this is not something for a novice to do. The equipment and software needed is expensive and requires considerable time to learn how to use . I know you’re thinking you can just use your $50 inkjet printer and a laptop, but you will not be happy with the results.
        If you live in a decent sized city, you can probably find a photographer who will provide this service at a reasonable price. In fact, he may not charge you anything, but just charge the guests a few dollars for each photo printed.

      • Hi John,

        No need for a camera if you have an iPad or Android tablet and a PhotoBooth app. We’re investigating this at the moment and looks easy to set up.

        Cheers, webgurl

        • Maybe… Can the customer really see themselves in a 10″ screen? How far or close do they need to stand? Where will you put the camera and the lights? Would they be able to use a remote control? Would the quality of the photo (sharpness, clarity…etc) be up to par?

          Ok… Good suggestion and I have to retest this. I followed a German Photographer who did this back 2010-2011?! Maybe I will try an Android or Window tablet this time!!!

    • Kevin stated: I found that people get much more into it when they can see their photos and everyone else’s as well. People will tend to congregate around the photobooth to see what crazy things come up and what they can do next.

      I agree with you on this. Seeing images on a large TV screen is so exciting. I am looking into a projector (handheld) and syncing it to my MacBook Air. However, I am using the ABR800 RingLight along with the 56″ Moon Unit. You can’t avoid seeing this big huge Round (Ring) SOFT BOX with some nice lights. You can’t help but to walk over to my photo booth station. It is always a hit at the event!

  4. Hey I just finished buying my setup for all this jazz. I actually have all of the same gear. But I have a 9'seamless to go with it. I love this fabric though.

    I have been thinking about getting the snaplab too. For now I'm just going to rent it as I don't know I'm ready to commit to it yet.

  5. thanks guys for sharing. normally photographers are selling out their tips about photo booth. i am glad i found your blog.

  6. Thank you for sharing your setup. Looks like fun.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing, great tips.
    Do you have a photographer/operator dedicated to the photobooth all day? Or do you think a single photographer can handle the wedding coverage + the photobooth?
    I have a destination wedding coming up and I'm wondering if I need to hire an assistant on-location to operate the photobooth.

  8. Hi Fiona!

    We only had the photobooth set up during the reception when we were close by. So we were able to do our shooting, but walk by every once in a while to check in.

    If you had the photobooth up while you weren't in the room that might be tough. But if you are going to be nearby, and are letting the guests control the booth with a remote, I think you'd be able to keep an eye on it while still doing your coverage!

  9. I recently wrote a little guide myself to how I went about creating a series of photo booth style images. The write up can be found here:

    http://www.boywithacamera.com/2011/02/23/how-to-get-mugged/

    I should note that this is not the same process I use for my photo booth business http://www.mugshotlounge.com , although similar in some respects. I will be high lighting that process in the future.

  10. Hey Kevin!

    Wow, that is an awesome guide! And I love your concept of "Get Mugged" very clever. Thanks so much for sharing, can't wait to check out more of your stuff!

  11. Rob & Lauren: Your site is as refreshing as the coming spring. Thanks for sharing your experiences so freely and in such an inspiring way. So glad I found your site! Keep up the great work.

  12. I did my first few photo booths this past season and came up with a pretty cool solution for the guests to trigger the camera. I got a a pre-trigger cable that is generally used to fire the camera via pocket wizard, but instead of plugging it into a pocket wizard I had it plugged into a guitar foot switch/pedal, this using a 1/4" plug so I needed an adapter & cable to size that down to the mini plug used on the pre-trigger cable.

    The pedal was then placed on the floor where I wanted people to gather for the photo. Guests would hit the pedal, the camera would then start a five second countdown using the timer and then blam: photoboot!

    Like other folks I had a monitor reviewing the previous image to guests could see how it looked and re-shoot if they wanted too. It was a smashing success and I didn't need to worry about loosing a camera remote.

    • DEREK.

      This is amazing. I’m doing a photobooth for an upcoming show and this would be PERFECT. PER.FECT.

      Are you even using PocketWizards at all? Or just a pre-trigger cable straight to camera (with an adapter?).

      Ugh, I don’t think my camera has a typical sync port. I’ll have to think about this. Btw, your site seems to be super slow – can’t access your ‘About’ page.

  13. @Kathleen: Thank you so much for the super kind words, you're too sweet!

