Ever since one of our readers wrote in asking about DIY photo booths, we’ve been all about it. To be more specific, Christy emailed us after she spotted what looked like a DIY photo booth on Lily and Tony’s wedding in Virginia. She asked us to put her in touch with the couple for advice on how they did their photo booth and their experience. Well, I couldn’t let this go without sharing it with the world! After all, if one couple is having this problem, then the chances are great that other couples are interested in how to put together a photo booth.
So, for you, we merged Christy’s research with Lily’s experience together with some of our advice to give you a feature on a DIY photo booth ideas and options (And use one of these alongside these ideas for photo booth backdrops, too!). If you are considering a photo booth, I hope that this is helpful to you! And, if you aren’t into the DIY thing, you can check out our list of Washington DC area wedding photographers and photo booth experts who can do it for you.
Photo Booth Options
- DSLR camera
- Shutter, wireless remote
From Christy: “It seems that the most popular option is to set up a DSLR on a tripod with a printer. The problem with this is that we don’t have a DSLR. (We actually registered one hoping to get one for our honeymoon!) I had a friend use a DSLR for her DIY photo booth and they made all of the photos available the next day on a site like Shutterfly. They gave everyone cards at the reception that said where they could view their photos. I’m also considering this option. One idea is to having the photos printed myself and send them to guests along with their thank you card as a memory from the day.”
Webcam + Software
From Christy: “There are a couple of software companies that turn a computer and a webcam into a DIY photo booth (for less than $60!). This is the option we’re leaning toward most as it seems the most cost effective, but the issue of printing then comes up. We could set up a photo printer alongside it, but that gets pricey as well. (Especially, if we end up buying a DSLR!).”
From Lily: “We used the Polaroid 300 camera. We didn’t have a tripod, but laid the camera out and taped instructions on how to refill the film cartridge (max. is 10 per box) to the back of the camera and it worked out fine with guests. Groups of people would ask someone nearby to take the picture for them. We also left spare batteries nearby and a memory book for them to stick one of their photos in. We got a ton of film so that guests wouldn’t feel limited with taking pictures for themselves and leaving pictures for us. For 115 guests, I think we bought 300 film and had a ton leftover! We also made picture instructions on how to use the camera (refilling film, replacing battery, taking pictures). Also, be sure to get props from the dollar store”it was so cheap!”
- Guests’ smart phones
- Photo booth location + props
- Smart phone printer (optional)
- Wedding hashtag (optional)
If you don’t want to or can’t provide a camera for your guests, but still want a photo booth, you could consider setting up a photo booth station and let your guests use their own cameras. Most phones have cameras, so they can take their own selfies, or they can have others take their group photos. You can provide the backdrop and props, and then let your guests do the work! For this option, consider setting up a wedding hashtag for social media or an upload spot (like an email address) so that you can look at all the photos after your wedding. Or you can also provide a smart phone printer and let guests print out their selfies – one to keep and one to put in a guestbook with a message to you and yours!
Tablet + App
There is an app for everything! Using your iPad and a tripod, you can combine a guestbook and a DIY photo booth! The Wedding Booth app is totally customizable, so the touch screen options can be color coordinated to your wedding day style. The app also provides you and your guests the options of either saving, emailing and printing the photos!
There you have it – a few ideas from us and from a few of our readers about DIY photo booths. So, what about you? What did we miss and are you going to have a photo booth? Let us know, we want to hear from you!
Are you looking for more local wedding ideas? If you are in the mood for more projects, you can check out all of our Washington DC area DIY weddings right here! Be sure to look through our DC area wedding idea galleries and find wedding advice from local DC area pros.