Introduction: Wedding Photobooth (iPad+DSLR)

Picture of Wedding Photobooth (iPad+DSLR)

I built this photobooth as a bit of fun at our wedding and we've been able to use it for other parties since.

After deciding to build a photobooth, I had a few constraints. I knew it should be lightweight, easily portable, and I preferred using as much equipment that I could repurpose for other photography projects. For simplicity, I decided not to include a print out of the photos, though there are additions to this setup that would allow that. My next improvement for this project would be a visible countdown before the photos are taken to prepare people. We got a lot of great shots because people were surprised, but it would feel more refined with this feature.

That'd be me there in the white dress ;-)

As with most of my projects, I made it Techshop!

EDIT: I've redesigned the structure of this photobooth based on the interest and great feedback from this Instructable. For the updated version, see the latest:

Step 1: The System

Picture of The System

The key to this project is the small, yellow SD card in the middle: an EYE-FI card. Any camera that takes an SD card will work - I used the Canon XSi - and a mobile device that can speak to the Eye-Fi Card such as an iPhone or iPad. I used an iPad2 because I wanted the images to be large enough to be viewed from farther away. The last piece is this intervalometer which can be set to take a set number of photos after an initial delay with a pause in between each photo. I chose 4 photos after a 3 second delay with 3 seconds in between each pose.

The connection for most of this is obvious once you've gathered the supplies. Put the SD card in the camera, connect the intervalometer to the camera and program it as you'd like. The Eye-Fi card establishes its own wifi 'network' which becomes visible after taking a photo. After this, follow the directions for setting up your card. I find it helps to set the iPad in Airplane mode once you're connected to the Eye-Fi card network to help the photos transfer quickly.

[Additional connection steps added]

The Eye Fi card has its own app for the iPad and other mobile devices and that's what's displaying the photos on the iPad. You can adjust the display modes in the application. You'll need that to 'wake up' the network. So here are the steps:
1. Open the Eye Fi app on your iPad.

2. Take a photo with the camera to wake up the network.

3. On the iPad, connect to the Eye Fi network under Wi-Fi networks.

3b. Optional step - I recommend turning on Airplane Mode here for faster photo transfers. (Again - if anyone know more about this than me, please teach me best practices.)

4. Switch back to the Eye Fi app. You should notice an icon on the top right of the gallery view with the camera connecting to a mobile device with a hand in front. That will be red when it's not connected and green when it is. If you've set everything up correctly, the images should come straight through. Click on any image to enlarge and stay in this view for the images to come in full screen.

Step 2: The Structure

Picture of The Structure

Building out the structure is entirely up to you, actually. I'll outline what I did.

Using thin plywood, cut the base pieces to the dimensions you'll need. I used an existing piece as the base structure and built around it with the plywood but you can really use anything. The important part is to allow space for the button of the intervalometer to be pressed and the camera lens and iPad screen exposed.

After cutting to the dimensions I needed, I laser cut holes for the three interface parts. I added some light marking around the camera circle and iPad rectangle and then etched photobooth message on the board with the opening for the intervalometer button. The design of the message is up to you.

I was able to find useful clamps to hold the pieces while gluing. I wanted to build a structure independent from the existing structure and added hinges to allow for access to the photobooth system pieces.

Step 3: The Setup

Picture of The Setup

This last step is quick and easy, which helps set up and tear down.

I built a small 'table' for the camera to sit on inside the booth at the exact height of the circle opening. For the iPad, I used two pieces of plywood to create the outer door so I could prepare an inlay for the iPad. I use a small extra piece that sits on top of the iPad to hold it in place while opening and closing the door. It's a quick fix and could be more elegant. To keep the door secure, I put on a quick fastener on the side.

The intervalometer sits in a little sled in the bottom with a second piece to hold the remote in place. I cut a small hole in the spacer between the top and bottom sections to run the cord up to the camera.

Snap a quick photo to turn on the Eye-fi card and enjoy the photobooth!


TimC10 (author)2016-08-22

Update: WiFi Booth 3.0 released! As always this is a free update for the existing app with great new features, not a new app :)

Now guests can download the app free (no sign-up required) on their own iPhones, iPods, or Apple Watch to trigger the camera and receive their photos on their device *instantly*. No more waiting!