    @Derek: DUDE! Such a good idea, I love it!!!!! Thanks so much for sharing your brilliance with us :)

  14. Thank you for this. I'm planning to use your tips tonight for my photobooth at my outdoor party.

  15. I'm planning to create my own photobooth setup at my upcoming wedding. I found software that will automate the workflow. Click the button, Canon t2i's live view shows on the laptop, formats the picture into 2 strips of 4, and then prints on my canon selphy cp800. The one thing I'm not sure about is if I should use my 430ex ii on camera with sto fen diffuser, or try to get some sort of cheap umbrella lighting system instead so the photobooth is always lit. The venue itself will be pretty dark.

    • Hi! I’m 64 and not a cameAs wizzard but this year I have a granddaughter graduation party and a grandson wedding so I want to do the photo booth thing for them. I can do the booth, need a list of what I need to do the photos and get them on those 3-4 pic strips. also I like the idea of being able to show them at the events. Can you guide me? I dO have a laptop.
      Thanks in advance, John

  16. *@Kelly:* You're welcome! Hope it went well for you!

    *@Thomas:* Very cool setup you have planned! That automation sounds very nifty!

    You could always try using the 430, though it's not the most powerful flash, and would likely take a while to recycle, especially if you're shooting larger groups that require a higher aperture. It also won't be able to create light that's as flattering as an umbrella.

    Can you go to the venue beforehand and test the 430? That will give you the best idea of how it will act in the venue, and let you decide if it's powerful enough, or if another setup is needed.

  17. Hi Guys,
    Wondering from those that have set up a booth – is one 43" Umbrella with a 580ex II enough light for a photo booth? I'll likely buy another 43" umbrella and make it a two light set up, but wondering from those that have done this? @ Rob and @ Lauren….also @ Kevin – I'd love to see your guide, but the link just goes to your site, nothing about your set up? If you're able to share again that would be sweet.

    Love your site guys! Very informative and a fresh approach. Cheers,

    Jim

  18. I just wanted to thank you for this article. Last week I had this idea to put together a photo booth for a community party we were having. Within 24 hours after reading your article I had the AlienBees b400 rented, fixed lights for illuminating the wall which the "insanely excited people" were standing in front of and a 20' trigger release that either myself or the revelers could use to release the shutter.

    I also found that my new FujiFilm X100 was the perfect camera for this set up. It has the old school shutter release screw in thingymabob – which meant I wasn't losing expensive little Nikon wireless remotes. The LCD screen was big enough for folks to review their images (although I really should have followed your words of wisdom re: putting a DO NOT TOUCH! sign on the camera). Plus the 35mm equivalent was wide enough to squeeze up to 10 folks who were ~ 7 feet away. I used my SB-600 on the shoe mount to trigger the AlienBees and pre-focused the camera to an appropriate focal length so that it wasn't going to spend half its time seeking in the relatively low light. The only real problem was that the SB-600 needed to get woken up after a few seconds of inactivity. Otherwise the first shot would not trigger the strobe. We lost a few classic shots to that.

    Settings were f/8, 1/125th and the AlienBees b400 was at 1/4 power.

    Overall we took 660 shots and I felt comfortable publishing almost 400 of them. Got some great feedback from the community.

    Anyhoo — thanks again so much for sharing your setup. It helped make a truly memorable event.

    Much appreciated!

  19. @ Jim – One 43inch might be a bit small for groups. I'm sure you could make two umbrellas that size work! Also one thing about using strobes (like the 580) for photo booths is the recycle time. You might end up missing some shots as the flash recycles. You can get a battery pack (CP-E4) which would reduce recycle time but your best bet would be using a proper studio flash unit.

    @CJD Thanks for sharing your experience setting up a photobooth! Glad to hear you were able to put this blog post to use so quickly! The shots look great (awesome background!) You might be able to change settings on the SB-600 so the flash doesn't go to sleep, "check the manual":http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/Speedlights/SB-600.pdf page 53. I think you just need to take it out of auto standby mode (though I might be mistaken). Thanks again for sharing!

  20. This post is amazing! It's so nice to have people share information freely without charging for every bit of knowledge! You guys are awesome! So……I'm a total newbie to all of this photography stuff and wanted to see, in your opinion, if you could use a continuous lighting kit (2 lights with white diffuser umbrellas) with a small speedlight and make a photobooth work? I'd like to take a stab at it, but I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on an expensive flash unit. I know the room will be pretty dimly lit. Any help would be appreciated!

