Introduction: Another DIY Photobooth

Hi all, this is the placeholder for my photobooth build. I will be putting up a more extensive how-to later.

Step 1: Version 5.0 Build

Here is a photo of my photobooth. It does double duty with the front side being the photo taking side and the backside is the photo viewing and printing kiosk.

There is a DSLR hooked up via HDMI to a computer monitor on the front side of it. The user will hit the big red button which is hooked up to an Arduino microcontroller that I programmed, which will then trigger the DSLR and flash (behind the umbrella) to take the photo. I use a speedlight flash that has a lithium ion battery so that it can take over 1000 shots before it runs out of juice.

The DSLR then uploads the photo via USB to a touchscreen laptop that is mounted on the backside of the unit. The program I'm running is called Instant Photo Booth. You can find it in the Windows App store. It only runs on Windows 8 though. There are probably more mature photobooth programs out there but I chose this one cause it was cheap; less than $30 total. The user then uses the touchscreen to select which photos to print. I have the laptop hooked up to a Canon Selphy CP910 photo printer.

The monitor and touchscreen laptop were hand me downs. The DSLR I had already from shooting action shots of the boys playing sports. The photobooth box is made from pre painted shelves that I screwed together. I then ordered some dark acrylic sheets online which I cut holes into for the DSLR, laptop and the printer to stick out of. I then got a speaker tripod stand and the photobooth sits on top of that.

When it was all said and done, I would say I put in about $700 of stuff into it, not counting the DSLR, laptop and monitor that I already had.

There are still some quirks here and there in the operation of it like I need to be around and physically replace the photo printer paper and ink every 50 of so prints. The software, though it works for me, isn't as mature as some other solutions. The user still needs to go through a print window to print to the printer. That's due to some quirk in Windows 8. So it isn't a leave it alone for the entire event kind of setup that I have. The Selphy printer is slow, probably about 30 secs per print. The one in the link does like 8-10 secs per print.

I don't rent this thing out, I just lend it friends and family for them to use as a gift to them. I've done about 15 events now and I just keep iterating. I still get a little stressed setting it up as I have a checklist that is pretty long but I can't imaging what it would be like setting one up for a paying customer that has high expectations. I built it just as a learning experience and as something that I can share and bless people with.