WiFi Booth is a pro iPad app that connects directly to the wifi of Canon, Sony, and Nikon cameras. It supports Eye-Fi too. For doing weddings etc it has a cheap 7-day in-app purchase so you don't have to pay full price for the app. Get more information and the app, here:

TimC10 (author)2015-06-29

Hi - i loved this idea so much that i spent 16 months creating an ipad app that the eyefi card connects directly to. It supports printing, instagram and more. Check out the WiFi Booth ipad app!

TeJ1 (author)TimC102016-05-22

Tim, I like the app. I'm thinking about buying the full version. What I don't like and maybe I'm missing something. I don't want people to be able to see pictures from all of the events. Can I shut that off? Also can instead of seeing wifi booth, can I customize it-for example "ashley & Mark march 21,2017"

ezeisel (author)TimC102016-01-15

Tim -- Is it possible to use an Eye-Fi in a camera and link it to ANY picture-taking iPad app?

TimC10 (author)ezeisel2016-01-15

No. Apps have to support EyeFi themselves, because it isn't possible for the eye-fi app to run in the background while some other app runs

ezeisel (author)TimC102016-01-15

Thank you!

smarico58 (author)TimC102015-09-06

Hey TimC10,

You said that it supports printing, and I curious to know if this would link up with a Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer? Or is that just something that I would hook-up to the iPad and just print the photos that they wanted?

TimC10 (author)smarico582016-01-15

You can try it, the app is free to download and try. Search for "Wifi booth" on the app store. It supports any printer that supports AirPrint (apple)

TimC10 (author)smarico582015-09-06

Hi, if your printer supports Apple AirPrint (ie. you can print from your iphone or ipad) then the app will work. The app is called WiFi Booth and it is free to try indefinitely (it just watermarks photos) -- so go get it and try it!
have fun

smarico58 (author)smarico582015-09-06

So you know what I am talking about...

filthyPhil (author)2016-02-21

Is it possible to get a live preview using Eye-Fi?

ezeisel (author)2016-01-15

Is there a way to use a Wedding App (like and use an Eye-Fi in a DSLR to use the iPad app but take the picture through the DSLR?

avetoa123 (author)2015-09-20

Any chance of making a video of how the photobooth works and looks?

TobiasW3 (author)2015-07-25

Ilove the look of your photobooth! I built also a photobooth. I was also trying the Eye Fi Mobi wifi cards! Very nice and might be the cheapest option in combination with an android tablet or ipad! :)

If you are interested, here is my blog about it:

Zepone made it! (author)2015-07-13

I made one...Great post guys!!

bgyoshi (author)2015-07-06

Are people able to see themselves on the screen before and during the photo?

TimC10 (author)2015-07-06

Here is the link to the ipad app:

TimC10 (author)2015-06-29

SamanthaU (author)2015-05-14

I have another question too lol. Did you use something to make it easier to push the button? It's so small and we don't want people have to use their pinky lol.

acoens (author)SamanthaU2015-05-14

You can modify the hole to make it larger. One improvement I considered was adding an amplifier to the button so you have something larger to push as the intervalometer button is quite small. Feel free to change this and make it your own!

SamanthaU (author)acoens2015-05-14

Thank you!! I'll try that

SamanthaU (author)2015-05-12

What did you use to put the picture onto the wood? I have a wood burner but I'm not sure it'll work right.

acoens (author)SamanthaU2015-05-14

I used a laser cutter. You can do it without the text if you don't have access to a laser cutter :-)

SamanthaU (author)acoens2015-05-14

I don't have access to any machine that could do it. I was wondering about another way to make it work.

unnamed (author)2014-05-14


Can we coonect tje wificard to the same network or wifi, because to print we have also to have the printer in the same network, right? anyone do it already can help?


acoens (author)unnamed2015-05-14

Woops, looks like I missed your question a year ago! Shame on me. Did you figure this out? Anyone else get this sorted for printing? I'm coming up on my 3rd wedding anniversary so surely there must have been some improvements to technology since I built this original one.

CatH1 (author)2015-05-13

I'm having a lot of trouble with the eyefi app, how do you get it to display full size and display the most recent photos. Are you in photo mode or camera mode? How do you get it to display immediately?

acoens (author)CatH12015-05-14

The eyefi app can be tricky. You usually have to take a photo with the app open to get the two devices talking to each other. Then I have the iPad in photo gallery mode. There's a slight delay but people can see their photos within a few seconds and swipe back to see the earlier ones. Hope this helps!

NathanWilliams (author)2014-07-16

I love the simplicity of the solution, I would have over engineered something like this (and probably not completed it!).

Nice work

acoens (author)NathanWilliams2014-07-16

Thanks, NathanWilliams! It's nice working toward a deadline for me, for sure.

