I love photo booths! They are so much fun and a great way to capture a special memory at a party. I pretty much set one up every time I host a party. And for good reason. People love them!
My sis-in-law had one at her wedding and there was a line-up (and a 45-minute wait) just to get to the booth. That’s how popular they are.
Not only does everyone love them, they are also super easy and inexpensive to set up. I’ve seen really elaborate ones and super simple ones (my sis-in-law had a white backdrop and a frame, that’s it!).
Here are few things that you will need to do your own photo booth.
If you type backdrop into Pinterest, you will get a thousand images of gorgeous, but elaborate backdrops. I can tell you, your backdrop doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ve used a bare wall, wrapping paper and fabric hung from the ceiling. It’s really up to you what you do for a backdrop. If you want to make something more elaborate or include a small set, go for it! But that is totally up to you and not always necessary. Just remember that it will become a central part of your party, so keep it on theme and it will double as decor!
The only thing I recommend is that you make it big enough. A lot of the things you see on Pinterest are actually quite small. From experience, people tend to like to do large groups and full body shots. I recommend your background be at least 7 feet tall and 5 or 6 feet wide. That’ll fit about 2-3 people comfortable and have the background fully behind them.
You want to make sure that you have goof lighting for a photo booth. Natural lighting is always best, so if possible set up outdoors or near a large window. If it’s outside, try to place it where it won’t be affected by weird shadows. If you’re setting up indoors and you can’t access a large window, consider having an extra light source. I often use a lamp to add extra lighting to the space, just for pictures.
There are a really 3 ways you can do a photo booth.
- Set up a Camera
- Camera Phones
- A Combination of both
A camera set up on a tripod is a nice professional-looking option. You’ll probably get better quality photos than a camera phone. If you choose to set up a camera, have a set time limit, so you don’t spend the whole party behind the camera. It can also be a hassle to send all the photos to people unless you plan to share them online or through social media.
Camera phones are a great option since pretty much everyone has one. It also makes it super easy for guests to share their photos through social media and everyone will have their copy immediately. A selfie stick can be a great addition. And maybe consider a party hashtag so you can see and share the photos with others.
I usually like to do a bit of both. I have a limited time when I act as photographer and will take pictures with my Canon camera as well as camera phones. But once I’m done, I leave the area set up and people can wander over to take photos at their own pleasure.
This is the fun part. It’s best to stick to props that are connected to your party’s theme. At the High Tea Bridal Shower I threw for my sister, we had some large hats, a feather boa, and a few little signs. It was totally appropriate and doubled as decor for the event itself. You can buy pre-made props at almost dollar or craft store. My sister picked up some great wood props for her upcoming wedding from Michaels and they were about $2 a piece.
As for the number of props, that’s really up to you! Like I said earlier, my sis-in-law had 1 prop in her wedding photo booth. Just 1! You just want to make sure that your props are easy to use and entice groups of people to take photos together. Because let’s be honest, that’s the best part of a photo booth, the group pictures.
Actually, the worst thing you could do is have too many props. It makes the space look messy (which is never a great look for a party). It can also overwhelm your guests with too many choices. If you’re having a large party (like over 30) too many choices will mean guests will take more time choosing and will slow the whole process. People don’t like to wait too long. By having less than 10 props, people can make quick choices and get to the fun of taking pictures!
Not sure what props to include? Here are some fun suggestions.
- Hats and Fascinators
- Floral Hair Clips
- Strands of Pearls
- Funky Necklaces
- Feather Boas
- Fun Signs
- Dry-Erase Boards with Markers
- Picture Frame
- Sound Makers, Horns or Small Instruments
- A Chair or Bench or Set piece
As you can see, setting up your own photo booth is really easy! So set one up at your next party or event and see what a crowd pleaser a photo booth really is!