DIY Photobooth?
May 31, 2012 1:40 PM   Subscribe

We'd like to set up a photo booth in a closet for our next party (Jurassic Park themed if you were asking) and we're trying to figure out the logistics. Any recommendations?

So far we have a computer, but trying to figure out the camera part and the "trigger". We have plenty of DSLRs lying around the house, but we don't trust drunk people with them. We have a Canon SD1000 and an S95 we can potentially use. The only software we were able to find ( isn't compatible. We're willing to buy a cheap-ass digital camera if it'll allow us to have a photo booth.

I did find this question: but it's from 2007 and generally obsolete at this point.
posted by bouchacha to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Some friends recently did something like this at their wedding with one of these newfangled polaroid-ish cameras and a crap-ton (scientific term, obvs) of film. Obviously expensive, but fun because people kept leaving the photos on a little table near the photo booth. Going through people's silly pictures was almost as fun as taking them.

That said, I think they already owned the camera, so it wasn't that big an outlay.
posted by Sara C. at 1:47 PM on May 31, 2012

First, I will say that I've had drunk people playing with a dslr photobooth in my house, and it wasn't a big deal at all, it was really a matter of making sure my tripod was stable and that you couldn't really walk behind it.

Secondly, I don't know if this software will work for you, but I think you might be able to get it to do something with some fiddling around. It seemed the best of the cheap software. I couldn't get it to work in a way I wanted (we had to use a remote to get it to trigger at the right times), and I ended up paying the full full price for Breeze System's DLSR remote pro to get my camera to be completely triggered by software.

I found that there is either software that uses a webcam, or there is DSLR software, but practically nothing in between.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 1:52 PM on May 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

It was mentioned in that old thread, but gphoto will do what you want, and it's what I use for my photobooth. If you're at all Linux-friendly, you can put together a pretty impressive setup using open source software. Mine uses PyGame to display a live preview, listens for a button press from a USB panic button (google it), uses gphoto to take 4 shots, tiles them together using imagemagick, and then spits them out to a little HP Photosmart 4x6 printer, 2 strips to a page.

Unfortunately, neither of the cheap cameras you list are supported by gphoto, but at least one of your DSLRs probably is. I started with an old Powershot A20, but "upgraded" to an A75 (maybe?) to get the live preview working (I was using a webcam with the A20 before -- it was fiddly to get them pointed in the same place, but it worked).

If you just want to set it and go, this is not the solution for you, but if you like to hack, it's a great project. If you want more info on my setup, memail me!

Good luck!
posted by natabat at 2:50 PM on May 31, 2012

Yeah my solution used gphoto to trigger a Nikon D70 4 times then used ImageMagick to process the images into a strip and then process THAT into something that filled a 8.5x11 piece of paper cut into 8.5x5 sheets.

I did that because when I looked at classic photobooth strips they were longer than 6 inches and I didn't like the look of the 2x2 outputs. So I made a composite for the events where the strip would be down the left-hand side and a few other event-specific pictures were on the right in order to make an image with the correct ratio.
posted by phearlez at 3:23 PM on May 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I searched for digital camera shutter release cable and found lots of results like this.

Pearlhez, I don't have permission to view your photo.
posted by theora55 at 4:19 PM on May 31, 2012

I've been trying to figure this out myself for an upcoming wedding...I don't have a real answer yet, but here are some other links that might help:
photoboof windows-based photobooth software
seemonkey another software option
diy photobooth using a camera, ipad, remote shutter, and eyefi card
sparkbooth another software option and an example of a diy photobooth setup using it.
posted by logic vs love at 9:54 AM on June 1, 2012

Whoops didn't realize that set was private. Fixed it.
posted by phearlez at 1:52 PM on June 6, 2012

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