Instructables

Instagram Inspired DIY Photo-Booth

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I decided to build a simple photo-booth as a fun addition for events, this goes through the basic steps of how i went from a few pieces of wood to a fully functional booth. I have also included a photo of what the images look like! 

Please note that this photo-booth is simply a fan project. The photobooth is NOT endorsed by Instagram, and is NOT for sale! 
 
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Step 1: Cutting Wood

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Square sheet of MDF, 600mm x 600mm with a Red Dome Push Button recessed at the bottom. 

Step 2: Access Holes

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Holes were then cut out for camera lens and tv monitor. 

Step 3: Monitor Trim

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A wooden frame was then fitted to surround the hole for the tv to add depth.

Step 4: Rounding Edges

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Corners were then curved using a jigsaw.

Step 5: Fitting Sides

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Sides were then cut just short of where the corners start to bend. Screws and 90 degree brackets temporarily attached them to the back piece.

Step 6: Building Corners

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The rounded corners were made from short strips of wood, glued to form the rough shape of the corner. These were also temporarily screwed and attached using 90 degree brackets while the glue dried. 

Step 7: Rounding Corners

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Once the glue had dried on the rough corners, they were shaped using a wood plane and sander.

Step 8: Added Details

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A recessed section was made on the front right, simply to add depth and additional detailing. 

Step 9: Flash Holes

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Holes were then cut to contain the 3 45mm seven segment displays, and two larger holes at the top for the flash guns.

Step 10: Shell Finished

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The two holes for the flash guns were covered on the back with a hard translucent plastic to seal the unit and diffuse the light passing through, reducing the harshness of the light. 

Step 11: Electronics

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Wires were attached to each of the 7 segment displays, these were then covered using heat shrink and the 9 wires coming out of each 7 segment was then bound together using larger heat shrink to keep everything tidy. 

Step 12: The PCB

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There was a total of 28 transistors, 29 resistors a few meters of red/black wire. 

Step 13: PCB Headers

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PCB header plugs were soldered on to each individual seven segment display PCB. This allows them to be easily removed and replaced without having to work out the order of the pins every time, this also made troubleshooting easier. 

Step 14: Finished PCB

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The finished pcb, with the push button soldered in and a red LED light on the button, to control the camera a 2.5mm jack was soldered in and attached to a transistor, when the transmitter is closed, it connects the ground of the camera wire to the autofocus and shutter trigger at once. Note: the camera will be set on manual focus, therefore there was no need to have the booth autofocus beforehand, the only reason the autofocus cable is attached is because cameras will not allow the shutter wire to trigger them unless autofocus wire is already engaged. 

Step 15: Arduino

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The arduino (Blue part on the picture) is a microcontroller. Basically, you write code on the computer, upload it to te arduino and it will carry out functions. 
In my case, i coded it to start the photobooth sequence once the big red button was pressed. 

Here is a basic run down of what the code is doing;

Start -

[Press Button]

Red Button light switches off

Right hand side seven segment display illuminates with the number 4
Top two seven segment displays count from 10 to 0
Camera Triggers

Right hand side seven segment display illuminates with the number 3
Top two seven segment displays count from 10 to 0
Camera Triggers

Right hand side seven segment display illuminates with the number 2
Top two seven segment displays count from 10 to 0
Camera Triggers

Right hand side seven segment display illuminates with the number 1
Top two seven segment displays count from 10 to 0
Camera Triggers

Red Button light turns back on
All seven segments switch off 

End


Step 16: Power/Support

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For the power i wanted to use a standardised plug so it could easily be removed for transport. I used a kettle plug which was recessed into the base underneath the top hat of a speaker stand which i used for support. The reason for placing it under the top hat was so i could run the cable up the speaker stands centre post, meaning there was no cables dangling from the booth to get snagged.
You can also see the two 60mm 12v fans i used for ventilation. Due to the heat coming off the tv, flashes and arduino i wanted to prevent overheating, one blows cool air in, the other is reversed, sucking the warm air out.  

Step 17: Hardware

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The camera used was a Nikon d3200, and a 18-55 kit lens. I used 2 Nikon sb900 flashes to light the subjects. 

One of the flashes was connected directly to the camera using a TTL cable and then the two flashes were connected using pc sync cable. Both flashes were set to manual power at 1/8.

The TTL cable was required so the camera knew flash was being used and automatically set the exposure for liveview, without this the brightness of the liveview would be that of the actual exposure settings. Basically, without flash connected liveview would expose at iso 100 f/11 1/30 (really dark on liveview indoors). With flash connected the camera would automatically choose the brightness of liveview using iso even though my settings were locked in at iso 100 f/11 and 1/60.

To mount the camera and flashes i made a simple bracket out of wood, bolts and some brackets.

You can also see the tv bracket below which held the tv in place. 

