Create an instant wedding photobooth with Sparkbooth

December 21 | meganfinley
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Want a photo booth at your wedding but don't want to shell out the dough to rent an actual photo booth? With Sparkbooth and the ultimate DIY wedding photobooth tutorial from Offbeat Intern Becca, you are golden!

Sparkbooth helps couples on a budget have a photo booth option available to them for only $59. It may require a little more DIYing on your part than say, renting one, but it's certainly going to end up saving you a buttload of cash! John, the creator of Sparkbooth, developed the program for his own wedding reception last year, so you know it's gotta be wedding-perfect. As he says:

Even though people are using the software to start their own photo booth rental businesses, I wanted to keep the software affordable to individuals who, like my wife and I, were putting together our own wedding reception.

The app is loaded with awesome features

  • Customize photos with your own graphics or wedding logo
  • Add backgrounds or overlays to create a party favor
  • You can choose to have your photos in a strip or two-by-two format
  • Enable automatic printing
  • Automatically share photos on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, etc.
  • Color, black and white, or sepia photos
  • And more…

"Run the Sparkbooth app and put [your computer] in Full Screen mode and everything should be set to go! That's it!"
The ultimate DIY wedding photobooth tutorial

And the program is easy enough for your guests to figure out how to run on it their own — guests simply walk up, press the spacebar, and there it goes. Which means you don't have to hire another photographer or confine a good friend to the photo booth area of your wedding for all eternity.

Now a computer, webcam, and Sparkbooth's photo booth software is all you need for countless hours of entertainment (and embarrassing photos of your guests)! So, if you want to ensure photos of your grandparents wearing feather boas and funky sunglasses, download Sparkbooth and make it happen.

  1. Does this allow you to utilize a camera that is not a webcam? In other words, could I hook my digital camera up to my computer and use that? Because that is my major problem with Mac's Photo Booth program. I think webcams generally have dismal quality and I'd prefer to send my guests home with a pretty, high-res photo rather than something yuck.

    8 agree
    • Good lighting can really improve the quality of webcam photos. My wife and our guests were very happy the photos taken by the software at our wedding reception.

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      • Right, but good lighting can only do so much, and good lighting can't improve your resolution, which is what I'm worried about.

        I really notice the poor resolution in web camera photos. I'd like these pictures to be keepsakes, and unfortunately, I just haven't found a web cam that can match the quality of my other cameras – which means they won't be able to be reproduced, re-printed, or enlarged in the future without significant loss of picture quality. Which means if the photo paper turns out to fade, everyone is sunk.

        Overall, I found the website somewhat confusing, as the FAQ says: "How to hook up my D S L R camera to the program" and then you click the question, only to find "try using a web cam instead," and then you have to click another link to find out that DSLR cameras are not actually supported. Why would the question say "how" which implies that one CAN hook up their DSLR camera to the program, and then require another click before confirming that it's not even possible? The first click after finding the question still implies it is possible, just not recommended. Anyone who only read that far might buy the program on the assumption that it was possible. It is not until you click through that you discover that only web cameras are compatible and DSLR cameras are not actually supported. So shouldn't the question read "CAN you hook up a DSLR camera to the program" and not "HOW"? Unless this a feature you plan on adding in the future? In which case, I would obviously be in support of that, and probably the first person lining up to buy it :).

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        • It is not my intension to mislead anyone. The requirements for the software are on the download page. But I will try to make it clearer. Thanks for pointing that out.

          There is a free trial that can be downloaded so everyone can try it first before buying. A lot of people are happy with the output, but it may not be for anyone.

          Sorry for any confusion.

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    • We used an external web cam which had much better results than the internal web cam on my MacBook. The photos turned out awesome and everyone loved them — no resolution issues at all.

      You can see my whole set up on the photobooth tutorial: http://offbeatbride.com/2010/08/diy-photo-booth

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  2. My friends DIY'd something like this at their wedding last month and it was awesome! I am definitely interested in purchasing this software for my wedding. So fun, and awesome keepsakes for the guests and the happy couple!!

