Festival Wedding Tips: How to make a DIY Photo Booth
by Derbyshire Wedding Photographer, Miss Whittington's Photography.
Photo booths have become mega popular at weddings in the past few years, and it's clear why. They're great fun for your guests and provide a right laugh, both on the day and looking back at the photos afterwards. They're also provide a great opportunity for your photographer to snap some fun and candid pics of your guests while they're using the booth. However, if you're reading this blog post, chances are you've looked into hiring a photo booth and have realised that they're not particularly cheap. Or maybe you just like the look of a DIY photo booth and you fancy a bit of a project. Either way, you want to know how to put one of these bad boys together and I'm here to tell you how. To make it nice and simple for you, I've broken it down into sections; backdrop stand, backdrops, props and cameras. Thanks to Ella & Jamie, Charlotte & Ryan and Izzy & Harry for the DIY photo booth inspo behind this post! All the photos featured are from these guys' fabulous weddings. Watch and learn, peeps.
The possibilities are endless, but I've put together a few ideas that won't break the bank but will still look really effective.
IDEA NO. 1 - COPPER PIPE STAND
Copper is very "in" at the moment. Everything is copper or rose gold. Why? BECAUSE IT'S SUPER PRETTY. Alas, it's also expensive. Most pretty things are.
You've got a few options if you want to achieve the copper pipe stand -look.
1. Buy one. Google it, there's a shit tonne that come up. Expensive? Ya. Easiest option? Also ya. You could always sell it afterwards to get some money back.
2. Buy the piping and connecting bits and make one yo'self. Expensive? Not as much as buying the finished product, but still not the cheapest option. Easiest option? Not really. You've gotta find a way of cutting the copper which automatically makes me and my lazy ass think NOPE. But some of you might be very DIY savvy or have someone in your life who is. If you want to give it a go, here's a tutorial on how to make one yourself.
But, if like me you have expensive taste but not the money to match, do not fret. There is a third option.
3. Make a stand out of PVC piping (aka cheap as fook) and spray paint it. PVC piping costs a fraction of what copper piping does. Here's a really easy tutorial on how to make a PVC clothes rack, which is essentially the same thing. You'll just need to alter the height to be tall enough for your back drop stand.
And here's a tutorial on how to spray paint PVC to make it look like metal. The colour used in this tutorial is obviously a lot more gold than copper, but there's loads of copper-coloured spray paints out there. The most important thing is to use primer before you add your colour.
IDEA NO. 2 - PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROP STAND
Now these bad boys are probably the least aesthetically pleasing of the suggestions here, but to be honest, is anyone really paying attention to your backdrop stand? As long as you hang something pretty on it, its gonna look awesome. Good ol' photography backdrop stands are available dirt cheap. I should know, I bought one. You don't need an expensive one because it's only got to last a day. I bought something similar to this. £16.99 - job done.
An awesome backdrop is what's really going to make your photo booth look amazing. And the good news is, it doesn't have to be complicated OR expensive. Here's a list of some different ideas with varying levels of creative-ness required.
IDEA NO. 1 - OLD DOORS
One back drop idea that I LOVE and which comes from the king and queen of festival weddings, Ella and Jamie, is using old doors. See below...
Now, I'm not sure where Ella and Jamie sourced these doors from, but after a quick look on Ebay I found loads of old doors that could be used in this way for around £10 each. Or maybe you have a relative who's doing a renovation and is getting rid of some old doors that you could nab. Or maybe, like me, you have a hoarder for a dad and he's got some doors hanging around in the shed "just in case". Ask around, you never know.
Even if the doors don't look very pretty to begin with, you could always roughly paint them to look "shabby-chic" and to suit your colour scheme. You could also decorate the doors like Ella has done here with streamers, foliage and signs. I think you'll agree that these make a really awesome backdrop for a festival-themed photo booth.
IDEA NO. 2 - GOLD STREAMER CURTAIN BACKDROP
They might be cheap as chips BUT they look really effective. Here's a regular looking one - you'd probably need 2 of these so that they're wide enough for your whole photo booth. Hobbycraft does a really pretty looking "gold petal" one which you can find here. You could always combine this with my next suggestion, which is...
IDEA NO. 3 - POMPOMS!