  21. Hey Shanon! So glad you found this article helpful!

    I definitely think continuous lighting could work! You might need to increase your ISO a bit to use up the light, but it should be ok!

    I'd recommend trying it out at home first so you can nail all your settings, and figure out where to place the lights. Then at the event you'll have already practiced!

  22. Thanks for the reply Rob. I ended up shooting the booth with two 45" umbrellas and two strobes and three PW Plus II's. Shot this one with the 24-70 f/2.8 as I thought it was the most versatile…Didn't see any trouble with the lights in this setup, but can definitely see where recycling time would prevent you from getting shots. I will likely eventually buy traditional studio lights (couple of alien bees) but this set up worked. Just wanted to share my experience. For a quick (very quick ha) view you can check out the video I made from the booth here –) http://vimeo.com/29586980 and full set here https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.232045090178464.50253.185077244875249&type=1

  23. I haven't done a real photobooth yet, kind of did one at our Halloween party just for friends, but I love all your tips. I'd love to be able to offer this at events and it seems so simple, but definitely overwhelming!

  24. Great site guys, taken a few really positive things from it. I do have a question though…

    I'm about to plunge into this to make some cash on the side and the single light set-up will be perfectly manageable for me, but can you recommend any other lights I could possibly use? I'm in the UK and getting any Alien Bee stuff is a nightmare!? I've got a 5D too with a few good lenses for this and really want to get started!

    (cheers to everyone else commenting too!)

  25. Kevin can you tell me how to do a automated slideshow?

    "From here I set the Desktop Background to show an automated slideshow of the images in the folder, which updates automatically with new images as they are taken."

  26. Jeff Boyardee says:

    I've referenced this page a number of times in the past but now I have something coming up and have questions and could use help or guidance.

    My hardware includes a Nikon D300S, a strobe kit, Snaplab printer, a MacBook Pro, an LCD monitor (and optionally), an EyeFi Pro SD card and Shutter Snitch.

    I wanted to do the old style prints with 4 on a page so I designed a template in Photoshop for a horizontal 4×6 print with two rows of two images. All four images will be different, just like old style photo booths.

    I may have a couple ways I can try and pursue, but I think I will:
    1. Use an app like Softortbild, which has an intermittent timer feature that will take 4 shots 5 seconds apart. I also have Nikon's Camera Control Pro program too so either one may work. I MAY also be able to use the "Live View" setting but people may get distracted at looking at themselves instead of taking the picture or they'll be looking at the monitor and not at the camera in the shot, though I could mount the camera above the monitor.

    2. I want the rest to be a workflow. I have most of it set up but there are small parts that need to work seamlessly for best results and I can't seem to get it right.

    The original images is saved in one location for safe keeping and the copies are placed in a watched folder. NEED HELP PART->I created an Automator action that's associated to a folder to rename the images to "Strip1.jpg" – "Strip4.jpg" (I don't know how to have Automator just grab all images in a folder so I renamed them that way for automator to be able to load the images automatically and not prompt the user to select the 4 images).

    With the PSD template open, I've created a photoshop action that open the 4 strips (another reason they seem to need the same name each time I run the action unless I can get Photoshop to select all images in a folder regardless of the name)

    The 4 images are resized, copied, closed and pasted into the template one at a time and then put into position.

    3. Printing (I STILL NEED TO WORK OUT THIS PART): I was thinking of having it automatically saved to a folder that would have an action associated with it so that once it received the final image it would automatically print the images to the SnapLab, rename the image with a new name (for each subsequent image so perhaps concatenate the file name with the current time), move it to a folder of printed images and purge or if possible, overwrite the images (which I don't think it can do so maybe another action to delete the last set of 4 pictures?)

    One problem is that I need to run the Photoshop action manually grab the images to place them in the template. Anyone know of a way to have Automator let Photoshop know how to launch that action automatically? I'm not very familiar with Actions but I saw a "Watch Me Do" action or something like that, so maybe that?

    The other, most major issue is that I seem to need to manually print to the printer, or is this something that can be done in "watch me do" or can an action remember printer selections? I thought I got a warning that it couldn't while I was recording my actions in Photoshop.

