building an automated photo booth. The total build cost was around $150 as I re-used a lot of the components and materials I already had in my garage - in addition to what I could salvage from scrap yards.
Why? - I decided to build my own photo booth after trying to rent one from local photography studios. The going rate for a rented photo booth is around $600 in addition to the hourly rate of the attendent to watch over the equipment. As this was not in my wedding budget, and I did not want to deal with an additional vendor, I decided to build my own for under $200.
My Goal - Build an automated photo booth for under $200 - that could be easily operated by anyone at a party - and is durable and compact enough to fit into a compact car.
(Note* this photo booth does not print pictures. I have been working on a script that automatically uploaded the photo to flickr, but I did not finish it in time for the wedding. I'll try and include that in a future post )
Step 1: How it works
The mechanics of the photo booth are a little bit more complicated, but ideally, the user never has to know what is going on under the hood.
The guts behind this photo booth are based on OSX lion. With Lion, the photobooth application can be extended to full screen and it can be set to use an external camera. So I connect a logitech web cam and an external monitor to a laptop running OSX Lion. The only thing i needed to build in addition to this hardware setup was an array of lights and a button (mapped to the enter key) to trigger the photobooth application to take a picture.
The "business end" of the photo booth can be seen in this step.