Photo Fanatic: Celebrations Frozen in Time

A couple of years ago, I went to a blogging conference where I encountered the Smilebooth. The event of the night was a party celebrating the release of The Lorax. There was so much happy commotion coming from one side of the room, so my friend Holli and I checked it out.

It's a photo booth, but taken to the nth degree of fancy. You stand in front of the fun backdrop and see yourself on a big screen. You get a remote control, and snap away. As you're snapping, the images all went to an iPad where you could peruse them when you were done. From there, you could email it, Tweet it, or Facebook it. Boom. Instant gratification and really fun photos.

I mean, how fun would it be to get photos like this at event?
Photo from Smilebooth

When it comes down to it, photos are the way we tend to remember our lives. For special events or just well-planned soirees, I'm a fan of hiring a photographer. Obviously for most events, the Smilebooth is cost prohibitive, though I found a few Kentucky events that had the Smilebooth. Here are the things needed to set up your own photobooth:

  • Camera: Obviously you need to capture the photos, so set up a camera at the appropriate height and for the width of the background. Having a remote shutter release is great if you don't have someone on hand to snap all the pics. If you have a fancy schmancy camera that can connect to a TV, you can connect it for people to preview their photos when they're taken. 
  • Backdrop: Fun, festive backdrops are awesome. Make one by securing holiday garland or streamers to a wall or drop cloth and hanging. Or you can purchase backdrops from Etsy if there's something you're really going for. I love the backdrops that have texture to them. Here's an easy tutorial for a backdrop made of plastic table cloths
  • Props: This is where things get fun. Make or buy props. Funny hats, stick moustaches, balloons, feather boas, picture frames, and more. Lots of Etsy sellers have great prop packs.
  • A gallery: You want your friends to be able to access and share the photos, so upload them to a gallery after the event. You could use Flickr, Picasa, Smugmug, or even just Facebook.

Have you ever set up a photo booth for an event? How did you do it?