Skip to content

Photo Booths from DIY to Rentals, and More!

Looking back at what I was talking about in my new old post combined with people’s love for photos, the good ol’ photo booth idea is back and with a force.

So, I’ll outline some ways you can make your very own photo booth for your next party, get together, what-have-you or if you simply have a sudden inspirational burst to do cool portraits of yourself and the combination of your camera phone and bathroom mirror just won’t do.

Do-It-Yourself Photo Booths

You can simply make your own photo booth for your event. First, you’ll need a backdrop and then maybe some props. Think silly hats, paper cut-out mustaches and lips on sticks. Then, you’ll need a digital camera of some sort that can be set up on a tripod. Finally, a computer.

For a backdrop, you can always just put up wrapping paper on a wall, or staple up a good, colored bed sheet, really. But if you need your booth to go outside or other places, then you can get backdrop holders online at good prices. Purchase a few yards of a cool print or solid fabric to match your event. Maybe a bold polka dot pattern for a birthday party, a pretty floral for a wedding or whatever you fancy. Hoist that thing up and you’re half way there.

There is also the framed wall photo booth option as well (as pictured below). You basically have a piece of plywood, painted or wallpapered, with a cutout in the middle that a frame can be put around. A person stands behind it, you snap a photo and there you go. This is cute because it essentially looks like your guests are in a framed photo on a wall, which adds even more charm. Here are some instructions on how to do it! 

Build your own photo booth (Credit: Ruffled)

Props can be found everywhere. I’m a fan of funky hats and giant sunglasses, myself. Amazon offers an awesome package of amazing mustaches and glasses. Or you can get your Martha Stewart on and make your own!

As always, you can get a little help from technology. Photo booth apps, folks, do exist. Check out Wedding Booth App. It turns your iPad into a photo booth and it’s fully customizable. In addition to being a fun and effective photo booth, Wedding Booth also functions as a great iPad wedding guestbook. Users are able to use their fingers to write/draw their own message or imagery for the newlyweds to save.

If you don’t have an iPad to put up and use as your camera and capture tool, you can of course use your digital camera. However, your iPhone works too and there are many applications you can use with it. Here is a very popular one called Picture Booth classic and you can explore further with this great list of other ones! In all cases, you’ll need some sort of frame, tripod or stand for best results.

Photo Booth Rentals

Flash Life Photobooth

Location: Southern California
Price Range: $1,000 – $1700

Flash Life offers a range of packages and their reviews on Yelp are pretty stellar. They are able to offer prints and backdrops and even a red-carpet type of photo shoot experience which definitely sets them apart from the many photo booth companies I’ve looked at. However, they use typical photo booth style prints with frames, strip formats and cheesy backgrounds. In addition to being able to get “instaprints”, each person that attends an event with the Flash Life Photo Booth gets a password to go online to see the photos and then, of course, download and print them themselves in whatever format they choose.


Location: Chicago
Price Range: $600+

Fotio is by far the best, most casual and cool way to get a photo booth at your event. It’s too bad they don’t offer their services outside Chicago. I think it could catch on in many places. Most of the photo booth rentals I looked at online are a grand or more. That’s not really in everyone’s budget. Naturally, I also really dig their old-school styling with their branding, too. Also, they have no cheesy frames on your prints, which I think is a bonus. According to their site, $600 gets you a fully-supervised, 6-hour rental. All event pictures will be uploaded to an optional online gallery within 24 hours of the event and you will also receive all the full-resolution color pictures on a USB drive when the event is over.

What is totally cute and rad is the photo ticket you receive after you take a photo. You use the number and password printed on the ticket at their site to view the event’s gallery. That is adorable, and I am a huge fan of bringing together the real world and virtual one. It’s a cue that I think many marketing companies should try to do. Touching us in our personal world combined with our virtual life is a very powerful thing, but that’s an entire post for another time. I digress.

And There’s More

Photobooth San Francisco


I went to a birthday/surprise party here and it was very cute. You can set up a little party in the back area and then your guests can have their photos taken. It’s a really rad, old-fashioned way of taking photos. I believe you have to sit rather still for a few moments and you’re not supposed to smile. Then they develop the print in the back. The portrait photos have a really great grainy, haunting effect. It’s gorgeous, really.

The portraits cost $50.00 a shot, but now I regret that I didn’t take one when I was there. Besides being a cool spot to rent out for a small, quick get together, it’s also a little shop where you can buy Polaroid film, cameras and accessories.

Old fashioned photo fun (Credit: Photobooth)

As you can see, there are many different options and ways for someone to get with the photo booth. Be it at a fun event or just a cool way to make more photo magic in general, it’s hard not to love it all.

What are some of your favorite ways to make a DIY photo booth or do you just leave it up to the ones in the local dive bar to do the work?

Featured image credit: hopeleslie


Tell us what you're thinking. Leave a comment.

There are no comments on this post.

Add a Comment

Fill in the form and submit it. Comments are moderated and may not appear to everyone immediately.