Party Photo Booth

Stephanie M. Kelley
party booth

Photo booths used to be a novelty, but now they're almost expected at most parties and events. Photo booths are also great decorations for your venue and help provide documentation of the event as well as a fun take-home gift for guests.

Easy DIY Photo Booth Options

There are different ways to create a photo booth for your event.

Structure

Build your own simple photo booth area.

  • Wall - A very simple photo-booth idea is to use a plain wall as your background. Attach some decorative elements onto the wall such as pennant or a banner can add a festive look. Balloons are also a good and inexpensive way to add color. Use a couple of good lamps to provide light, or situate your booth near a window with natural light.
  • Banner stand - A photography backdrop stand is a great way to create a photo booth, even if you don't have a wall to use, which is a typical situation for outdoor parties. Simply set-up a portable backdrop to use as the framework and choose a fabric or backdrop you like. If you are outside, you may not need any additional lighting.

Decorative Backdrop

A decorative backdrop is the best way to personalize your booth. Choose a background color that matches your scheme or an image that enhances your theme.

  • Metallic fringe curtain - Create a beautiful, shiny wall as a backdrop by simply hanging a metallic fringe curtain against a wall at your venue. You can choose a single color or multi-colored curtain. Use Command hooks, tape, or tacks to attach it to the wall. Consider hanging it at least six and a half feet high if you are going to have your guests just stand in front of it. You can hang it lower if you are going to have your guests sit in front of the wall.
  • patriotic photo booth
    Commercial background - A variety of different types of backgrounds are available for purchase. For instance, you can buy a beach scene at a party supply store or a basic brick wall fabric drop. Tie the backdrop into the party theme, like using a flag for a patriotic party.
  • Streamers or garland - Cut a rope the length you would like to have as the width of your photo booth background. Then cut pieces of streamers or garland to the length of the height you want to have your photo booth background. Tie the ends of each strand of garland or streamer to the rope until you reach the other end of the rope and create a curtain.

Props

One of the most fun parts of a photo booth is the props that people can choose to use or wear in their photos.

  • costumes and stick props
    Costumes - Easy-to-wear costumes such as hats, clown noses, scarves/boas, and oversized glasses make great costume choices. This is also a great way to incorporate a theme into your photo booth. For instance, you can provide a floral lei or grass skirt for a tropical party.
  • Stick props - Stick props are easy to use and inexpensive. You can find these items at the dollar store or party supply retailers.
  • Chalkboards and signs - Provide a small chalkboard or two, chalk, and an eraser for guests to write messages for the guest of honor or the couple, in the case of a wedding. Alternatively, print up signs that people can choose to hold in their photo.

Camera

Of course no photo booth is complete without a camera.

  • Photographer - Perhaps the easiest way to host a photo booth is to have someone stand by the booth to assist guests and snap the photos. Allow guests to use their own camera or leave one on a table near the booth area if you can't have someone assisting with photos.
  • selfie stick
    Selfie stick - Provide guests with a selfie stick to use while they are using the booth. You can allow guests to use their own device or you might choose to provide one for them to use. Guests may feel less self-conscious about wearing silly costumes and making funny faces if they are alone.
  • Laptop, smartphone, or tablet holder - Consider using a tripod to hold a phone or tablet to use in a booth. In addition, you can use a lap top with a camera. A number of apps are available, some for free, at both the iTunes and Google Play stores.

Rental Information

If you would rather rent a photo booth, there is a variety of different types, depending on your area and budget.

Where to Find Rentals

For local companies who provide this type of service, consult a local party, event, or wedding planner. You can also check at party rental places for options. Finally, don't forget to check with photographers. They may have a booth option or offer their own booth plus a photographer and/or editing services as well, although this will often cost more.

Approximate Pricing

The prices for photo booths varies a lot depending on the type of booth you are looking for, the popularity of the date you are requesting, the length of time you want to rent the booth, the "add-on" items you choose and your region. An average price for this type of service is around $200 per hour with a two- or three-hour minimum.

The price will typically include set-up and take-down and the cost of printing. In some cases, the price will also include a technician who will stay on-site to help guests use the booth during the event.

Inexpensive Booths to Purchase

There are some inexpensive photo booths available for purchase.

  • The Selfie Booth - The plastic rod frame is easy to assemble and the fabric tent sets on the top of the frame for quick set-up. There is an adjustable holder on the frame that holds a smart phone or tablet which guests use to take the photos. There is a green screen wall directly behind the guests. Download the "Selfie Booth" app from the Google Play or iTunes store. The guest enters the booth and chooses a background such as the Eiffel Tower and another landmark or another image such as balloons. The background image will appear in the "green" area of the screen. The set also comes with 15 perforated props and 10 prop sticks.
  • Photo Booth Kit - This kit will save you both time and money by providing you with a selfie stick and some fun props to help create some memorable shots.

Personalize Your Booth

No matter what type of photo booth you choose for your event, it is easy to personalize it to your theme and occasion. Choose a backdrop style and color that works with your party theme and provide costumes and appropriate props to help make your booth unique. You can even provide some personal touches such as banners with the event date on it. Also consider using your photo booth photos as an alternative to a guest book for events such as weddings or graduations.

Party Photo Booth