Which instant photo printing set-up is best for my wedding?
April 11, 2013 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Which instant photo printing set-up will be the least hassle for my wedding guests to use unsupervised?

I have caught on to the wedding photobooth trend but can't shell out $800+ to rent one. It seems like one would be easy enough to set up on my own. The few hiccups are that some non-tech savvy people will be using it and that some tech know-it-alls will be using it. So the system needs to be simple enough for everyone and simple enough to not invite modifications.

For taking photos, we can choose from a MacbookPro, Macbook Air, fancy Canon DSLR, or P&S Panasonic Lumix. The photograph subjects will have a clicker to open the shutter.
For printing photos, I am considering the Canon Selphy CP900 (after some confusing research) and know that I don't want an all-in-one faxmachineprinterscannersommelierpapershredder.

The set-up I have in mind is a stand with camera & printer in front of a printed background. Guests take a picture, print it, and then affix it to the guestbook with a message.
posted by thewestinggame to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you seen this article?
posted by Nickel Pickle at 8:44 PM on April 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

This would cost $200 but then you can keep it and use it after the wedding. It makes sticky photos and also takes digital pics. Maybe a different idea with less setup involved. Put up a background and get some props, might be easier than setting up software.
posted by photoexplorer at 8:55 PM on April 11, 2013

I built a booth that was quite similar to the one in the instructable linked to by Nickel Pickle. I used software from the same company (here), an older Canon Powershot and a Windows XP laptop. It was easy enough to set up the software, and I put a custom message on the first screen that instructed users to push the spacebar on the laptop to start - the camera and laptop were on a table facing a bench. The printer (I ended up with a Canon Selphy as well) was outside the booth, took about a minute to print, and the quality was great. It was used by many intoxicated guests, who all figured it out without difficult and really seemed to enjoy it.
posted by jhs at 2:18 AM on April 12, 2013

Do you have any teenagers coming to the wedding who might enjoy running this instead of having to socialize with the family? I would have killed for this opportunity as a teen. ;-) Or maybe a young family friend? Depending on how long you have it available to guests, you could toss a kid a $20 to hang out and oversee it and not worry about it. That way if paper jams in the printer or some other little problem happens, it won't stop the photo fun or cause you to take time away from your day to deal with it.
posted by NoraCharles at 4:59 AM on April 12, 2013

I do wedding photography, including photo booths.

I think your best bet is to buy a couple of these and many packs of film. If you don't want to build a physical booth, I would not trust a computer or camera in the hands of wedding guests. Not that I think your friends are going to steal them or be intentionally careless, but it's very likely that someone will spill a drink, accidentally knock into something, jam the printer, and have your photobooth ruined.

You will also need to have someone set it up at the venue, making sure there's enough space, outlets, extension cords, a table to put everything on, a sturdy enough tripod, lighting, background stands to hold your background, etc. Oh, also, you need to make sure no one knocks into those things and moves them.

I've been to a lot of weddings where people have used the instax cameras for photobooth style guestbook photos, and silly candids. People really like them, you get the photos instantly, and they're incredibly simple to use. You could set one up on a tripod in front of a background and have another floating around the room for candids. I've been to another wedding where the couple used this polaroid and I think many people were struggling with it, since they kept asking me for help.
posted by inertia at 6:29 AM on April 12, 2013

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