The photos are an important part of any celebration, because they remind us later of the wonderful time spent with family or friends. With a photo box, guests can take great photos themselves at every party without the presence of a photographer. The so-called photo booth usually contains a camera and a tablet, which are placed in a box. Photo boxes can be rented for various events, but at an expensive price. If you already have a good camera, you can build a photo box yourself and save some money. What exactly is required for this and many helpful tips can be found in the article.
What is a photo box?
The photo box is a great thing, especially at weddings and parties. This allows you to take funny photos and view them directly on the tablet screen. Some photo boxes are even designed with a built-in printer that prints out the photos immediately. Others have special memory cards with online connectivity, from which the photos can be shared directly in a Dropbox. There are other equipment variants with which you can take professional photos yourself. A built-in or external flash, for example, is needed if the Photo Booth is used for photos in dark rooms. A reflective umbrella ensures optimal lighting conditions and a radio trigger allows you to take photos from a certain distance.
And how does the photo box actually work? The camera is tied to a tablet so that the images can be viewed on the screen immediately after they have been taken. The easiest way to do this is with a WiFi memory card, which transfers the photos directly to the tablet via WiFi. In addition to the memory card, special software is required for the tablet that controls the great functions of the Photo Booth. We will discuss the different variants below.
What do you need for a photo box?
If you want to build a photo box yourself, you absolutely need good technology and a suitable material for the housing. The easiest way to build the Photo Booth is from wood. Plywood panels are used for this, which are assembled using hinges and screws. To secure the technology in the photo box, suitable shelves are installed.
As a technology, the good camera is the most important challenge for successful photos with good quality. The best results are achieved with a professional camera. There are no such requirements for the tablet. The Photo Booth works with both Android tablets and iPads. It is only important that you find suitable software and that the WLAN works.
Build a photo box yourself
If you have decided to build a photo booth yourself, you will find instructions for the body below. The first thing you should do is gather all the necessary materials and make a plan. The photo box works best in a square shape, but you can also experiment with the design. Alternatively, you can use a ready-made wooden box and simply adapt it as a photo booth. With a creative design you can make your photo box an eye-catcher at every party. This Instagram photo booth is a great example of playful design.
First, make a list of materials that will help you go shopping at the hardware store. If you want to build the photo box yourself out of wood, we recommend plywood. This makes it easier to work with, even if you don’t have much experience. We have created an example list for you, which may vary depending on the design and size of the box chosen. You can build the photo box yourself, which is why we have omitted precise information.
Materials to build your own photo box out of wood:
- Plywood panels
- Squared timber
- Angle molding made of wood
- drilling machine
- Hole saw
- Wood drill
- Wooden file
If you have no experience with wood saws, then you can have the plywood panels cut to the desired sizes in the hardware store free of charge. This will make your task much easier, but you will need to determine the exact sizes in advance.
Once you have collected all the materials, construction can begin. If you are building the whole photo box yourself, start with the markings for the holes. First you need a round hole for the lens. For this you need the exact diameter of the lens, whereby the hole should be at least 1 cm wider. You also need a recess for the tablet, which can be below or above the lens. Here again measure the size of the tablet and adjust the recess accordingly. Mark the exact positions for the holes with a pencil and saw according to the markings.
So that the technology can be built into the Photo Booth, it needs a door. You decide for yourself whether on the front, back or side. This is where the hinges come in. If you build a photo box yourself, you should design the door in such a way that you can then install the interior in the easiest way. If you want to secure your technology at a party or other event, you can design the door with a lock. So you can enjoy the party carefree.
If you build a photo box yourself, the mounts for the tablet and camera are another important part of the construction. They ensure that the technology in the box is not damaged if it is laid. The camera mount may vary depending on the model and size of the camera, so you should adjust it accordingly. Again, you can use a sheet of plywood and saw an appropriate recess. It is only important that the camera is fixed in it.
A suitable tablet holder is required so that the tablet is securely and practically attached to the front of the photo box. You can build these yourself from wood using an angle bar, or use aluminum profiles for the purpose. We recommend that you insulate the holder with felt, for example, so that there are no scratches on the tablet’s casing.
In order for you to take a lot of photos with the Photo Booth, the camera and tablet need power. This is why you absolutely need a power strip if you build a photo box yourself. It is placed in the box and ensures a permanent supply of electricity. The power packs for the tablet and camera are plugged into it so that the battery is always full. If you want and there is enough space, you can build a kind of power box in the photo box yourself. There the cables, power supply units and the power strip can be neatly stowed away.
