Friday, February 27, 2009

DIY: Polaroid Photobooth

Like many who have come before us, we really wanted a photobooth at our wedding. But, the cost of renting a "real" booth was far too high, so we went diy.

We wanted people to take pictures for us to keep, but also be able to take some home, so we decided to go the Polaroid route. We already had the camera (we found it by the side of the road, in a junk pile, right after we started dating).

Of course this came right around when they decided to take the film off the market, so the price of Polaroid film shot way up. We bought some of the film before the crisis, but we ended up scavenging eBay for most of it. All in all I believe we purchased around 200 shots worth of film for 100 people (we didn't use all of it). I've also heard that Fuji is now making Polaroid 600 film, so that should make it easier for those of you who want to try this.
While some people have a designated picture taker, we knew our friends would be all over taking Polaroids so we figured they could switch off being picture taker and model. That worked out just fine and the booth was literally full all day while people were setting up, all night, and into the next day as we were cleaning up!
To make the backdrop for the photobooth we purchased two sheets of fabric (three yards of each). One was a regular sized fabric, and the other was upholstery fabric from Ikea. I'd recommend upholstery fabric because the heavier weight hangs better and the extended width allows more people to stand in front of it.

To our advantage, we were able to just tack our fabric to my parent's deck and use their porch lights to light it. You could also make a wood frame to attach the fabric to, hang a line from trees and attach the fabric to that, or nail it to a wall.

On the deck we put a table with the film, a board for people to post pictures on, and several costume items. For the costumes we used things I had lying around my house, plus a few purchased pairs of crazy $1 glasses. And yes, I have hats and fur coats and eye patches just lying around. The felt mustaches I made.

And of course, as some of these pictures exhibit, our photographer couldn't help but snap a few pictures of people using the booth as well. They loved it!


Jess Pendleton said...

I love this idea! Polaroids and mustaches always equal a good party! Nice job!

Where did you get the idea for the Quaker Wedding?

Monanique said...

Yeah!! I'm glad you're blogging more about the wedding!! I am truly 100% loving everything about.. well everything you've been catching us up on!!

I keep telling my better half that this is the way I'd like us to do our shindig. Lovin every word you type!! (as always) : )

You may call me Jo. said...

I love reading about your wedding and wedding planning. :D We're planning a backyard wedding as well, so this is great inspiration.

Question though, how did you make the photobooth work? Did you have someone taking the pictures? Or did you have a remote or a timer?

backyardwedding said...

Hi Jo-

We had the camera sitting out for them to use, but our friends just took pictures of each other. That seemed to work fine. People also used their own digital cameras to take pictures, but we just had the polaroid sitting out.

You may call me Jo. said...

That is so cool. Must convince Other Half that a photobooth is necessary. :D

Amanda said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this! I recently bought an old polaroid camera for some fun wedding photos and nearly passed out when I discovered how much film is going for on ebay. I'm so glad to find our there's a cheaper alternative out there!


sera said...

I've been seeing the photobooth on all the (good) wed blogs lately and I love it. I really hope I have room for this at my venue.

Kelley at My Island Wedding said...

Love the photobooth idea..., at my wedding I had my 35mm camera set up on a tripod on the front porch of the hotel where I was married. With a fantastic lawn and water background...

One of my bridesmaids took photos of the guests during cocktail hour (she had her beverage close at hand) and another bridesmaid walked around telling people to come and get their photos taken.

Once printed for my own album, I made a second copy and sent them with the guests' thank you notes.

e & d said...

I've never been to a wedding with either type of photobooth, but i like your homemade one, and the homemade ones i've seen so much better! there are so many more options that way!

A2Z Photo Booths LLC said...

Such a fabulous DIY photo booth idea - it looks like it turned out great. Congratulations!!