Step 2: Equipment
I have an older windows XP laptop I use for arduino coding that I thought would serve well
The whole reason for building my own photo booth was so that I could finally have a reason to purchase a new dslr camera! I rationalized it as for the rental cost of the booth I could build it myself and keep the camera. While it didn't exactly work out that way, it was close enough. :)
I settled on the Canon 2Ti. While it is way overkill for this project it's a camera that should last me a decade, and it certainly took great photos on our honeymoon. The camera was mounted on top of the monitor using a gorrillapod dslr flexible tripod. It isn't shown in the photos since a camera was needed for the photos.
I was able to purchase a discontinued Epson PictureMate new off of ebay for ~$50. The reviews on it I read were correct, 4x6 prints really do look like they came from the photo lab. One ink cartridge lasted for all of my test prints, and all of the wedding photos. I clearly underestimated how long these would last, as I have 2 unused cartridges left over.
I had an old dell 17" widescreen monitor I wanted to use as the video display inside of the photo booth. This would allow those inside to see the live video feed, and adjust their faces accordingly.
By placing the laptop outside of the photo booth it allowed people standing near it to see the live feed of the camera inside. This lead to a few funny moments when people in the booth didn't realize they could be seen outside, I would highly recommend this!