Birthday Photobooth

More and more weddings are including "photobooths" as part of their guest experience. And not the rent-a-very-expensive (albeit endlessly cool) filmstrip style photobooth - I'm referring to the much cheaper, easier and versatile photographer's photobooth. Whether they range from classy and formal [see j.crew's version and think simple color but fun guests] to fun dress up [think speech bubbles and oversize props] to vintage [frames and florals] a photobooth is a fantastic way to get posed photos of you and your guests. Some people go really extreme and set up entire staged rooms and themed sets! It's all about fitting the photobooth to your personal style. But photobooths don't have to be for big expensive celebrations! You can have one at your next casual get-together!


I recently threw a surprise party for my man's 26th birthday (and our friend Cameron was also celebrating his 29th) and I decided it would be fun to include a birthday photobooth. I did it on a budget! From the dollar store, I grabbed 4 rolls of graphic "happy birthday" wrapping paper to use as the background - wrapping paper gives you tons of options. Try not to pick one that is too reflective as you want it to appear as a flat backdrop. Make sure you tape it flat to a wall so that you don't have any ripples. For this party, I wanted to go more silly than classy since it was a laid-back Sunday football-BBQ party.


Luckily, it's October so the dollar store had lots of costume options: funny glasses with noses attached, chalkboards, clown ties, etc. I used cardstock paper and cardboard and white wire-hangers to make signs that say "Taylor," "26" as well as lips, moustaches, a sparkly heart, and a red balloon. I used gold spray paint to vamp up an ugly frame and I also told the guests to bring any funny hats, wigs, and glasses that they had laying around. I also included my Nikon FE2 35mm camera and my 1950's Kodak Brownie camera for a little vintage touch. All in all, the photobooth and props cost about $20 and was a big hit with my guests! Here are some of my favorites from the day:

Equipment: I use Alienbee lighting so I had the A1600 on a stand with the beauty dish and diffuser attached and put my Mark II 5D on a tripod with all the settings set to the photobooth so that other guests could operate (and I could jump in some shots myself!). If you don't have professional equipment, you can try making it work with what you've got or you could likely rent professional equipment from your local camera store - in LA I would use Samy's Camera and in New York I would use Adorama or B&H. The photos were given a vintage filter post-processing (stay tuned for a post on how to achieve this look in photoshop!)


UPDATE: DO YOU LIVE IN THE LOS ANGELES AREA AND WANT TO WIN A FREE 2-HOUR PHOTOBOOTH AT YOUR NEXT PARTY OR EVENT?? ENTER MY GIVEAWAY! SEE DETAILS: HERE

17 comments:

  1. Very awesome! Did you bulk process? What sort of actions/program are you using?

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  2. Becca - Thanks! I didn't bulk process these because the tripod was moved a lot by my party guests and each shot was from a different angle. Each one required a little special attention before applying any actions. I use Photoshop CS5 to edit and an action using a center fill, vignette and curves. Check out deviantart.com for some downloadable photoshop actions and you can also make your own that suits your photographs, record it in your actions toolbar, and then you can batch apply it to your photobooth photos! Enjoy!

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  3. Love it! but where is the read more button? cause i really am inspired and want to see more pics:)

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  4. Anonymous - you can see the full album here: http://chloemoore.smugmug.com/Events

    click on the album titled "Taylor's 26th Birthday"

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  5. Brittani WilcoxFebruary 22, 2012

    Chloe, this is tutorial was amazing! We did it at our last party: http://flic.kr/s/aHsjyTj5Ez

    Thanks for the great idea. :)

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    1. You're welcome Brittani! I love what you guys did with yours - so quirky cute!

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  6. hiii, i really love the background and my birthday is coming soon.. can you please send me a pic of the background? i wanna make a photobooth like this as well =] this is my email : clairzhan@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi Claire - so sorry for responding so late! The background is just birthday wrapping paper purchased at the dollar store.

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  7. this is awesome! this'll be something to consider for my 17th birthday! :)

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    1. Thanks Artisa!
      Send me a link if you do it! I'd love to see your photos!

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  8. I am so excited to do this for my birthday this year! It was so much fun picking out the props from the dollar store (and stuff around the house). I wish I lived closer to the LA area (I'm all the way up in Chico), I would definitely hire you for some events! I've enjoyed checking out your photography. How creative!

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    1. Oh I'm so glad Kelsey!! Isn't it a blast?! I've worked in Chico before for a wedding - as long as the job is big enough (like a wedding!), I'd travel :-)
      Contact me anytime if you're interested!

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  10. Its really very helpfull post for me and all internet user.You can know more about this..

    photobooth

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  11. Hello!!! I'm trying to put together my own photo booth for my birthday party this weekend. I have a vinyl banner that I had made that is going to be the backdrop. For lighting I have a work light like this with halogen bulbs in them. http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/2000x2000/292/29278_2000x2000.jpg
    It's very bright and I don't know how to properly manipulate/ diffuse it to make the photos look as professional as possible. Should I use a white sheet? Or a white umbrella covering this light? I'm totally lost! Also, I would be using a Sony Cyber Shot digital camera that I would use on a tripod and I'll just set a timer or something. Can that type of camera even take the quality of photos I'm looking for?? I would appreciate any help you're willing to send my way!

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