Are you planning a kids party, baby shower, or wedding event? Any celebration or small gathering is all that is needed for an excuse to have a little fun. Setting aside a small area for a photo booth will allow your guests to dress up in any style scene and have pictures taken. These can serve as unique mementos to your guests at a kids party as well as give you an excuse to capture some of your own memories as well.

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My first encounter with a photo booth was over a year ago when I attended a silent art auction with my husband and friends. Who would have thought that such an extravagant formal event in the downtown Galleria area would have warranted an excuse to take fun pictures while holding our Mojitos and Martinis. I remember dressing up in my police cap with draped black and white striped wrap while my husband in his dashing yellow tie and black shirt stood by my side. A table was lined up where we could choose whatever themed props we wanted. From funny hats to loud wigs, a young fellow stood behind the camera snapping the pictures where they were quickly printed out for us as souvenirs. It was such a blast that I wanted to share with my readers the same curiosity I had with how to make a photo booth to suit any event you may be planning for yourself.


Here is what you will need to start planning your own DIY photo booth.

Many options exist for this. For party events, use plastic tablecloths you can find from the dollar store with patterns or solid colors. Be sure to double these up if possible. Drape over a door or tape to the wall. Other more creative ideas can include hanging balloons, banners, or even paint your own scene on some cardboard.

Photobooth Backdrop

What is a photo booth without the props. Places like Party City offer many inexpensive options or event visit your local discount or dollar store for some inexpensive party hats. For themed parties with kids, use dress up dresses or pirate hats with wands and swords. Place a basket or table aside where the props can be easily accessible. You may also want to consider having benches, ottomans, or chairs for guests to get cozy for smaller spaces.

Photobooth Props

Camera and Tripod
Use a good DSLR camera set up on a tripod. Purchase a cheap wireless camera remote so pictures can be taken wireless unless you have a designated photographer that can stand behind the camera to snap the picture instead.

Photobooth Camera and Tripod Setup

Step by Step Instructions

1. The first step is to assign the location of your photobooth. Consider the surrounding areas and what whitespace may potentially show up in the picture. If you are outside, use PVC to build yourself a frame to lay your backdrop on with some inexpensive bed sheets or fabric as your back layer. For indoor areas, look at unused door areas or empty corners of the room to set up at.

2. Hang up your backdrop. Use painters tape or thumbtacks to attach streams, table cloth, or fabric to the wall.

Inexpensive Photobooth Backdrop Idea

3. Set up your tripod and camera and test out the distance. Make sure the height is adjusted appropriately especially for sit down styled photos. Are you expecting more singular intimate shots or larger groups of 5 or more people?

4. Gather your props together and place them in a basket or container nearby.

5. Make a sign for your photo booth event. A chalkboard sign provides a nice added touch.

Chalkboard Photobooth Sign

6. Be sure to place a guestbook nearby for all participants to sign in before the big photoshoot.

7. After the event is completed, review the photos and crop as needed. Upload to your Dropbox or Google Drive and email them to the appropriate people. Consider making a slideshow, photo strip, or collage style image for your participants.

Crystal Ayres, MBA
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