How to Make a Photobooth

There has been a recent resurgence in the popularity of photobooths in the past few years and now they are starting to pop in all kinds of places from bars and nightclubs to private birthday parties. There is a rental market for the machines, but if a rental isn’t exactly in  your budget you can always make your own. In the video below, you can learn how to do just that. As a bonus, he made a second video tutorial in case you want to amp up your photobooth using the popular Lightroom software. Check them out here:

To create your own photobooth, you’re obviously going to need to gather some supplies. Do this plenty of time in advance in case you have a hard time finding certain parts. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Camera – Wallace is using a Nikon D3, but just about any digital camera will do. 
  • Lens – Use a wide angle lens if you have one to give the pictures a quirky, fun look. Wallace is using a Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 ED-IF AF-S.
  • Remote triggersPocket Wizards are nice because they will perform a multitude of actions, but any remote will do.
  • Light – You’ll also need a light source such as the Nikon SB 910 speedlight Wallace uses. Make sure you have plenty of spare batteries!
  • Tripod – Use a sturdy tripod and consider weighting in down if you are still concerned that someone may bump into it.
  • Backdrop – Try to avoid using a white backdrop, instead go with a bolder color that will give your images more punch.
  • Foamboard – Tape together sheets of foamboard to use as reflectors.
  • Tether cable or HDMI cable (optional) – By shooting tethered you can instantly display the shots on your laptop, or if your camera supports it via HDMI to a television.

Wallace taped together peices of white foamboard to bounce the speedlight off of and also to enclose the photobooth.

Once you have everything setup, adjust your camera settings to auto mode so you don’t have to keep adjusting things as the light changes. Be sure to set your ISO appropriately to the situation, if you are using a high-end camera with good low-light performance, boost the ISO to prevent the speedlights from working so hard. Pre-focus your camera and take a test shot to eliminate any hands on work throughout the course of your event.

Incorporating Lightroom For Instant Gratification

To keep your guests and photobooth patrons happy, you will most likely want to connect your camera to some sort of output device to prevent people from having to look at their portraits on the back of the camera, which could result in your camera being knocked over. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to do and Wallace, being the great photographer he is, made sure to create a second video to guide you through the process.

As you saw in the above video, Wallace was able to create a professional looking photobooth complete with a projector and large viewing screen. Don’t be discouraged, however, if you do not have access to all the equipment he used. Similar setups can be done using less expensive gear, and perhaps, with a little creativity, improvised using things you already have laying around the house.


Everyone loves a good photobooth

The good news is, even if you do wind up buying equipment, all the items you will need can be used for other photography projects as well, so get building and get shooting!

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One response to “How to Make a Photobooth”

  1. Dean says:

    Nice suggestions on creating a photo booth. This can get you essentially the same shots as any booth can. Great job!

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