The ultimate DIY wedding photobooth tutorial

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A few people have asked about our DIY photo booth so I thought I'd share. It went over really well with everyone at our turquoise & red wedding!

Photo by Jeremy Lawson Photography
Photo by Jeremy Lawson Photography

Stuff you need

  • Computer
  • Webcam or laptop with a built-in webcam
  • Spark Booth photo booth software
  • Printer that prints 4×6 photos
  • 4×6 photo paper
  • Table or something to put said computer, printer, and webcam on

Stuff you might want

  • Lamp
  • Fabric, room divider, or something as a back-drop
  • External monitor
  • External keyboard
  • Table cloth
  • Signage

The set-up

  • Computer: My HP Laptop with an external monitor and external keyboard
  • Webcam: Microsoft LifeCam VX-5000. My laptop had a built-in webcam but we found that the external one had better pictures. Fortunately, I had bought my parents a webcam for Christmas so we borrowed that!
  • Spark Booth, which costs $40 $59 (the price recently went up).
  • Printer: Canon Pixma MP560. I looked at photo printers but they were the same price as this All-In-One Printer and we needed a scanner. According to ConsumerReports.org, it printed 4×6 photos only a little slower than the photo printers and the print quality was better.
  • Photo paper: Canon Photo Paper Plus Glossy II 400 sheets
  • Card table
  • Tree lamp similar to this one from Target.
  • Back-drop: Van Gogh Room Divider. I charged my dad with figuring out a back drop and he came up with this Van Gogh room divider which he was going to get for my parent's house anyway. I also had about three yards of fabric which we used behind the sign. Also, because the room divider was double sided, the back-side made a great back drop for guestbook and other pictures!

How we did it:
The credit really goes to my amazing cousin! Basically she put the laptop on a box under the table and covered the table with an extra black table cloth.

She hooked up the printer, monitor and keyboard and put them on the table. (Duh, right?)

I choose to use an external monitor and keyboard (but no mouse!) for two reasons:

  1. I didn't want people actually touching my laptop
  2. I wanted to give them as little opportunity as possible to mess something up hence not having a mouse. (Although I think the latter concern was pretty unfounded).

My cousin pushed the table against the wall and stuck my signs onto the wall above it. The signs said:

1. Sit & Pose
2. Press the space bar
3. Smile 4. Smile 5. Smile
6. Preview & Print. Press return to print.
7. Pick up your photo!

(I would have added that photos take a minute or so to print to the last sign.)

She put two chairs in front of the table and the room divider behind it. There was a door (to a closet) next to the photo booth where she hung red fabric and our photo booth sign. This way you could see the photo booth sign when looking at it but the people in the photo booth had a bit of privacy.

Make sure that you turn off your computer's power saving settings before using. I set it to never sleep. Then run the Spark Booth app and put it in Full Screen mode and everything should be set to go!

That's it!

Comments on The ultimate DIY wedding photobooth tutorial

  1. LOVE this…..much better than my impromptu “photobooth”. If only this was posted a couple of weeks ago. I don’t think I have enough time to set this up before the 13th. I’ll definitely use this idea for future parties though.

  2. Very glad to see this as we are trying to figure out how not to spend the $1000+ for a photobooth and attendant. This will work great and I am even thinking of setting up 2 stations since I have 2 photo printers and 2 laptops with cameras built in!
    Thank you!!!

  3. Thanks for posting this! I LOVE it! One question: does the program save a copy of all the photos onto your computer so you can see them all after the wedding?

    • Kristi – yes it does. If you have access to internet it can also immediately upload to facebook & the like too!

  4. Brilliant! I was wondering how to pull this off – and I have all the equipment already!

  5. This is seriously awesome. I’ve been looking up hire costs for actual old school photobooths but this way we get copies of everything as well right on our machines. AWESOME!

    *will have to check to see if its got a print x2 straight up option*

    • There are a variety of options for printing the pics and one is to print two of the standard 4 pic strips and then you could have scissors and people can cut them in half.

  6. This is very awesome. I kept thinking “it can’t be that hard” but then when it came down to actually thinking about the details of doing it, in the end all I could figure out was “maybe we’ll just skip it”. Now I feel like it’s a lot more realistic! 🙂 Thank you so much!

  7. Linux Has a free photo booth program called cheese. We opted not to print them…so I don’t know if it can print with ease…But it can upload to flicker!

    • Mac also has a free photo booth software. I tried a bunch of them and I thought PartyBooth was the best and at $40 totally worth it as everything is easy and automated.

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