Wedding Week: Day 2
Today I’m going to talk about a trend in the wedding photography world that is so obvious and so awesome, it makes me wonder why any bride or groom wouldn’t want one at their wedding. No, I am not referring to a mechanical bull or a mariachi band, although both sound fantastic to me. I’m talking about a photo booth. Having a way for guests to take photos of themselves, without any formality, rules or canned smiles is such a great way to document the occasion. And did I mention they’re fun?
The best part? There is no right or wrong way for a photo booth to work. The only requirement is that it DOES work. It should require little or no maintenance on your part and be totally intuitive for your guests. And it is also worth mentioning that – despite the name – an actual, tangible “booth” isn’t required. Below you will find a few examples of how you can pull off a photo booth either at your own wedding, or a wedding you might be photographing.
Finding a ready-made solution for having a booth at your disposal is as easy as finding anything else in the modern world. The only requirement is that you spell “Google” correctly. That’s right, start with a Google search for “photo booth.” You will notice that many solutions are instantly at your fingertips. Most every photo booth company that offers a booth as an event rental provides a physical booth, print options, a scrapbook and usually some way for the images to be viewed and even purchased online. Obviously, the ability to relive the good times once you are back home on your computer is a great addition to the whole package. To shorten your search time, here are some links to a few sites that caught my eye:
Capture Pod – Aside from being “sleek” and “elegant,” the “Pod” (as it is referred to) is distinguished by its lighting capabilities, which Capture Pod describes as being “designed by professionals.” It definitely doesn’t resemble the booth of yesteryear, instead has “rounded edges, opaque plexiglass walls and an aluminum frame.”
Digital Photo Booth – If I had to choose one word to describe Digital Photo Booth it would be “modern.” In fact, the whole mechanism resembles an overgrown iPod. A cool feature of The Digital Photo Booth is the ability to project images immediately onto a large screen. Check out the videos in the “Installations” section of the site.
Open Air Photo Booth – Why be limited to an indoor location, or the predetermined background of a booth? The Open Air Photo Booth can be set up anywhere there is power. According to the website, it’s the “smallest and lightest photobooth on the market.”
Photobooth.net - Interestingly enough, photobooth.net isn’t an actual site where you can rent a booth from directly, rather their site is “the most comprehensive photo booth resource on the internet.” They have an extensive list of movies, TV shows, songs, magazines and books which include a reference to the photo booth as a cultural icon. It’s nothing short of amazing. Do yourself a favor and check out photobooth.net. (Author’s Note: There are definitely times when I am amazed by the info available on the internet. Finding this site was one of them.)
But maybe you don’t have the time or interest in hiring a photo booth for your wedding. Does this mean you are out of luck? No way! If you are a do-it-yourselfer, it is rather easy to come up a photo booth solution for a wedding. From hanging a disposable camera from the ceiling with a string, setting the self-timer, and lining it up with a background, to the more technical method of using Pocket Wizards, a DSLR and a tripod there are many solutions available. Heck, you could even do this.
At my own wedding, I wanted something like a “booth,” but without having to do too much work or research. Being a photographer, I knew the solution wasn’t too tricky, so I used my own equipment and built my own “booth.” (See images below to view a few “booth” examples). In a nutshell, I put a Canon 5D on a tripod, inserted a Pocket Wizard receiver in the hot shoe mount, and connected the two with a cord. Then, each guest that wanted to take a photo simply pressed the “test” button on the Pocket Wizard Transmitter, which they held in their hand. Simple! Here’s a video that gives you an idea of how it all works with Pocket Wizards.
Photo booths – of any kind – are totally fun and provide a great solution for getting a certain kind of photo from a wedding. Do you have experience with a photo booth? Let us hear about it in the comments below.