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DIY Party Photo Booth

Sandi Arata By

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When I get an invitation to a bridal shower, I have a secret fearful thought. Am I going to have to make a bridal gown out of toilet paper?


When I get an invitation to a baby shower, I shudder momentarily. Am I going to have to taste baby foods or pass around diapers with melted candy bars in them? I cannot be the only person that feels this way about typical shower “activities.” Does anyone really like those games?

Forget those corny bridal- and baby-shower activities (wedding gown out of TP? baby-food tastings? Ew.). Lately, there has been a great new trend at showers: photo booths. The best part is, they’re an activity you can use for any party, as they get your guests interacting and acting silly. And you can set up a party-ready photo studio all by yourself—no high-tech stuff needed.

Creating a photo booth for your next party is simple. There are just a few steps, a few pieces of gear and a little bit of prep work to be done:

1. Make a background.


There are a number of ways to make a background for your guests to strike a pose in front of—it can be as fabulous or as simple as you want. Hang a quilt for a sweet baby shower. Drape a glittery shower curtain for a cocktail party. Or just tack up a solid-color sheet in your party’s color scheme. You can also dress up the backdrop with banners or signs. Even a cheesy store-bought Happy Birthday banner will do. If you’re feeling really ambitious, make a curtain of ribbon or paper streamers as the background.

2. Gather props.


Props give guests something to pose with, and the sillier they are, the better. Fake mustaches and funny hats are a must. Raid your costume closet and grab whatever you can. A small chalkboard or whiteboard is also fun, so guests can write funny or sweet things—depending on what type of party you’re throwing. Write a welcome message to a new baby, for instance, or share some sass at a New Year’s Eve bash.

3. Set up your camera.


Depending on how tech-savvy you are, there are a few ways to do this. The low-tech method I use most often is to take the pictures myself, with a few designated friends to take turns in shifts. We take the photos with a good camera, and take turns jumping into some of the pictures ourselves. You can also set up a camera on a tripod and have a small remote trigger. Encourage guests to jump and in and take their own. Or use one of the computer programs made for this kind of thing. My favorite is Sparkbooth. You download the reasonably priced software and it uses your computer and a webcam to do the rest.

The best thing about a photo booth is that it’s perfect for almost any celebration. Showers, birthdays, holidays, office parties—the possibilities are endless! I hope you’ll save your guests from the torture of traditional party games and try this out. If you do, please leave a link to your pictures here so we can be inspired, or at least entertained!

What new shower ideas are you and your friends trying?

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