    Lastly, I'd LOVE to be able to print to the SnapLab from my iPad if at all possible but can't seem to figure that out. The printer would be connected to the MacBook so I believe I should be able to see the printer. If anyone knew how to do this, I think this would be the right place to start.

    Photography has become VERY competitive and I've spent a lot of time working on this but as someone said in an earlier post, it's nice that people have been so helpful and able to share on this thread as they have been so I'm hopeful that someone can provide some insight.

    The template file is here: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11729609/PHOTOSTRIP%20TEMPLATE.psd
    It's simple and she wants the text in black so…

    Thanks for taking the time to read my lengthy comment!

  27. Jeff Boyardee says:

    OMG that ended up being a lot longer than I thought it'd be. Sorry!
    =oP

  28. Hey Jeff! Wow, sounds like you're really putting together an awesome system! I wish I could help you but honestly haven't done a photobooth nearly on that level of automation, and personally don't have much experience with scripts and complex actions, or using the SnapLab at all.

    But I hope someone with some insight will be able to help!!

  29. Thanks for the how to! I'm going to try to do this in a couple of days with softboxes left and right with no flash.

  30. I was wondering if any one knew how I could have the images taken from the photo booth display through a projector onto a wall. So not only will the customer get a print to take home… there image(slideshow) will be shown high on the wall for the whole party to see?! any thoughts…

    I shoot 40d/imac27 tethered through aperture.

    • I am just setting up for my first photobooth this saturday. I hooked my LCD projector to my laptop and I am using adobe lightroom 4 to shoot tethered.
      It seems to work pretty well. The only downside is it is taking about 4-5 seconds for the images to leave the camera and show up on the screen.

    • If you were to connect one of these projectors (handheld or larger) to your computer, you can run a slideshow through the projector.

    • Use WedPics.
      Upload the images to your wedpics account
      Connect your laptop to a projection system.
      Run the slideshow.
      New pics show up on the slideshow as you load them.

  31. Hi
    I have a party photo shoot where I would be setting up the photo booth kinda setup but I will always be there to click pictures. It will mainly be a family portraits and some random party shots. I have bought two umbrellas, one with continuous CFL light and another I will put my Sigma DG Super TTL flash. I was planning to have them on either side on my camera. I saw your setup, why did you point the umbrella and strobe in opposite direction to the group? What difference it would have made if you pointed towards the group? What is the best way?

    This is the first time I am here at your site and I really loved your site and resources. Good job in sharing your talent.

  32. I am new to the photobooth gig, I want to do the shooting myself (i know I am crazy) but is there software that allows me to do it. I have a Hiti 510si printer and don't know what software to buy. thanks for any help

  33. Thanks for commenting everyone!

    @Delux – If you get the right adapters / cables you should be able to plug the projector into your iMac. You can set the iMac to screensaver slideshow (choosing a folder where images are being saved). The slideshow would then update automatically.

    @ Sri – We were shooting into the umbrella which bounced back to the subjects. You can also get shoot through umbrellas which diffuse the flash.

    @ Christine – You can shoot tethered directly into Lightroom or Aperture and then print directly from either program. You might need someone manning the computer (to handle printing while you're shooting). You might also be able to setup direct printing from the camera, but I haven't tried that that.

  34. thank u rob lauren and all for ur brilliant ideas, i am learning how to do photo booth and currently gathering ideas from what to use, set up and later SHOT (maybe)…tnx for ur generosity:-)

  35. All this info is sooo helpful – thx a ton. Got suckered into doing one for my son's 7th grade dance. Should be fun now that I have some tricks up my sleeve!

  36. Kassie Humphries says:

    Hi there! This info has been extremely helpful. However, I'm by no means a photographer and am doing a DIY photobooth for my wedding in 2 weeks… so I have a few questions.

    I want to set my Canon t2i up to a small monitor so that guests can see pictures as they take them. I have no idea how to do it! I thought that the correct cables came with the camera, but my 'non-photog' self can't seem to figure it out. Can you help?

    One more question – since this is totally DIY, I don't have all of the fancy equipment. What do you suggest doing if you don't have an umbrella or professional flash? Just straight on flood lights? haha – is that a silly suggestion?!

    I'm printing out your post and plan to get some practice in before the actual set-up. Please email me if you can, but if not I'll be checking back frequently with hopes of a response!!