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  3. What a great idea! I can't wait to see more of the custom designs for the printed pictures – I know some graphic designers will DIY some droolworthy things.

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  4. Brilliant!! Such a cool thing and so kind of them to keep it affordable. Software can really run for quite a bit and I love that its just so simple to use. *swoon*

    1 agrees
  5. Isn't this just like photo booth on your mac? or am i missing that there's an upside for the fee of this program. (I ask because it's not just a suggestion for windows users and photobooth does the same thing :) )

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    • That is a common question from Mac users, I have a short post at http://sparkbooth.com/2010/03/photobooth-vs-mac-photo-booth/ explaining the differences.

      But primary differences are the kiosk-like interface and experience so you feel like your using a photobooth rather than a computer. And the ability to customize the the photo layout with graphics and messages to your event.

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    • I played around with using the Photobooth on Mac. Here's why I didn't:
      1. You can put SparkBooth in full screen mode, which makes it way way more obvious what to do and how to use it.
      2. The instructions are really clear (again making sure everyone knows what to do)
      3. It automatically prints without the user doing much
      4. It'll print in a way that looks like a "photobooth" (i.e. vertical strip or 2×2 depending on what you set)
      5. Adding a logo and/or background makes it a customized favor!

      Check out the photobooth tutorial for my set up: http://offbeatbride.com/2010/08/diy-photo-booth

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  6. We used this software for our wedding at the end of October. I found it thanks to Becca's DIY photbooth post!

    As a photographer of 16 years I was hesitant to use anything other than my DSLR. Mostly due to resolution issues. I couldn't find anything out there on the interwebs that was as user-friendly as this software. So, I found the best webcam I could get for the money I had left in my DIY photobooth budget. I was VERY happy with the results.
    My favorite part was being able to set it to automatically print 2 copies (one for guests to keep & one for guests to use in our guestbook) and also the automatic saving to a file. I was able to take that whole folder of images and batch upload them to flickr & facebook later! My guests loved it!

    Here is a link to our set on flickr:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/skweekee/sets/72157625176295329/with/5141810866/

    1 agrees
    • "So, I found the best webcam I could get for the money…"

      –This is my concern too but your photos look great. Could you please tell me which webcam you purchased? Thanks!

      1 agrees
  7. Can you set these pics to be projected after being taken (with a projector, of course) or can they only be printed? Our friends spent some coin a rented photo booth, one of the kickin' features being that the pics were able to be sent to a projector and blasted in a slide show during their recpetion.

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  8. This sounds awesome for our wedding reception. Curious about how the pics print if you want to print photo booth strips. Do I need to have someone to supervising the printer paper and cutting the photo strips? Does it basically use one 8" x 11.5" sheet of paper for each "set of pics?" Appreciate any help people have… LOVE the concept (and I'm unfortunately not tech saavy). CHEERS!

    1 agrees
    • It depends on how reliable the printer is. If your printer gets a lot of paper jams, it is best to have someone supervising.

      Most people who use Sparkbooth, print on 4 x 6 photo paper which most of the layouts are designed for.

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    • If you check out the tutorial (http://offbeatbride.com/2010/08/diy-photo-booth), you can see the set up I used.

      I printed to 4×6 paper and used the 2×2 block option with our logo at the bottom (all configurable in SparkBooth) and everyone just took that home.

      You do have the option to print two strips side by side and could offer scissors if people wanted to split.

      No one really watched our printer and I have to say I was overly concerned about people messing things up — it wasn't an issue AT ALL!

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  9. I was really excited to find this application. I've tried to download it on my macbook but keep getting this message:
    The application could not be installed because the installer file is damaged. Try obtaining a new installer file from the application author.

    Can anyone help me?

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  10. This is PERFECT! Exactly what I was looking for. We are having a destination wedding in Bali so the option of renting a photo booth was too expensive! We will be taking our laptop and a webcam will be easy to fit in luggage – but can anyone recommend a small sized printer that could do the job? I have never printed my own photos so am absolutely cluesless what I should be looking for.

    Thanks!!

    2 agree
  11. I'd like to use this application my ipad. Does anyone have any advice for downloading and using this app?

    3 agree

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