Here at booth boy photo booth hire we believe in the power of the booth… and so should you! So much so that we realise not everyone is going to hire a photo booth for their wedding, lets face it, weddings are expensive as it is, we can’t always get what we want… or can we?
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Whilst a simple DIY photo booth is certainly no replacement for a top notch photo booth hire company it is possible to get some great results on a reasonably low budget, if you’re prepared to get crafty that is!
So, without further ado here’s the official Booth Boy guide to creating a DIY photo booth for your wedding.
Back that drop up… what does that even mean?!
Your Photo Booth needs a backdrop. Now, there are limitless options here, by far the easiest is to simply use a wall at your wedding venue. We suggest taking a walk around the venue well in advance of your wedding date, pay attention to the walls and take note of what they may look like as a photo booth backdrop. We have a soft spot for aged timber walls, a nice dense hedge can also make a great backdrop, or opt for a plain wall to the colour of your liking. Generally an un-cluttered and simple wall will look best. Be sure to keep in mind the impact that your photo booth will have on traffic flow as your guests move around the venue, pick a location that won’t interfere with your evening!
Assuming that you can’t find a suitable wall for your DIY Photo Booth backdrop we suggest whipping up your own. Ok, it may take a little work, but that all depends on how fancy you want to get. A simple piece of plain or patterned fabric from your local fabric store can make a great backdrop. The cheapest option is to gaffer tape it to a wall, alternatively you can pick up some cheap backdrop stands which will do an ok job or make your own using PVC piping such as shown in this tutorial.
When making a photo booth backdrop we suggest using a piece of fabric which will fit the format of your camera. For most camera’s a 1.5 x 2.2 metre piece of fabric will fit the aspect ratio nicely and accommodate a whole heap of your guests.
Get your paws on a instant camera such as the Fuji Instax …along with a truck load of film, seriously, guests go wild with photo booths so grab a truck load, it can get a tad pricey, but think of all those memories!
It’s Grease Lighting
Lighting. Here’s where a professional photo booth stands out from the crowd, not all professional photo booths were created equal, likewise, the quality of your photo booth images will be down to the quality of the light. Unfortunately a quality studio flash kit is a significant investment, it also requires know how to use it properly, so we’ll have to make do with what we’ve got for your DIY photo booth.
You’re going to need a reasonable amount of light. In general, direct sun is a bad choice because of harsh shadows created by direct overhead light. Squinting isn’t flattering either. If your wedding is outdoors we suggest finding a location that is shady (but not too dark) so that your portraits have soft light free of harsh shadows. Soft diffused light is your best friend.
Things get a little trickier during an indoor reception at night. You’re going to need a lot of light, so don’t tuck your DIY photo booth off in a dark corner! In general direct overhead light causes deep shadows under the eyes which is less than flattering, so keep your eyes peeled for a spot where theres a lot of light bouncing off light coloured walls creating an even, soft light. If need be you can bring a bright lamp or spotlight along, experiment with pointing it away from your subjects and bouncing the light off a light coloured wall or ceiling for a softer light. When choosing globes it’s generally best to choose a ‘daylight’ colour temperature.
Prop me up!
Don’t forget to invest in a heap of funky photo booth props. Masks, signs, chalk boards, frames. Use your imagination so your guests can have fun and get sassy for the camera!
Stop! Hammer Time!
Tell the MC (hammer) to make some announcements over the course of your wedding reception asking guests to make their way past the photo booth at some point. If you can convince a friend to stand their taking the photos then that’s ideal, if not make sure that someone who is within reach on the evening knows how to change the film in your instant camera.
ET… Phone Home
If you provide guests with a funky backdrop and a bunch of props you’ll find many of them using it to take shots on their phones, so even if you skimp on the instant camera it can still be a great set up for guests to have fun and take some unique photos.
There you have it. Setting up a DIY photo booth will take a little groundwork, but if you’re willing to put some effort in it will be a welcome addition to your wedding. Of course the best option is to hire a professional photo booth operator and leave all the work and know how up to them. Best of luck!