Build a photo box yourself and design an individual housing
The wooden photo box can be painted and varnished as desired, so that a great design results. You can still engrave the wood or stick decorations and decorate your own photo booth as you wish. You can design a tag with general information like your name, email and mobile number in case the box is lost.
Although wood is the most commonly used material for building your own photo box, you can also use alternative materials. A photo box with a high-quality design can be built with Plexiglas, but at a more expensive price. The plexiglass can, however, be cut to size by laser cutting and designed individually.
If you are looking for cheap ideas for building the photo box, you can also use cardboard. It is much easier to work with, but the resulting photo booth is not as stable as this one made of wood. If you secure the technology in the box well and attach the photo box firmly to a tripod, then you don’t need to worry about it. A photo booth made of cardboard can in turn be decorated and glued to create a unique design.
Technique required for a DIY photo booth
If you build a photo box yourself, the technology plays the most important role. In order for the self-made photo booth to deliver professional photos, you absolutely need a good camera – preferably a reflex camera. The make and model are not that important in this case as long as the camera can take good photos. Whether an iPad or Android tablet is just as indifferent, you can find suitable software for both. Here you will find a list of the most important technical components of the photo box.
Necessary technology for the Photo Booth Box:
- SLR camera with lens, SD card slot and external power supply
- Tablet with power adapter
- Photo box software
- Wi-Fi memory card
- external flash
- Radio trigger for flash and camera
- WLAN printer (optional)
- Reflex umbrella (optional)
- Socket strip (at least 3-way)
Photo box software
We have already discussed the camera and tablet for the Photo Booth Box. Depending on the operating system, different software is available for the photo box. For iPad, we recommend the ShutterSnitch app, which includes many useful functions. You can even send the photos at the same time via WiFi, as well as create a password so that the guests can view the photos but not delete them.
With an Android tablet, the corresponding app on the memory card can be used to view and share the photos. To do this, the app is installed on the tablet beforehand and the necessary settings are made in advance. This makes it easier to use the Photo Booth later. As a rule, the procedure is explained in an instruction manual supplied.
You really need a flash? If you want to build a photo box yourself for outdoor events, you probably don’t need a flash in daylight. However, if the Photo Booth is used in a room or in the evening, then the photos simply cannot be taken without the flash. However, since the flash cannot be in the box, you can use an external flash and mount it on a tripod.
Build your own photo box with remote shutter release
With a remote release or radio release it is possible for the guests to take photos of themselves in front of the photo box. For photos from a greater distance from the box, a cable with a length of about 5 meters is recommended. The radio trigger, on the other hand, does not use a cable, but guests can inadvertently take the controls with them or even lose them.
Build your own photo box with or without a printer? You can also build a great photo box yourself with a printer that prints the photos immediately after they are taken. Some find this additional equipment great, but others don’t, because the printer takes up even more space and of course makes the whole project more expensive. The photos on paper are certainly a great gift at a wedding or other party, but you need to think about whether the investment is worth it. In any case, most photos these days are left on cell phones and tablets, so the printer is certainly not a must.
Photo booth use at various events
Once you have finished building the photo box yourself, the real fun can begin. A successful photo booth can be used at all kinds of events and makes for funny souvenir photos. Photo boxes are particularly popular at weddings and contribute to the good mood of the guests. If the photo box is used by many people, you should make the application as simple as possible so that everyone can use it easily. All settings should be made before the party so that there are no nerves or problems during the actual celebration.
In addition to the actual construction of the photo box, you should also think about a suitable background and funny props. They can be coordinated with the theme of the party or event and be as creative as possible. You can use an existing wall in the appropriate room as a background if it looks good. Alternatively, you can make a nice decor that is attached to the wall for photos.
Props are an important part of the photo box and ensure really funny pictures for every occasion. Photo props are different motifs that are attached to a wooden stick and held in front of the face for the photo. From red Santa Claus hats and white beards for Christmas, to rabbit ears for Easter, to funny glasses and wigs for birthdays – the possibilities are endless. You can make the party props yourself or order them cheaply online.
Build your own photo box for a wedding
If you would like to build a photo box yourself for your wedding, we hope that you found our tips and ideas helpful. Darker backgrounds are particularly recommended for weddings in order to take high-contrast photos. A colorful background with balloons or a colorful mix of tissue paper works just as well. For outdoor weddings, backgrounds with flowers or green are suitable, which conjure up a fresh atmosphere on the photos.
Except for the funny props made of paper, everything else can really be used for the photos. Different hats, signs with funny lettering, beards, wigs, sunglasses, picture frames, guitars etc. result in unforgettable souvenir photos. Let your creativity run free and prepare lots of atmospheric party props for the wedding.