Introduction: Instagram Inspired DIY Photo-Booth

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! 

Step 1: Cutting Wood

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

Step 2: Access Holes

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

Step 3: Monitor Trim

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

Step 4: Rounding Edges

Corners were then curved using a jigsaw.

Step 5: Fitting Sides

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

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

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

Step 8: Added Details

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

Step 9: Flash Holes

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

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

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

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

Step 13: PCB Headers

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

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

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 


Step 16: Power/Support

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

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

Just a closer look at the insides of the booth once it was finished.