Simple Do-It-Yourself Photo Booth?

slpollettslpollett Major grinsRegistered Users Posts: 1,101 Major grins
edited October 20, 2016 in Technique
I'll try to explain what I want to do and hope someone can give me some pointers.

I want to set up a simple do-it-yourself photo booth of sorts. I want to use what I already have without having to purchase anything major to get it done.

I will have two functions per year where I would use this set-up, so I don't want to do anything too complicated.

Ideally, I would want to take a photo & print a 4x6 to give to the customer. No edits or anything--just snap & print. Second choice would be to set up to allow the person to download the file later, but that really is not the preferred option.

I have the camera, backdrops & lighting. What I want to know how to do is the best (easiest/quickest) way to get the file to either my laptop or my ipad for viewing and then a printer option. My current camera is a Canon 5D MKIII; my laptop has Windows 10. I've seen other photographers take photos with their Canon and have the image appear almost immediately on their iPad. How is this done? Is there a way to send the file from the iPad to a printer? Is it better to send the file to the laptop where I know I can load the printer program?

Now, what about printer? I have a Canon Pro-10, but that is way too big & heavy for me to transport to these two events. I'm hoping there is something smaller that is portable, lightweight, decent quality & not too expensive that I can print only 4x6 prints on.

Any help is appreciated! Thanks in advance,
Sherry P.


  • Gary752Gary752 Major grins Central PARegistered Users Posts: 934 Major grins
    edited October 18, 2016
    I beleive the device used to get the photos to an iPad is the CamRanger. What I would do is tether your camera to your laptop into Lightroom and then use the WiFi in the laptop to send it to the iPad. Or you could use a WiFi card in the camera and have that send the photo to the iPad and then have the iPad send it to a WiFi enabled printer. This would probably be the easiest/cheapest route.

    As for a simple/small printer, HP had one that printed 4x6's and you could just plug an SD card into it or use a cable from a laptop. It used a 110 kit that had the paper and enough ink to print the amount of paper in the kit. If I remember right that printer was the Photosmart A526. I don't think they are made anymore, but might be able to find one on eBay.

    “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it!” - Ansel Adams
  • slpollettslpollett Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,101 Major grins
    edited October 19, 2016
    Thanks Gary.

    I was hoping to hear about a few other options.

    Has anyone used the Eye-Fi cards with the Canon 5D MK III? If so, what device do you send the file to and what size image file do you send? I'm thinking about using my iPad. Anyone else doing this? Do you use one of the photo booth apps or just the eye-fi software? Do you try to print from the iPad? To what printer? I'm looking at the Canon Selphy 1200. Anyone use this?

    Sherry P.
  • sarasphotossarasphotos Major grins Augsburg, GermanyRegistered Users Posts: 2,955 Major grins
    edited October 20, 2016
    Sherry, if you have Lightroom on your laptop you can tether shoot into Lightroom and from there you can print. (Here's a list on cameras that can shoot tethered.) I did it once years ago, working with a photographer friend of mine in exactly this kind of situation. We used a simple Canon Pixma (from the 4xxx series) inkjet printer and printed on 4x6 photo paper. It worked like a charm and the prints lasted for years. No need for an iPad. :-)

    -- Sara
  • slpollettslpollett Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,101 Major grins

    I thought I'd post a follow-up.

    I bought the Eye-fi wireless SD card for my camera and I also purchased the Canon Selphy printer.

    I couldn't get the Eye-fi app to work on my iPad (I have an older one, but it's probably just the operator). I then tried my laptop and finally got it to load on my laptop, but then it took FOR-EV-ER and kept locking up. I was about to give up, but being the stubborn gal that I am, decided to try on my phone. The eye-fi app loaded perfectly and I was able to take the photo with my camera, see it almost immediately on my phone, and then push it to the Selphy printer (all wirelessly).

    So, final thoughts on all of this:
    1. I love the little Selphy printer. It's just right for something like what I was trying to do. The print quality is surprisingly good for a $100 printer. The whole process from camera to phone to printer is a little slow for my taste, but it wasn't too bad. If I had a really long line, this process would probably bog down.
    2. I would really like to get my iPad upgraded so I can use that instead of my phone. One reason is that the screen would be bigger and easier for the customer (and me!) to see. The other thing that happened was that anytime someone wanted to pay me with the Square, I had to wait until I had the print done and then switch all my settings on my phone to run the credit card, then switch it all back again for the printer to work. THAT was annoying!!

    I have another opportunity to use this set-up coming up that will involve a larger crowd. I'll see how this one goes.

    Sherry P.

  • BoothMastersBoothMasters Cleveland, OHNew member Posts: 4 Big grins
    edited December 9, 2020
    I did a write up on how to build a DIY photo booth

    With the power of iPads now, and the different software apps available, you can make a photo booth pretty close to what the professional photo booth companies use. The only difference is the shell that holds the iPad.
  • slpollettslpollett Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,101 Major grins

    Thanks! I will check out your blog entry.

    Sherry P.

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