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