The hardware is solid. I took a second stab at this project to construct the housing in a much simpler way after I learned so much from making the first one. It seemed different enough to merit its own Instructable:

rich666 (author)2014-04-24

Did you use an eye-fi mobi as in your link? I've got the parts together & works great... Apart from keeps losing connection, which means manually reconnecting - there's no option to use any other connection than the inbuilt on the mobi from what I can tell though...

backwards lamb (author)rich6662014-05-07

hi, I had the same problem as you rich666, I worked a way around the dropped wifi connection.

First I turned off all auto power downs/sleeps on the camera and ipad.

Second I deleted the wifi profile that the Eye-fi app installed onto the ipad.

Then I took a photo with the camera to power on the wifi and went to the settings on my ipad and tapped on the eye-fi card wifi hotspot and entered the activation code for the pass word of the wifi hotspot.

When connected I turned on the "auto join network" option on the ipad.

When connected go to the eye-fi app and the transfers should work normally.

After the wait, I waited 15 to 20 mins when testing, it takes a minute or so after taking a few photos. I did it with a series of 4 photos. It works best if you take the 4 photo set wait a 30 seconds or so and then take another set and that will speed up the ipad seeing the wifi card.

This is the only way I could get around the wifi drop out connection.

Hope that helps.

acoens (author)rich6662014-04-24

Hmm I used the Eye-Fi Pro-x2 ( Same company and I can't see what the difference in the products actually is, if any. If anything, I think the mobi is newer.

I didn't have any issues with the connection. Two suggestions:
1) After connecting to the eye-fi card, set your mobile device in airplane mode. This makes the transfers faster for me and preserves battery life. (If anyone knows more about this than me, I'd love to learn more about best practices.)
2) In the Eye-Fi application on your display/mobile device, go to Settings > Application Preferences > Prevent sleep. This was a huge help in making sure the iPad didn't shut off during the wedding, which would require someone to open the cabinet and go through the process again.

Did that help?

fthrift (author)2014-04-26

Did you use simple booth event or can you use it? Or did you use the photobooth app on the ipad2? Can you explain how that works after the picture is taken?

acoens (author)fthrift2014-04-28

Ahh yes! I forgot to mention this in the Instructable -- good catch!

The Eye Fi card has its own app for the iPad and other mobile devices
and that's what's displaying the photos on the iPad. You can adjust the
display modes in the application. You'll need that to 'wake up' the
network. So here are the steps:
1. Open the Eye Fi app on your iPad.

2. Take a photo with the camera to wake up the network.

3. On the iPad, connect to the Eye Fi network under Wi-Fi networks.

Optional step - I recommend turning on Airplane Mode here for faster
photo transfers. (Again - if anyone know more about this than me, please
teach me best practices.)

4. Switch back to the Eye Fi app. You
should notice an icon on the top right of the gallery view with the
camera connecting to a mobile device with a hand in front. That will be
red when it's not connected and green when it is. If you've set
everything up correctly, the images should come straight through. Click
on any image to enlarge and stay in this view for the images to come in
full screen.

pll (author)2014-04-14

Thank you for letting me know the dimensions! My daughter really wanted a photo booth for her wedding but found it too expensive. I'm hoping to make this for her as a surprise. I will let you know how it turns out!

acoens (author)pll2014-04-14

Oh and I should add that no one really missed the printed photos. We posted them on Facebook and selected a few for our wedding album. It took out a ton of complexity and expense and people enjoyed it.

acoens (author)pll2014-04-14

I felt the same way and it's a small investment if you have or can reuse the electronics - or have other uses for a photobooth in the future. Plus it's more fun to make one than rent one anyway ;-)

Best of luck! Feel free to write back if you hit any stumbling blocks I might be able to help with along the way.

marcus_nelson (author)2014-04-07

How much would it cost to build the case? And I mean, have it pre made, then shipped? While I am interested in having this, I don't have the experience necessary to construct the case.

acoens (author)marcus_nelson2014-04-08

I've considered making the case and selling it on Etsy and letting people add their own electronics. Is that the kind of thing you're interested in?

djrfingers (author)acoens2014-04-13

how much would you sell the enclosures for. I have/can get the other components

acoens (author)djrfingers2014-04-13

I honestly haven't priced this out to make and sell. Out of curiosity, what would you be willing to pay for it, ballpark? I think one challenge would be to make it so it could be flat packed and assembled so the shipping isn't insanely expensive and cumbersome. If there's a market for these, I'd consider figuring out how to create this and sell.