  37. Hi Kassie!

    I'm so glad our photobooth article was helpful for you! Now I don't know if I can help you much more—essentially everything we know about photobooths is in the article, but I can point you in the right direction hopefully!

    In terms of having the images show up on a monitor, what you're looking to do is called "tethered shooting". We've never done it ourselves, but there are quite a few tutorials out there (for example: http://www.canonblogger.com/2009/05/12/shooting-tethered-with-canon-gear/)

    For lighting, if you don't have any flashes, or anywhere to rent them from, you could try using work lights. Avoid just using the lighting in a room, especially if it's a dark reception venue. You'll need some sort of additional lighting. The best bet with the lighting is to test it out beforehand, and figure out how to place it to get a good look!

    Hope that helps Kassie, good luck with your photobooth and have a wonderful wedding!

    Lauren :)

  38. So happy to have found this tutorial! I love how simple you guys make everything. Perfect for non techies like me! Question. I want to just connect my camera to my flash with a cord and set them close to each other. I'm having the darndest time figuring out what kind of cord I need! Any suggestions?

  39. Love this idea, thanks for sharing your DIY and tips on what you'd do differently next time! Great addition to a wedding or event.

  40. finally a post that isn’t to overwhelmingly techy. I knew it couldn’t be as difficult as some other photo booth set-ups I have read. When I first added to my clients contract that I’d set up the booth, I was afraid I was over my head, but this looks fun!

  41. Hello Again!

    Had some new thoughts recent in regards to props and the photo booth. This really only applies to people running a booth the regular. I’ve been setting up my system a few time a month for various events.

    At a family reunion there was a ton of kids. Kids are gross (no offence). And it occurred to me that all my props are being put on peoples heads, hands, mouths? I need to develop a process of cleaning, disinfecting and disposing of props after… possible every event?

    Thoughts?

    • Lauren Lim says:

      That’s a good point Derek! Since we don’t do photobooths regularly it’s not an issue that we ran into, but I can see if you’re doing them often it’s something to consider! All I can think of is wiping everything down with disinfectant wipes/spray after each booth. But maybe someone else will have a more efficient process!

  42. You guys should check out DSLR Pro from Breeze Systems. It has a Great photobooth control setup.

    http://www.breezesys.com/DSLRRemotePro/

    • I checked out Breeze System last year and I find it a bit complicated. I have a macbook but have to transfer the file (.png) to my email since I have to use my job’s windows computer.

      Maybe it’s me. I do love dslrbooth with my Mac & my Nikon d7000 (what a great pair!). The dslrbooth is so simple and easy to use. I did two events already and the client/guest clicks the remote and have their picture taken and printed in seconds. The software is only $30 (maybe $50 now).

      You create your logo/brand with Paintbrush, paint.net, photoshop or any editing software that create .png files.

      I love this software and I can’t wait until it does more!!!
      Thanks Dslrbooth!

  43. Hi need some help…
    Looking on printing photo booths , but need a mac script to edit, save, print and upload to social sites…
    does anyone know how to do so??

  44. This is awesome! I’ve been hesitant to do a photobooth with my wedding packages simply because I didn’t know how to set it up. This just might be the kick-start I needed. Off to shop for Alien Bees and stands! Eek!

  45. These tips have been amazing for helping me get ready to set up some rockin’ photobooths Thanks everyone for sharing

  46. I teach yearbook at a very small rural school in New Mexico. My staff of 4 would like to have a photobooth at our school’s annual fall carnival. We have a Nikon D50 with an external bounce flash and a tripod, and I can get access to a laptop. What kind of software should I use to make this work. I have photoshop elements 8.0, will that be enough? I’m on a very strict budget and will probably be spending out of my own pocket for some expenses.

    • Awesome! If you haven’t done so yet, head over to photoboothtalk or photobooth owner. You will find great and affordable software to run a photo booth.

      You can also use your ipad (great photobooth apps) or any mac computer (the new 21″ photo booth pre installed).

  47. This thread is great and tons of great ideas, tips and shares. So I thought that I would throw my hat in.

    Anyone interested in getting a photo booth off the ground should visit our site http://PhotoBoothOwners.com. We have tons of articles related to photo booths, different software packages, printers and the industry in general.

