Daily Archives: November 30, 2018

30Nov/18

How To Make A Homemade Photobooth For Less Than $500

I just finished building a fully touchscreen photobooth with a DSLR camera and a flash and I’m going to show you all the things that you’re going to need and how to do it.

In order to build this photo booth you’re going to need a few things. First off you’re going to need the casing.  The casing is made out of the IKEA gun urn medicine cabinet it’s approximately 12 by 24 inches. I took off the front and the back plate and then I had ordered this aluminum plate.  You can actually create and design your own whole system and everything.  The next thing you’re going to need is a tablet.  The one used here is a Windows 10 tablet.  It is made by Vulcan which is some random no-name brand but it runs Windows 10 which has the software that I need and it only costs 85 bucks.  Next thing that you need is your camera .  This is my older D-7100.  It’s a cropped brand body and it has a 28 to 70 lens on here which should be perfect.  I’m going to switch out with a wider angled lens a little bit later but it works just for right now.  Next up is the flash.  This one is just a cheap four AA battery digital flash.  It’s just fully manual and it works perfectly for what I needed to do.  On the bottom right here and on the top of the camera as well are a couple really cheeky little flash triggers.  This allows the photobotoh to be wireless so I don’t have to worry about having a lot of cords going all over the place.   And then last, but not least, I have the canon Selfy CP910 printer.  There’s the CP 1200 out right now and that’s only for 95 bucks, which was about the same price that I paid for this one.  This was new a long time ago but it’s great.  It does dye-sublimation and you get photos that come out as a 4×6.  Also another good thing to have is a stand.  I just bought a simple speaker stand on Amazon.  It’s about 23 bucks and you’re able to just mount that right on to the bottom of the photo booth.

I have the stand connected to what’s called a top hat on the bottom of the photo booth.  It costs $7 on Amazon and really it’s just four screws that you’ve got to drill in to the bottom.  It just connects and you have your adapter stand right there for the photo booth.  Like I said, I had designed this online and then I had sent it out to be made and sent to me.  You can actually have it designed and made by any local CNC laser maker and you can use either aluminum or polycarbonate.  I should have used polycarbonate, but this is white aluminum and it just works really well for it.   I actually used an epoxy to be able to hold the front panel onto the medicine cabinet and it’s completely cured and dried in.  It is holding very steadfast.  I also had to use the same epoxy to make sure that the stand stays there.

Putting it all together, I have velcro on each corner of the tablet and then I have the adjacent pieces inside.  This just makes it easy for me to be able to take it out and in whenever I feel like using the tablet.  This is a touchscreen tablet.  The software that’s on it is called DSLR booth.  It’s the professional version which lets you customize and make different templates.  It’s pretty awesome so I definitely recommend looking into it.  It’s about 160 bucks though.  All I did was buy a really cheap swivel mount camera holder and on the bottom it has a 1/4 screw. The thread is number 20 and it just screws right into the bottom.  Then you have it mounted.

Now, you should have the camera mounted inside.  What’s great about this is that it’s a ball head.  I can raise and angle it or lower it however I need.   This is important if you have a lot of shorter guests or clients.

That’s pretty much the setup.  What I’ll also have is an umbrella that I use as a soft diffuser.  It really is pretty big.  You can get the umbrella from any camera store.  You can get them online on Amazon as well.  They’re fairly cheap.  Now, I actually have it facing the opposite direction and am using it as a bounce flash.  It is a shoot through umbrella so it is going to be a little bit more softer and you are going to lose some light.  But, if you’re using a silver reflecting umbrella, you’re just going to be shooting a really harsh light onto the people and they’re not going to come out as good as you think they would.

Now that it’s all set up, we need to connect it all.  Turn it all on and then see how it works.  The tablet itself came with this right angle cable, which makes it so much more convenient especially because it’s a little bit of a tighter space.  If I had a regular USB cable, it wouldn’t have enough room to be able to connect into it.  What I actually do is I connect this to this four way USB splitter, which has a cord that connects to the camera and then I also have a cord that connects to the printer.

I turn on the program and it should come up.  Once the program has started, you can see how easy the customization is, especially with the settings templates.  You can do print settings with the images camera wizard.  This is when you hook up your camera and it will automatically read it.  With my photobooth, the program recognizes that I have the D70 100, then I can setup the flash controls and everything.  To make it bigger, all you got to do is hit the little corner screen and it will be full screen.  I recommend you do this so that the clients won’t be able to get out of that screen and mess with things, ruining the camera settings.

After all this, you are now ready to go.  All you’ve got to do is just have the clients touch the touch screen to automatically start in Live View.  It’ll give you a five-second countdown for the first photo.  Everybody gets ready take the photo and the camera snaps the first photo.  You’ll see how crisp it is.  It then gives you about three seconds to view each photo in a three second countdown after that.  Mine is set to four photos.  You can actually do however many photos you want.  Normally three to four is really good.  If you want to do just one big photo, you can do one.  It’s pretty versatile and, like I said, with the templates you can change it however you want.  After it’s all done, it’s going to say “processing” and then it’s going to give you an option to print.

Most photo booths cost about five or six thousand dollars to buy.  This one cost me about five hundred dollars to build with everything else that I had included.  Thanks go to the Photobooth Forum and its members for the advice that went into this build and also to That Photo Booth Guy for the inspiration and photoooth design which mine was closely modeled after.  Happy photo booth building!  Now go out, build some booths and create some smiles.