djrfingers (author)acoens2014-04-14

What do you think would be a fair price, not including the shipping. I really like the laser cut and design.

djrfingers (author)acoens2014-04-14

Not sure on pricing, but I would DEFINITELY be interested in it as I am looking for a portable option to run photobooth.

marcus_nelson (author)acoens2014-04-08

Yes. But let me explain more:

At my school, I'm a member of our Student Council, and we want to do something for our student body. At one point, I came up with the idea of a Photo Booth. We were trying to figure out a model, and found your instructable. We decided it was a great model, but we need something that can be extremely versatile and strong, yet light enough to be somewhat mobile. And I decided to ask if you could help

acoens (author)marcus_nelson2014-04-08

Do you have access to the other components? You can actually build something a lot more simple that what I have here with just a camera, Eye-Fi card, and intervalometer, plus an optional tripod. The case is really fun, but not essential.

If you're set on the case, I'd suggest modifying the case details so you can build it yourself. In your school, do you have a shop class? Could this be a project for some aspiring furniture builder? You don't *need* a laser cutter and could easily do this with traditional woodworking tools (a table saw and a drill press would get you most of the way there), or perhaps even reclaimed materials used in clever ways. Hard to say without knowing your school. We definitely had these tools in my junior high and high school, but funding the electronics and keeping them safe from theft and vandalism is a different story.

marcus_nelson (author)acoens2014-04-09

We're planning on purchasing an iPad 2, maybe a refurbished camera, and the Eye-Fi Card. We're also considering buying a mini printer to print the pictures afterward. I actually have not thought about the intervalometer yet.

Unfortunately, our Junior High School does not have a shop class. I think I'm going to see about this casing for the iPad:

But you know, now that you mention reclaimed materials, I realize that could be an idea, but I'm not sure how we would implement it.

We do have a large amount of funding, and can spend up to, I believe, about $700 or more. I think the iPad won't be more than $250, maybe a $250-$300 camera, $100 32GB Eye-Fi, (I still don't know about the intervalometer), and $200 mini printer. Something like that.

I'm not the best designer, so maybe I could figure out the components, and then you could find a way to implement them in a casing of some sort?

acoens (author)marcus_nelson2014-04-09

Luckily, the intervalometer is the cheap part - the one I used and listed here is under $20. If you do end up printing the photos, you'll also have to consider paper and printer ink.

I'd recommend getting clever on the reclaimed materials. One idea:
Find a big, old desk/dresser drawer and turn it on its side. Maybe get some chip board or cardboard (things you can cut with scissors or box cutters) and fit the board to the open side of the drawer. Use the inside of the drawer like I did here but instead of the little wooden stand, maybe get a mini tripod and stabilize the camera that way to line it up with a hole you cut out of the cardboard (oh! or get a drawer with a divider and then just prop the camera up on the divider). If you need to, run the intervalometer outside of the unit and just cover the rest of the remote with an arrow pointing to the button, or you can have it like I did here. Print off the directions for how to use the photobooth on a regular printer and attach them to the front of your drawer unit.

I'd love to see you make this yourself or with a group! There are so many ways you could approach the case and still have a good, strong result. I'd also ask around to see if anyone has access to basic shop tools. These are great life skills and you might have a knack for making if you're already hanging out on Instructables :-)

pll (author)2014-04-14

I love this idea and would like to make it for my daughter's wedding. I didn't know if you would mind letting me know the dimensions of the case that you built? I guess I could figure something out but I'm running short on time. Thank you!

acoens (author)pll2014-04-14

Oh, my mistake - I should go back and make the dimensions more clear.

Overall dimensions:
Width = 11.25"
Height = 29.73"
Depth = 11.75"

I linked the structure I purchased through Amazon in the Instructable. If I were to do this again, I would just build out my own without the purchased structure but at the time I didn't think about having it on a table and I wanted a shortcut.

The size of each of the pieces of plywood is 11 1/8" x 13 1/2". I just assembled them around the existing structure with extra pieces of reinforcement from the nametags I made as an additional brace. This worked out really well as the internal structure has PVC dowels inside and the wooden reinforcement I used has a rounded edge that hugs the PVC. That said, this could be much, much simpler as a wooden box with dado cuts for a shelf half way up and one solid piece of wood as the front cover. That's how I would do this if I built a second one.

Please post back here when you have yours built! I'd love to see what you come up with.

About This Instructable




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