    We also have a shop with premium photo booth layouts for sale at an affordable price (http://prophotoboothtemplates.com)

  48. Lots of great ideas coming out here. My wife and I shoot weddings, and the photo booth has been extremely popular with us, having done quite a few over two years now. This coming season, we are doing things slightly different, in that we are throwing a iPad and EyeFi into the mix. At this point in time, a large (27″) LCD monitor will be used to mirror images from the iPad via a HDMI/DVI (Apple) adaptor. Also, a portable battery powered router will be grabbing images from the EyeFi card in the camera and swing them across to the iPad and ShutterSnitch app.
    My normal booth set has been one(Softlighter) 60″ diffused reflective umbrella, and one strobe, being a Elinchrom Quadra S head. I always set aperture to f/8 and iso to 400…..extending my battery life and also making recycle times significantly quicker. My lens has usually been a 50mm prime, until I experimented once with my 17-40L lens at the 40mm end. I liked it much better as it gave me a little extra on the sides for larger groups. Since purchacing a 35mm prime, this will become the lens of choice for the photobooths.
    One very very important thing to remember though is to make your shooting area as safe as you can possibly make it. I make sure every cable is gaffer taped down, and are in no way at risk of tripping anyone as walk around. The booth can get very busy, very quickly……and with possibly lots of intoxicated guests will be floating about. Only takes one accident to put a huge dampener on the entire event, so safety should always be your number one priority.

    • Awesome! I remember last year summer I was taking pictures outdoors at a basketball/bbq picnic. I had my iPad (1st generation with the 3g) and the eyefi card in my nikon.

      Every second I clicked a picture, the images will pop up on the iPad in front of everyone. It was amazing.

      However, I realized it was a bit spotty (connection was consistent) but it worked and all the images did and finally appeared on the ipad.

      Thanks for sharing!!!!

  49. How do you automatically print or do you? Can you print from an Ipad?

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

    Nice job with props. I found on the first few that the guests found their own props! Check it out – here
    here

  51. Hi!
    I’m JUST about complete with buying all my supplies for a homemade photobooth. I have a few quick questions.

    *I’m using a Canon T2i and do not have any lens. Are len options a MUST? Can i just not use a lens? what is the extreme benefit? should i bite the bullet and buy one? I’m just starting with photography and mainly just use it for fun.

    *I’m a bit confused on lighting. I heard constant lighting is best for beginners and was about to buy a cowboystudio double light set, but then i read your post! And now i’m stuck on wanting a strobe monolight again! HA! You said the alienbee worked amazing but it’s STILL out of my price point. Is there a main component i should look out for when looking for a cheaper version?

    *How far away was your set up compared to where the people stood?

    Thanks so much in advance!! ><

    Lisa

  52. Does anyone know how to set up my dslr cam to a monitor and printer to instantly print photobooth images? Thanks.

  53. Love the details and great results! Check out our new iPad-powered photo booth solution called the ShotBox! Completely battery powered and network connected all wrapped in handcrafted woodworking.

  54. Hey Guys!

    So I’m doing a photo booth for a party for a friend of mine. This will be my first photo booth so I am just wondering if you guys have any newbie tips for me? Any advice would be great!!

    Thanks

  55. Hey Guys!!

    So I have a somewhat silly question.. Do you use your on camera flash when you have shot your photo booths? I will be using a A jtl continous lighting system! Thanks So Much

    • Hi Justin
      It depends on what you are using. I have my pocket wizard on the top of my camera and one at the back of my ABR800 ringlights (which is set to flash once the shutter is pressed). My ABR800 is in continuous lighting.

      If I didn’t have the pocket wizard on top, I would have popped up the hot shoe flash.

  56. very informative post.
    Though about seeting a photobooth for my wedding biz. Though running one without an assistant looks like it could be very distracting if something goes wrong. But then if i did hire an assistant to manage the booth, if something did go wrong unless they had a techincal background, they’d be pretty useless..

  57. Very nice post. Wondering how the color temperature consistency was with the ABs over lots of shots.

  58. What you are describing here is not a Photobooth at all. This is what people would call a “Picture Station”. A “Photobooth” is a enclosure with a camera, printer and laptop running Photobooth software, or of course a actual old chemical style camera and development chemicals that will “print ” a strip. While this may seem a petty deference. there is great deal more work put into a Photobooth over a Photo Station and in the rental industry can give people incorrect expectations. Even the word Booth is vague. booth indicates an enclosure and nothing more. that enclosure can be anything from a easy-up with curtains to a hard case style booth like everyone is used to. Take a look and http://www.shutterspeedphotobooth.com, http://www.seattlephotoboothcompany.com, and http://www.321foto.com. to see the variety of Actual photobooths out there.

