How to Make a Fun and Easy DIY Photo Booth

indiana real wedding

Photo by Kelley Jordan

Photo booths can be one of THE most fun parts of a wedding for guests. But, professional photo booth prices can add up. Ranging on average from $700 and up for starter packages (plus more if you want additional hours) if you’re working with an already tight budget you might want to consider a super fun DIY wedding photo booth instead. Here’s how to do it!

What you’ll need:

  • Digital camera
  • Tripod (see notes)
  • Remote shutter release
  • Backdrop
  • Lighting
  • Tons of props

1. The Backdrop

The good news about creating your own photo booth is that you’ll be able to choose your own background, and won’t be limited to what the professional you hired would have provided you. Our favorite ideas? Check out a fabric store and choose an awesome fabric like glitter, a graffiti print or even a faux fur. Or, get creative with things like tissue paper flowers or even strings of bistro lights. For a seasonal effect, you can also purchase a ton of faux leaves and create a fall-inspired backdrop for your photo booth. The ideas are endless! We suggest making the backdrop 6’ x 4’ or larger, depending on the amount of space you have. Make sure to check with your venue on where the photo booth can be set up so you can base everything off of that.

2. The Props

This is the best part! Anything pretty much goes here. From printables of red lips and party hats to vintage accessories like wide-brimmed hats, jewelry and picture frames. We suggest getting creative here, and using your own personality to influence the types of photo booth props you’d like. A great way to seek out photo booth props is to go shopping at a local flea market or on websites like Etsy where you can find an eclectic mix of items.

photo booth

Lumberjack photo booth props. Instant download via Etsy seller PaperBuiltShop, $6

3. The Camera Options

You basically have two options here:

Option 1: The Digital Camera/Tripod/Post an album later: If you want more professional photos, opting for a digital camera might be the way to go. Keep in mind you’ll need to set up a tripod, and purchase a remote shutter release (so the people in the photo can click to take the photo when they are ready). And once the party is over, you (or someone you assign this project to), is responsible for creating an online album and sending the photos to all your family and friends so they can order prints should they want to do so.

Another option that we love and is super easy is using an iPhone or iPad. The cameras are so great (especially in the new iPhone 7’s) that you almost don’t need a digital SLR (though you’ll still need a tripod and remote). Download an app like Pocketbooth and your apple device will be turned into an instant photobooth. Check out this article for more on DIY photo booth apps and downloads.

Option 2: The Instant Camera/Selfie/Ask the next person in line: You can also opt to go the instant camera route. We love the polaroid, either your vintage one or this new, digital version. You’ll have the camera on a stand with a sign that instructs guests to ask the person next in line to take the photo for them. And so on, and so on. The photos then print instantly, and you’ve got your instant photo booth.

photo booth

4. The Setup

The photo booth should be set up in a location that won’t interrupt the main party going on, somewhere that is a bit out of the way without being totally unable to find. In order for the pictures to actually come out well, you’ll need an area with a lot of natural light (if you’re having a daytime wedding) or you’ll need to bring in your lighting. We suggest calling a local camera store and inquiring about any light rental packages they might offer (oftentimes these run as low as $40/day and they’ll deliver and help you set it up.) You can also talk to your wedding photographer for great ideas or suggestions on how you can make a DIY photo booth (they might have some lighting you can rent for a small fee as well). Finally, you’ll need a stand for the backdrop or the ability to hang it on a wall and a table for your props.

With the right planning a DIY photo booth can be a fun, inexpensive alternative to the real thing.

1 Comment

  • Brandon Worby says:

    A Photo Booth app with remote start and slide shows is another great option. I created PG Booth with my wife for our wedding, and we think its pretty nifty. Very customizable. check it out. It also allows for uploading to social media or a custom server so people can see your photos live as they are taken from anywhere!

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