Party Pics
November 6, 2013 7:14 AM   Subscribe

I've been put in charge of a photo booth setup at an upcoming party, and I need some advice. We would like for people to be able to take pictures in front of a backdrop for most of the night, photo booth style with funny hats/props, and then have an "instant slide show" at the end of the party of all the pics. Talk me through the hardware setup I need to make this happen, please! I've got a canon DSLR, a laptop (both Mac and PC available) various USB cables, and a projector. Thank you!
posted by Mimzy to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The easiest thing to do is use an Eye-Fi SD card (if your camera doesn't have wifi already) to stream photos to the onsite laptop as you take them. If you have two (or more) people able to work the photo booth, you can basically run the entire operation with zero downtime. If not, you'll need to take breaks every so often to do the other person's job as outlined below.

Have your other person working the laptop and editing the photos when they come in automatically over wifi, as needed (cropping, red eye fix, etc.). Add the finished photos to a particular album or gallery in whichever program you prefer for viewing the finished slideshow.

At the end of the party, just turn on the projector, plug into the laptop, and start the slideshow. No downtime needed at the photobooth for transferring photos to the laptop - you may have the occasional 2-minute break to erase the full memory card, but it's still faster than copying multiple GB of photos to the laptop over USB every time it fills up. Also no downtime needed at the end - you can literally take photos right up to the end and still have them in the slideshow.

Pro-tip - If you aren't interested in archiving high-quality photos after the event ends (i.e. for large prints), decrease the size of the photo on the camera to something like 4mp instead of whatever max size it can produce. Your card will fit many more photos before filling up, and transferring to the laptop over wifi will be faster too. Projectors, even new full HD ones, can't show anything higher than about 2mp anyway.
posted by trivia genius at 8:44 AM on November 6, 2013

You may want to look at tethered shooting as an option as well. Depending on how many pictures you will take you may want to look into an AC adapter as well; if you use a flash its battery life will be a limiting factor. Will people be working the shutter themselves or will someone be manning the both to work the camera?
posted by TedW at 9:03 AM on November 6, 2013

Aperture does tethered shooting well. I did this at my wedding, and we didn't even wait until the end of the night; the slideshow was continuously shown on some display iPads. I don't remember the software we used, but it ran a "server" on the laptop that watched the tethered folder, and the iPads ran an app that auto-updated.

You do need some sort of remote. I made my own.
posted by supercres at 9:44 AM on November 6, 2013

Some good suggestions on this previous similar question, including another recommendation for the eye-fi route. (from yours truly). :)
posted by Myself at 6:34 AM on November 11, 2013

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