    • Hi Woody
      You got a point there. But if you are marketing this “picture station” to brides, sweet 16 girls, or corporate business, what would you call it? What does it remind you of? A Photo Booth!

      Who would call it a Picture Station? That doesn’t even exist?

      Most people are saying the “picture Station” is the new PhotoBooth of today.

      If you google or check on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instragram, and other social media, the yester-year photo booth is heavy and hard to transport. This is the new PHOTO BOOTH… But “picture station” is cute but I have never heard of it.

      So people are now using the ATA Cases and the Pop-up tents to hide their equipment. You can check it out here photoboothtalk.com

  59. Very helpful article, thanks!

  60. Great info and great feed back from other photographers. I do Alot of weddings and events jointly with a photographer friend and we have talked for awhile about doing a photobooth with our packages (especially since we just picked up an assistant/apprentice we now have more then enough man power to cover the event and the booth). Since we are just getting started i Didn’t want to make the big investment right away on printing equipment, and would rather invest in props and add printing options later once we get a bit of experience running the booth. I liked your suggesting of not having someone behind the camera I think that would help people relax and be silly.

  61. Hi Rob, I want to share you something. I used to own a photobooth business like you. my typical set-up would be a soft box with an 85w 5200k spiral bulb. The camera is connected to my laptop, and another monitor is connected so that people could see themselves. Im using a software called DSLR remote pro. It automates the operation of the camera with just one click! You can also customize a template for the photos. You can set how many photos would be taken and how many copies would be printed. And one good advantage of the software, It’s timed (the shot is taken when the timer runs out) so people won’t take so long.

  62. Great article, thanks for sharing.
    For the “visual” part I suggest to use an Eye-Fi card and show the images on an iPad using their free app (that’s what I do in my studio). You can buy a used 8Gb Eye-Fi off eBay for real cheap.
    People love the touchscreen experience (the swiping and all) and if you keep the file size small enough the pics load and show up pretty fast.

  63. Thanks for the info.
    Do you know if any photo booth software is compatible was a Sony NEX 5?

  64. Hi…great info…the photobooth idea is new to me and I am planning on setting one up at our local fall festival as a fundraiser. Want to do either a fall scene or a graveyard or even a pumpkin patch and have different pumpkin carvings to use as masks….I have a canon 40D and have bid on 2 portable printers that take my compact flash. Any suggestions? I will be taking the photos and another person printing them out on the spot. I will have them available for additional prints at my site. I would like to set up the printers to print the 3 or 4 picture strips….not sure how to do that. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  65. Amanda Reynolds says:

    Thank you for this post! I’m setting up a photobooth for my high school reunion. What started as “oh I’ll have a backdrop and some props; people can take photos with their phones” turned into making a guitar pedal shutter release, borrowing alien bee lights and now, shooting tethered to Lightroom.

    I didn’t want to mess with printed pictures or that expense since I’m doing this all on my own, but what I did do that I haven’t seen anywhere else is I set up Lightroom to process my images (did a rounded-corner look and added a logo for our reunion) and add them to a continuous slideshow. The slideshow plays randomly on my laptop and the new pics that are taken get added automatically. Then, instead of bringing all the cables to connect to a monitor, I’m bringing my 32″ TV and my AppleTV. I’m just mirroring the laptop to the AppleTV and the slideshow MAGICALLY appears without any cable attachment. I’m super impressed with how great it looks and how EASY it was! AppleTV saves the day on this one!

  66. Hi! I’ve referenced this page often and am now finally going to set it up myself. I am planning to rent an Alienbee for the weekend (to mimic this exact set-up), but I’m wondering about continuous lighting. The event is a Halloween party and I’m concerned that it will be almost completely dark where the booth is. Would you suggest having some soft continuous light in addition to the Alienbee? Any thoughts about this? Thanks!

  67. Thank you so much for this article! I used the setup for a doggy Halloween event last weekend. I didn’t use a tripod as it was a little difficult at times with the size variations of the dogs. Here are some pics from my “photo booth”: http://maggiedeuitch.com/?p=323

    • Maggie – Your website is incredible. I love what you are doing with the animals and the shelters to help them find homes. I am just starting out and I have been looking for a nitch for my photography business since there seems to be photographers everywhere these days and it is hard to compete with established businesses in town. With my love of animals, this just might be what I am looking for. Great work and beautiful photos.

