Life in the Fast Lane


Photobooth on a Budget

By 2:15 PM , , , , ,

Last Saturday, my sister welcomed her 21st birthday at home with a big bash. She invited some of her closest dancer friends, high school friends, and church buddies.

But what would a party be without a photobooth setup, right?

See, in most events nowadays, you'll see a photobooth along with lights and people manning the camera. The party-goers then fall in line and take a series of photos of themselves hamming it up in front of the camera — usually with props. After a few minutes, voila! They get the prints of their pictures, usually laid out with four frames per photo.

However, since it would've been a tad pricey to actually hire the services of a real photobooth company, I decided to improvise.

Days before the party, I designed a backdrop which we had printed out. On the actual day, we hung it and mounted my camera on a tripod. I left the camera on timer mode so people could take their own pictures without me having to man it all the time. My sister set aside a box of props (just like the ones used in the actual photobooths) and there we had it. Our el cheapo version.

I then instructed her guests to make sure they took a series of four shots each since I already prepared a layout for the final photo output. This was how it went.

Here I am manning the camera setup while my sister's friends readied their poses.

Here are a series of four photos. This time, I joined in the fun and left the camera on timer mode. That's my sister in purple.

My brother (yes, the one who's auditioning for ESPN — vote for him! — is the one in black. His girlfriend's the one wearing the beige top and my best friend, who's become an older sister to my sister, is the one in brown.

I don't know why I decided to wear an apron and serve a "tray" of Scattergories. I'm beyond lame.

We're so awesome. Yes, we are.

And then I put all the pictures (I went through over a hundred of them and compiled them by fours) together in the template I made in advance using Adobe Photoshop. This was how it looked like.

Not bad, right?

Of course, unlike with real photobooth setups, the guests couldn't take home printed copies of their photos. They had to wait for a few days before I could upload everything (hey, I still go to work after all). But at least I've got the files on standby in case they want to have their pictures printed or emailed to them.

People have complimented my "creativity" and "resourcefulness" because I was able to pull this off. I've also been asked if they could copy my idea in future parties (I hope this doesn't kill the photobooth business) and of course I said yes. But honestly, I can't claim ownership for this "idea". I was just trying to work with what I had. Kind of like The Look for Less, only for photobooths.

I guess I'll be replicating this photography venture in future parties held at home. Fun!

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