Pompoms. Everybody loves pompoms. If you don't love pompoms, you need to question you life choices.
Paper or wool, pompoms bring joy and happiness to ALL. You could make pompom bunting, and hang it vertically from your stand, or from one side to the other. You could make pompoms of varying sizes and in colours to match your theme. Here's a tutorial on how to make paper pom poms, and here's one on how to make wool pompoms. Both are gorgeous, but paper ones might get soggy if it rains and your photo booth is outside.
IDEA NO. 4 - RIBBONS, AND LOTS OF 'EM
This one is easy peasy and could look really cool if you use ribbons based on your colour scheme. Just tie long lengths of ribbon to the top bar of your back drop stand, and voila! You can see an example of this here on Pintrest. You can do what they've done in this example and combine the ribbons with pompoms, which in my opinion looks super cute.
Ribbons can be pretty darn expensive though, so I recommend using Poly Ribbon. You can buy meters of the stuff from Country Baskets in loads of different colours. Will it look as luxurious as satin ribbons? No. Will anyone pay the slightest bit of notice? Will they buggery.
PROPS - AND WHERE TO PUT 'EM
Photo booth props are easy enough to find online or in places like Hobbycraft or party shops. If you wanted to go super DIY, you could print some out yourself. To be honest, for what they cost its probably just easier to buy some. They're cheap enough. You could save pennies by borrowing bits and bobs from friends and family. Ask relatives with children if they've got any dressing up clothes - they're bound to.
When it comes to displaying your props, I'm a big fan of the vintage suit case (as styled so perfectly by the lovely Charlotte & Ryan in the pics above ^^^). You could buy one (have a little look on Ebay or Facebook Marketplace - you'll be able to pick one up for £10-£20) OR ask your granny. Mine had two beautiful ones tucked away in the loft. A big basket could be a good option for some bigger props. Again, there's no need to rush and buy anything because someone in the family will have something you can borrow.
If you're having props on sticks, you could stand them in jars like Charlotte & Ryan have done in the pics above, or slide them into a fabric memo board like Izzy & Harry have done in the picture below.
You've got a few options here. Some are expensive but look super cute. Some are cost-free but lack the photo booth feel.
IDEA NO.1 - INSTANT CAMERA
This is hands-down the most expensive way of doing a DIY photo booth, but the most "photo-boothy" way too. Instax minis are the most readily available instant cameras at the moment. They're pretty user friendly and come in cute pastel colours (not that your wedding guests will give a shit about what colour your camera is, lets be real). Instant cameras themselves aren't too bad as far as cameras go, but the cost of paper is ridiculous. I've found a pack of 50 exposures for £29.99 on Argos, which is a good deal. But think about it. You'll need more than 50 photos. Your guests will most likely be drunk. Instant cameras in the hands of drunk people is not a good idea. They won't be thinking about how each photo is costing you 60p a pop. Plus you only get one copy of each photo (as far as I'm aware), so either you get the photo for your guest book or your guests get to keep the photo. It's not an ideal situation. If you have the cash to splash, then by all means do it. But to be honest, if you do have the cash to splash, just save yourself the trouble mate and hire a booth.
IDEA NO.2 - CAMERA ON A TRIPOD
Charlotte and Ryan had a camera set up on a tripod for their photo booth. This is a great idea if you have a camera that you're not too fussed about and/or you trust your guests with your stuff. You get to keep all your photos and you can send them to your guests afterwards. The best thing about it? It doesn't cost a thing (if you have a camera in the first place).
IDEA NO. 3 - GUESTS USE THEIR OWN PHONES
Easy peasy. No hassle for you to set up. No cost to you, and no risk of your equipment getting damaged. Just make sure you get your guests to send you the photos after the wedding.
Lots of people create a wedding hashtag, like Ella & Jamie's #cairnsbash, or Izzy & Harry's #teamsibley17. The idea behind this being that your guests will upload the pics to Instagram and use your wedding hashtag. Use chalkboard paint and chalkboard paints to make a cute sign displaying your hashtag to make sure your guests use it.
And that's it guys! I hope you've found "Festival Wedding Tips: How to make a DIY Photo Booth" helpful. Planning a DIY wedding is HARD, especially when you're trying to do it on a budget, so I hope that these tips will help you achieve a rocking photo booth whilst saving some pennies.