Since our wedding was taking place several states away it had to be easily portable. And since it was our wedding it had to look as professional as possible, and be fully automated. With those basic requirements and a lot of work I ended up with something that everyone was happy with, including my wife!
1) Photo Booth Software
3) Start Button
4) Booth Frame
5) Booth Panels
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Step 1: DSLR Remote Pro
Since I was attempting to make due with many of the resources I had around the house I was limited to a windows operating system, and all of the apple solutions were no longer an option. I couldn't justify a new computer for this project!
After looking at the price and features I settled on DSLR Remote Pro. This has a photo booth mode that looked perfect, with just enough customization to get what I wanted. There were versions of the software for both Canon & Nikon cameras, and the price was very reasonable when compared to the cost of the commercial photo booth software I found.
The software allows you to design custom display screens with operating instructions to the people in the booth. These custom screens allowed me to reuse some graphics from our wedding website, and although I'm sure no one noticed I thought that this was a nice touch.
I created 4 screens that the user would see with different static text.
1) Start Screen
Displays a quick instruction on how to start the photo booth.
2) Count Down Screen
The screen image does not contain any text, but the software will display a countdown timer and show what picture it is currently taking.
3) Smile Screen
Displayed before the camera snaps the picture for ~ 1 sec.
4) Processing screen
Displayed after all the pictures have been taken, a progress will show as the final photo strip image is created and sent to the printer.
There print options provided by the software were overkill for what I needed, and it really only took a few test prints to get exactly what I wanted. Four photos per page, with the set of four duplicated on one 4x6 print. The idea here was that after the photos have printed our guests could cut the photo in half with a pair of scissors, taking one copy of the print with them and dropping the other copy in a box for us.
We'll take all of the copies and eventually frame them into what will be our guest book. I did get away from one of my requirements here by forcing our guests to cut the print in half. That is more interaction than I originally wanted, but really couldn't figure an easy way around it. In the end it worked out just fine, and no one seemed to mind.