Step 18: Finished Internals

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Just a closer look at the insides of the booth once it was finished. 
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Top notch work! (and a really great instructable). This is one of the very best all- in one photobooth setups I've ever seen, and I work in the event industry. So cute and inviting. Your design and construction is just fantastic! A+
lsalazar61 month ago
How much did it cost for everything?
antennas4 months ago
Great idea and execution Alex. Can you print the photos from this right on the spot?
Thanks!!
BartHumphries5 months ago

It looks like it's been about 10 months. Has a decision been made as to whether or not to post the code?

mass377 months ago
This is awesome! You must be making big bucks renting this out for weddings
hi! great invention! can you please tell me how people displayed on the monitor, as a mirror or as is?
gnolasco9 months ago
This is awesome! What did you use to create the camera lens in front of the box? Thanks.
djsfantasi9 months ago
Great instructable. However for readers of the article, search for other resources in addition with regard to soldering techniques.
BOHtiki9 months ago
Awesome... Thanks so much for sharing ! LOL, Best use I can think of for my otherwise useless SB-900's !
colincliff10 months ago
This looks amazing. Is your camera connected to the TV via HDMI? how do you get the D3200 to automatically stay in Live View mode without having to press the button on the back? When I have attempted this in the past the camera drops out of Live View mode after each shot.
nudatech1 year ago
Your project has been featured in the article: "20 Arduino projects of 2013".
Rudz1 year ago
Mostly finished with mine based on your design. Thanks for sharing!
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funkytaco1 year ago
First of all, Alex, it looks great. But, this isn't much of an Instructable. It basically shows you how to make a rounded box and has a parts list for a photo booth. It's not even a good parts list at that. Plus, no code, no schematics, no equipment list, no true parts or suppliers list.
Can anyone out there help with the code for this? It's AWESOME!
yukimoko1 year ago
Nice job! great idea..where do you put the printer? and what is the dimension of your photobooth without the stand?
morfuud1 year ago
Great idea!
How do you trigger the Nikon from the Arduino?
Would you share the arduino code?
anderc951 year ago
any chance you could provide a wiring diagram please.
nismo8081 year ago
was hoping that the pdf would have more details on the electronics and programing but no dice.
edduyn1 year ago
Would you share the code?
Amazing! I just want to make one for my kids.

Any chance you could make a detailed list of hardware you used (including electrical) along with directions for working with the electrical side?

Also, where you purchased some of the stuff like the red button.
hyiu1 year ago
This unit looks awesome.
I'm curious on how you are supplying continuous power to the camera and 2 flashes?
Also how is this unit connected a printer?
silvorus1 year ago
What software did you use to format and print your pics?
Fantastic! I love the way you solved a few problems in building a photo booth. I've designed and built 2 for event rentals and love the way you solved a couple of the logistical problems. Impressive!
kodykin1 year ago
awesome build, its amazing. could you share the arduino code?
kabinud1 year ago
Anyway to get specs, pcb design and arduino code......this is amazingly beautiful
david1521 year ago
Have you considered adding a coin-op mechanism to this?
onecrofly1 year ago
Can't wait to incorporate into game plan. Love it.
Totally amazing and awesome! Great job!
romwhite1 year ago
Can you share more about your Arduino code or a wiring diagram? I didn't see anything on how you connected your PC power cable to power everything inside the box?
skootles1 year ago
I really like how clean the wiring on the 7-segment displays is. I'm sure you're probably aware, but using an Arduino DUE for this is a little overkill. I mean if you have one laying around, sure, but anyone who would have to buy one could easily get away with an Uno or Leonardo.

Also wiring each segment to its own pin uses up a lot of pins. A good way to go is to use an LED driver like the MAX7219 or MAX7221. Those two chips will use only 3 of your digital I/O pins, they're daisy-chainable, and they can each drive up to 64 LEDs or 8 seven-segment displays. Those chips also have a digital brightness control, and my favourite "feature" is that you only need one resistor to limit the current on all the LEDs attached to it.
mmccarney11 year ago
Whow this is very cool, is there any chance you could up load the code? I know it sounds cheeky but I really want to make one and my programming skills isn't much!!
rmrclean1 year ago
Great design! Have you thought about how you might allow for a printer, or uploading to Facebook?
alexandermorris (author)  rmrclean1 year ago
Uploading to Fb or Ig is being considered
well done! maybe you could throw a pi in there and write a script to upload photos to instagram too
alexandermorris (author)  danm_daniel1 year ago
Great idea!
PeterC10311 year ago
Great instructable? May I ask which speaker stand are you using? I didn't know you could route cables through the stand!
alexandermorris (author)  PeterC10311 year ago
This was just a standard Rhino speaker stand off ebay, rated to 40kg. I don't know the product number but i think you could route wires down the middle of any speaker stand with a hollow centre post!
mijaresvel1 year ago
very good, let me know if this tutorial and more complete the missing steps in the box and where I can get the electronics. thank you very much,.
WWC1 year ago
This is really well done!
Great project.
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