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Booking a photographer to perfectly capture every tender, loving, and heartfelt moment of your wedding day can eat up a big chunk of your budget. Believe me, it is absolutely worth the expense. However, capturing the looney and uninhibited snaps that you get with a photo booth does not need to stretch the budget of the crafty, diy bride that I know you are. Follow this outline to set up your own photo booth and let the zaniness ensue.
Set the scene with the backdrop. Choose one to match your wedding colors, a sheet or fabric hemmed and threaded with twine to hang from the ceiling woks wonders. Or choose plain black or white to let your guests truly take the starring role. If you’d like to be a little more adventurous tie crepe paper streamers to a rod and hang from the ceiling. Sparkly fabric will add a touch of glam, and a beaded curtain can add romance.
Remember playing dress up as a kid, and digging into the magical box full of fabric, and feathers, and sequins, and lace? Well, now is the time to relive your childhood. Stage easy to use costume accessories in your photo booth. Feather boas, scarves, long strings of pearls, an empty champagne bottle, you get the idea. And don’t forget your printable templates. We’ve got mustaches, silly glasses, hats, ties and more for download. A chalkboard is also a great way for people to leave you a message in the photos.
Natural light is best, so if you are having a daytime outdoor wedding just let the sun do its thing. If the sun god has answered your call and you have bright and beautiful sunshine, a white sheet over the photo booth can help diffuse the light and prevent harsh shadows.
If you are setting up the photo booth inside or at night you will need to brighten things up. Halogen work lights make ideal diy photography lighting. Try bouncing the light off the ceiling or walls rather than pointed direct at your subjects. Their armpits will appreciate your thoughtfulness (those bad boys get hot), and you will be less likely to create shadows.
Camera and Printing
iPad – There are some great apps available to turn your iPad into a diy photo booth. Wedding Booth App lets your guests create a montage complete with pictures and a message. If you have wifi access their image can be emailed immediately to them, or connect your iPad to a printer and have their image ready in seconds. You will be able to browse all the saved images later and print as you please.
Digital Camera – Connect it to a printer for guests to take home a copy of their image. PictBridge eliminates the need for a PC allowing your camera to be connected directly with the printer. Be prepared with lots of paper and ink! If you don’t want to have a printer on site, surprise your guests by sending their picture in a thank you card (link to template).
I recommend doing a dry run of your photo booth prior to your big day. Do this at the same time the booth will be set up during your wedding so that you can test the natural light. Make sure to promote your photo booth with directional signs, and have a set of instructions on hand, just in case (they are really for Uncle Joe who can’t tell a digital camera from a rotary telephone, but we won’t tell him that). Something as simple as:
1. Put on silly props.
2. Write something special to the bride and groom.
3. Recruit someone to push the button.
4. Gather your friends and pose.
5. Say cheese!
Enjoy the pictures
When you have caught your breath and are basking in the glow of being Mr. and Mrs. Right, download the images and prepare to be in stitches. You will see sweet pictures, silly pictures, and ‘what in the world were they thinking??’ pictures. For very little time and effort you just captured hundreds of keepsake memories that will bring a smile to your face for years to come.