What You Need for a DIY Photo Booth
There is a part of the night at almost every wedding, when the professional photographer has packed up, the heels and the bow ties have come off, and it’s time to let your hair down. And now that disposable cameras are a thing of the past, a photo booth is the perfect way to capture all the candid wildness of your wedding night; your granny in a pink wig, your BFF snogging your brother, and (pandemic restrictions pending!) 30 of your first cousins crammed into a single shot!
While there are companies who specialise in photo booths (those old timey ones from movies!), you can also make a DIY photo booth of your own, without too much time, expense or effort. To make it even easier, we’ve put together a list of what you need for a DIY photo booth…
1. A Space
Your photo booth should be located somewhere close to the action, so your guests don’t have to work too hard to find it. That said, if you can, try to have it in an alcove, around a corner, or small room (we’ve seen them in caravans too!) out of sight of most of your party. The guests taking their shots will tend to be less self-conscious with the props and the selfie stick if they don’t think everyone’s watching!
2. A Photo Booth Camera
There are a few different options for a DIY photo booth camera, you can use one of these on their own, or in conjunction with a photo booth app and printer.
You can have a good quality camera on a tripod with a remote control to take the photos. Most camera brands will have one to suit your camera, but you will need to delegate someone to ensure the camera is on the right settings and check on it from time to time.
A phone on a selfie stick or an tablet in a stand – basic, simple, but it can do the trick!
A Polaroid-style camera is perhaps the most popular option. These cameras are quite affordable and hardy, plus they print photos straight away, giving you the authentic photo booth experience. The film for these cameras is expensive though, and if people get snap happy, you’ll go through a lot.
Hire a photo booth camera – there are open photo booth set-ups that you can hire, selfie cameras with flashes that take ultra flattering shots and an instant printer. You’ll still get the DIY feel though as it won’t be staffed, and you can still create your own backdrop and props.
3. Some Photo Booth Instructions
The instructions will obviously depend on the camera and the set-up you have, but ensure you have a sign with some basic instructions of what you want your guests to do. Make it really simple for less technically-inclined guests or those who’ve had a few bevvies!
If you want your guests to stick their pictures in a guest book, leave the book close by, with some Prit Stick and pens for them to write a note!
4. A Photo Booth Backdrop
While a plain wall will work perfectly in your photos, you can also have fun with creating a photo booth backdrop. We’ve seen sequin sheets, gold lametta tinsel, rustic palettes and even fresh flowers (like a Kardashian/Jenner baby shower!). Look around your venue for any interesting walls (brick or stone can look cool!) or DIY something in keeping with the style of your wedding.
5. Photo Booth Props
Photo booth props might seem a ‘bit four years ago’ but there is something about them that helps people get a bit silly for the photos. Raid Tiger/Dealz/your parents’ attic for feather boas, funny hats, celebrity masks and cheap wigs. You can also make and print your own – here’s some free photo booth prop printables we found earlier!
6. Photo Booth Apps & Printing
There’s no point having all your photo booth photos on your phone or camera if you never print them out, so make sure you do, stick them in a dedicated photo booth album, or send them to your guests with the thank you cards.
There are lots options for printing and photo booth apps (make sure you check out your own app store), but here are some of our faves:
Photobox for ordering retro Polaroid-style prints online
HP Sprocket, a portable printer that prints from your phone
Wifibooth, a photo booth app for iPads
Lumabooth, another popular events photo booth app
Got any other tips for creating a DIY photo booth? Send them our way!