I love my job and generally go home with a happy little glow of satisfaction in my heart at the end of a wedding day. This is usually accompanied by aching legs, mental fatigue and an almost overwhelming desire to put my feet up! Therefore, if you are going to ask me if I provide a photo booth for the evening then I’m afraid the answer is a resounding “no” for all of the reasons stated above!
I’ve often thought that it’s a bit of a shame not to offer this as a service as I do actually quite like the idea but if I was to be the photographer it would be a bit weird to spend the whole of the wedding day quietly observing and recording to then turn into a crazy photo booth photographer in the evening! There is also the issue of equipment and logistics so, for me at least, it doesn’t really make sense!
Having observed over the last few years quite a large number of photo booths in action I know for a fact that their success often lies in the hands of the person who is running it. Not all of your guests will feel completely at ease acting up and trying to be funny in front of a stranger – especially if they are actually taking the photographs – they can also be quite expensive either with up front costs or with extra print costs so it can make sense to have a go at DIYing it! Obviously it is much cheaper and your guests may well feel much more comfortable running it themselves and the results that you get ie hilarious photographs of everyone letting their hair down, could well be much better than you would get with a pro booth.
So, don’t be daunted by the idea of what on earth to do to get your DIY photo booth show on the road – I’m here to help and guide you!!
1) Beg or borrow a fairly decent camera preferably with a built in flash – an oldish digital SLR would be perfect and you might find that you can borrow one quite easily or they can be bought on Ebay for relatively little money. You will also need a sturdy tripod to mount the camera on and a long cable release – this will allow your guests to take pictures of themselves if they want to although it’s good fun for it to become a bit of a group activity and for everyone to take pictures of each other! Make sure that you have a decent size memory card for the camera and that it’s batteries are fully charged – possibly with spares.
2) You will need some sort of make shift background. It doesn’t have to be anything particularly exotic and could be anything from some old curtians to some printed plastic sheeting – it will need to be a reasonable size though as people will want to have their photographs taken in groups and probably standing up so you will need a fair bit of material. Take some time over this as nothing looks worse than photographs where the background runs out at the edges of the picture. Whatever you choose will need to be hung up as well and most of the time a combination of clothes pegs, gaffer tape, long bean poles and lengths of wood combined with a bit of ingenuity will do the trick.
3) Props. Go to town here, the sillier the better! Again Ebay and borrowing is the best bet.
4) Making it all work. Have everything ready to be put up an assembled by a couple of competent bridesmaids and/or ushers during the meal. Also make sure that they have had a trial run and have set everything up before, made sure that it works and looks good! During the speeches announce that there will be a photo booth and that you would love it if all of your guests would have a go in it at some point over the evening. The designated helpers can encourage people and help people to get the ball rolling in the early part of the evening and then it should fairly much run itself.
5) Afterwards you need to make sure that you safely download and back up the images. You could potentially load up a photo gallery of them so that everyone can see themselves or possibly use the pictures as little cards or gifts – whatever happens keep them safe!