How to make a photo booth at wedding reception | Chicago wedding photography

Even before I started to consider doing wedding photography, I wanted to make a photobooth at the reception. At Alicja and Artur’s wedding I wasn’t shooting the reception, but I thought that it would be nice to at least make a photobooth. I knew that I need bright color seamless for a background and not complicated lighting setup – probably ringflash. I could use my Ray Light Ring Flash, but I would rather do something more powerful than 580ex II minus 1 stop (Ray Light eats about 1 stop out of your 580ex II). I didn’t want to pay over a grand for profoto or elinchrom ringflash either, because I knew I wouldn’t use it enough to justify the buy, but I pony up and bought ABR800. It’s “only” $399 and I already have portable power system (Vagabond II) that I could plug the ringflash to in case there is no power outlet nearby.

So here are the things you need to make a photobooth:

1. Liability insurance!! Let me explain why… Well, in case of the photobooth I made – that is camera on the tripod, background stand, etc you really need someone to be there all the time. First I was thinking that maybe I can leave my camera (or second body camera) there with just the cable shutter release, so people will take pictures by themselves. Boy, was I wrong!! That would be the worst thing I could do, and probably I would end up with broken camera, overheated ringflash and god know what else:)Lucky for me, few weeks before I asked on flickr strobist group for tips and tricks for photobooth setup, and they wrote that I shouldn’t leave photobooth for even a second and that I should have liability insurance (good that as a part of PPA I’ve one). And then only when I set everything up I realized how right they were – specially when people get more “relaxed and flexible” after few drinks, things can get ugly. You have to watch them not to fall into the background – it happened couple of times to me – all you need to do if the background gets thorn is cut it and roll it down.

2. Background Stand Kit – I’ve Calumet Heavy-Duty Background Stand Kit(don’t forget clampsto clip the background).

3. Seamless paper or something that you want to use as a background – I got 53″ bright green paper from Calumetbecause I wasn’t sure if I can setup 107″, but ideally if you want to shoot more than 3 people in the booth, you would want to use 107″ paper (you can see on some pictures below that I couldn’t fit all folks within the background).

4. Light - in my case I used ABR800 Righflash.

5. Props – the more the merrier – we went to Party City and got some stuff. For around $40 you can get some really crazy stuff, that would look cool in the photobooth.

Couple things about the settings

I used 24mm 1.4 on 5d mk II. Didn’t have room for my 85 or 70-200 setup, and honestly shooting with manual focus at high f-stop you don’t really care how fast is the lens. I brought my Seconic light meter, because I wanted to make sure that my exposure would be correct and I do it fast. I setup my settings on the lightmeter to ISO50, and 1/125 of a second, and my ABR800 to 1/16 power. Triggered it – I got reading of f/8. And because I have CPL filter on my 24mm (eats about 1 stop) I lowered it down to f/6.3. I manually focused using Live View Mode and modeling light from ABR800, and because I was shooting at f/6.3 I wasn’t worried about being out of focus.

OK, enough of talking… here are the results:

Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography

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Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography

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2 votes

Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography

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1 vote

Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography

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2 votes

Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography, photographer

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3 votes

Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography, photographer

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1 vote

Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography, photographer

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4 votes

Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography, photographer

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3 votes

Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography, photographer

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2 votes

Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography, photographer

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3 votes

Summary: Photobooth I did is very easy to setup, not so easy to manage, but definitely would do it again – it’s fun fun fun!

One more tip: you can hand out your business cards, to all the guests that participated in your photobooth project, with the link to the your website – let’s say www.bizior.com/photobooth-ala-artur/ and then once you’re done with editing and uploading pictures to smugmug or zenfolio or any other photo hosting service, you can simply redirect them there by creating index.html file inside “photobooth-ala-artur” directory with the following code:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN”>
<html>
<head>
<title>Your Page Title</title>
<meta http-equiv=”REFRESH” content=”0;url=http://www.the-domain-you-want-to-redirect-to.com”></HEAD>
<BODY>
Optional page text here.
</BODY>
</HTML>

Chicago wedding photography, fasion, commercial, beauty, bizior photography, photographer

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October 12, 2010 - 2:49 AM

Mama - EKSTRA SESJA!!!!!!

November 21, 2010 - 5:01 AM

Lukasz - super jest ten pomysl naprawde

December 5, 2010 - 1:09 PM

milsztof - Great idea. Gonna try it next time.

December 31, 2010 - 6:09 PM

Respiratory Therapist - Couldnt agree more with that, very attractive article

September 12, 2011 - 11:08 PM

Jackie S - I am totally excited and really appreciate this article. I am building my own photobooth but it will be inside a box. I want something small enough just my AlienBee 800, ipad, the camera, and cables.

The next little box will be my dye sub printer on pull-out stand.

Once I get it all together, I will definitely link back to your post. Very informative!
Thank you for sharing!

May 27, 2012 - 12:25 AM

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April 11, 2013 - 12:14 PM

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December 5, 2013 - 1:45 PM

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September 19, 2014 - 5:13 AM

Wedding Photo booth - The awesome art to make the occasion full of attraction to guests.

October 11, 2010 - 8:45 PM

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October 11, 2010 - 9:13 PM

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October 12, 2010 - 8:39 PM

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