How to make a DIY photo booth your party guests will love
Are you planning a unique wedding? Or celebrating a significant birthday? A photo booth is the perfect way to capture brilliant memories. So strike a pose and let your guests get snap happy with a DIY photo booth.
From nightclubs to New Year’s Eve parties, photo booths have soared in popularity, and it’s not hard to see why. They offer a fantastic way for guests to let their hair down and embrace a bit of silliness. However, hiring a professional photo booth can be pricey. In this guide, we'll show you how easy it is to set up a DIY photo booth you can adapt to suit your event.
Add your own party photo props, explore our photo booth frame ideas, et voila — you’ll have a truly unique celebration.
What kind of camera to use for a DIY photo booth
Going DIY gives you plenty of photography options. Of course, the best route is a setup that's familiar and easy to use. Ultimately, the aim is to let your guests capture those hilarious and heartfelt moments with one click. These are our favourite ways to get the shot:
INSTAX instant camera
INSTAX cameras capture the magic of the moment. Just point, click and see results in seconds. Super fun and easy to use, INSTAX cameras create passport-size prints with lashings of retro cool. Perfect for the complete DIY photo booth experience. Best of all, you can get a whole range of different film designs to experiment with. Choose from mini, square, and wide film sizes, and explore a variety of frame patterns. Why not try and find one that fits the theme of your party?
Your guests can snap away to their heart’s content. At the end of the event, you can collect the best and add them to your wedding album photo book.
A classic mirrorless camera
A camera with a tripod is an effortless way to get professional-level shots. But it's only an option if you own one already or can borrow one from a friend. If you own a camera, why not invest in a remote control for ease of use? And for best results, keep checking the camera settings and position. Otherwise, you could end up with frame after frame of murky images or headless bodies.
Phone or Tablet
No professional-level camera lying about? No problem. Your daily devices may just hold the key to DIY photo book perfection.
Get out your selfie stick and encourage guests to snap away. This ultra-simple photo booth idea is best for spontaneity. And once they've pressed the shutter, ask your guests to upload to social media using a chosen hashtag — or simply send the files to you. From there, you can share on your socials and order some prints. Best of all, you can use your pics to create some lovely personalised thank-you photo gifts.
Setting the stage: creating the perfect DIY photo booth
Once you have your camera setup sorted, the real fun starts. But before looking for Insta inspiration, begin by setting the stage.
First, you'll need a space close to the action but still out of sight. That way, your guests won't feel self-conscious about having fun with your party photo props.
If you're indoors, try a separate alcove or small room. For an outdoor event, try a tent or gazebo. Finally, a picturesque tree provides the perfect photo opp — just tie a swing or hammock to a sturdy branch.
For hired venues, it’s worth asking where the photo booth is usually located. Then, measure the dimensions to tailor your photo booth ideas to fit.
Get creative with backdrops, props, and accessories
Now you can start getting creative with props, backdrops, photo booth frame ideas and more. The only limit? Your imagination. A DIY photo station doesn’t need to be a traditional booth.
You can create a backdrop from just about anything — from charity shop net curtains to fairy lights. A large mirror with a greenery garland creates an instantly magical effect. At the same time, a chalkboard with a personalised message looks effortlessly modern. Vintage picture frames bring retro cool. And you can't go wrong with sequins or a glitter station.
If you prefer to keep it simple, find a rustic brick wall. Or hang an eye-catching customised neon sign. A balloon arch in your wedding colours makes a fantastic backdrop. Or DIY it with paper pompoms or fake flowers and foliage for a dreamy romantic look.
Props and accessories like a dressing-up box or personalised frames are a great way to help your guests loosen up. So encourage them to get silly with party photo props like hats, wigs, moustaches and masks. Of course, you can always print your own if you're on a budget.
One of our favourite photo booth frame ideas is using an oversized plain white frame with the date and occasion. Ask your guests to add personal messages, then strike a pose.
Lastly, add some straightforward instructions. Keep them simple for the less technically minded — or guests who've had a few drinks! That way, you can expect (nearly) perfect photos every time.
Think about a theme
If you already have a theme for your event, all the better. Just carry it over into your booth.
Alternatively, you could use your DIY photo booth to express your personality. This works particularly well if your theme is more sophisticated. So style it up like a Tardis or add light sabres if you're a sci-fi fan. Or go full Strictly with glitter, feather boas and scoring paddles.
Other inventive themes include:
Hot fiesta colours and bright confetti create dynamic images. Encourage your guests to blow handfuls straight at the camera for extra pizzazz.
Second-hand books glued to pallets make a fabulous literary backdrop. Leave the pages exposed. Or create a fake library complete with a reading chair.
Creating a photo booth for your wedding? Give your guests a sneak preview of your honeymoon with an appropriate backdrop and props.
Love you to the moon and back
A magical crescent moon and twinkling fairy lights make the perfect romantic backdrop. This could be ideal for a Valentine’s Day party or wedding reception.
Back to the Future
Think: blow-up guitars, skateboards and 50s-style wigs to bring this theme alive — an excellent choice for a special birthday.
Tips for achieving great lighting in your photo booth
The secret to a great photo is great lighting. Your DIY photo booths will likely be used at night. So if you want to capture your guests losing their inhibitions, you need some flattering lighting.
Fairy lights and lanterns are classic props which also create a fairytale effect. An inexpensive ring light is super flattering to give guests a gorgeous glow. However, don't be tempted to use candlelight. It might look beautiful, but naked flames and excitable guests don't mix. Instead, invest in inexpensive LED tea lights for a similar effect.
Outdoor celebration? How to weatherproof your photo booth setup
The best way to weatherproof an outdoor DIY photo booth is to stage it undercover. An old caravan is ideal. Or you could hire a horsebox for the event. Otherwise, use a gazebo or marquee.
If you want to stage your photos outside, have a tarpaulin handy if it does start to rain. That way, you can cover your props until it's time to start snapping again.
Printing your photos
Of course, there’s no point in spending time and effort on your DIY photo booth if you never see the pictures. And the chances are you’ll be too busy on the day to spend much time striking a pose.
So how can you share the love with friends and family after the event? These photo booth ideas for printing up your images should earn you extra kudos:
From stunning Shacolla wall art to gorgeous retro prints, the possibilities are endless. So why not frame up your favourite photo prints for a beautiful gallery wall? Having a physical copy makes your memories all the more meaningful. And they make fabulous personalised thank you cards for your guests, especially with our super fast delivery.
Physical photos give you something to look back on and treasure. And what better way to capture your favourite memories for a lifetime than a beautiful photo book? With your choice of matt or glossy paper and a range of layouts, your book is unique. So don't let those moments get stuck on your phone. Instead, upload them and share them.
Thank your guests for making it an unmissable event with our personalised photo gifts. So why not turn your photo booth favourites into cherishable items? From a set of coasters to high-quality framed prints, nothing says it like a photo. So choose the funniest, cutest or most romantic images for a unique party favour.
High-quality images and photo prints with myFUJIFILM
At myFUJIFILM, we create unique premium photo gifts to cherish. So why not turn your photo booth ideas into reality with our high-quality prints and photo books? Don’t let your photos languish unloved on your phone. Shop online today and create gifts and memories you’ll adore for a lifetime.