  68. Hi there, this post was extremely detailed and seems like it produces great results. I’m planning on starting a cheap and affordable photobooth business for the community around my area. My friends rented a photobooth for my birthday and ended up paying nearly $900 for 3 hours. After doing a lot of research $75/hr would be more than enough for a photobooth.

    I was thinking of running a t3i with a 18-55mm lens, Somewhere about 35-55mm should be good. Using DSLR Remote Pro (not sure if there are any other better software). Chose this software for its simplicity after setting up, and the timer to keep the line moving. Using an umbrella and a shop light or some other light source to eliminate shadows. and the DNP RX1 as a intro level professional printer. I’m also thinking of getting either a designed backdrop (drape) or a canopy with a nice backdrop as well. What’s everyone elses opinion on this?

    If there’s anyone else that has experience setting up a somewhat professional booth, or setting up a business for the first time please feel free to reply to me! I’m very interested and would like to try it out on the side. Of course this is for my family and friends events too. With all of the graduations (college,high school, middle school), birthdays, baby showers, and weddings coming up in the year.

    • Hi Alex,

      I started my photo booth project few months ago and so far it has been doing great as a business. My initial setup was a DIY box made of plywood to house my camera, laptop, external monitor and photo printer. I started with just LED for my lighting, the kind that you can get on a hardware store but did not produce the lighting that I need so I end up buying a speedlite. I’m using software that I bought online for $150. It’s a very good one and it has a lot of much needed features like live view, voice prompt, green screen etc. I’m excited to be trying the green screen feature soon. I think it adds more fun if you can set different backgrounds for every print.

      You can see sample photos here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=748796155162651&set=a.748791891829744.1073741862.683198695055731&type=1&theater

  69. Thank you for sharing this really cool photo booth setup.!!!

  70. Gave me and the team some good tips on getting started. Thank you

    http://www.trigger-happy.co.uk

  71. This article is greatly appreciated, and exactly what I was looking for after weeding through so many other features on DIY photo booths. I was wondering if you have any lighting suggestions for an event to be held (unfortunately) in an unfinished basement. Also, I don’t own a camera as fancy as the one you’ve listed, but I’m working on getting one–do you have any beginners’ camera recommendations? Following the event, the camera will be used primarily for blog photos. I just can’t afford these thousands-of-dollar cameras.

    Thanks again for the great article!

  72. Hi Sam
    There are tons of dslr camera (used and new) on ebay. Also, there are tons of refurbished cameras at B&H store.

    Most of these cameras are in good shape and have less than 1000 shutter/clicks. And the great thing is, it’s all under $500.

    Check out Costo, B J, or Walmart. They usually have the low entry cameras (dslr) Nikon 3200, 3100, or the canon t3i, or a Canon powershot. I am quite sure if you google, you will find a good deal.

    As for lighting, you can get the F & V 300 Led Ringlight. I heard it’s good. But you should check. I have been using Alien Bees Ringlight and I love it.

    Anyway Sam I am quite sure someone (expert) will answer your questions soon.

  73. Betty Schenfeld says:

    I have a makeshift photo booth. lots of props and a screen of black, What I have done is take pictures and then the host gets the cd of all pictures. What I would like to know is what equipment I need to do this right and print pics on site. Is there a list of what is needed to do this.

    • I started mine 3 mos ago and spend about $800 to build and purchase some equipment. Here’s my complete list:

      1 Canon Selphy Photo Printer around $200
      1 Photobooth software $150
      Set of props around $50
      DIY photobooth box made of 3/4 in plywood around $75
      Lighting Kit $150

      Already own:
      1 Nikon DSLR
      1 Laptop
      1 19″ External monitor

  74. I am in Ghana and have loved Photography since I can remember. the photobooth thing intrigues me and I am glad you have this up. I hope I can implement all av read

  75. I had no clue that a photo booth can be so easily prepared. Even I use a shutter speed 1/160 while usually clicking. now I will try using a 35mm lens and try to fit in the frame. Thanks for the information shared. It’s of great help.

Speak Your Mind

*

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required First Name * Email Address *