Photos will always be a wonderful way to treasure the special moments of your big day. While you may have a professional photographer ready to capture the magic, photo booths are the perfect way to let your friends and family collect their own memories of the fun. The best part is, you can easily DIY a fun photo booth for any event. All you need is some creativity—and maybe some fun items from Amazon or Etsy.
Photo booths are great entertainment for your reception, wedding showers, bachelorette parties, and more. Any wedding celebration can enjoy a simple DIY photo booth that also provides favors for your guests. Plus you’ll have plenty of photos to choose from for your wedding album.
If you’re looking for DIY photo booth inspiration, follow our steps below and enjoy our free photo booth printables and decor, too!
The backdrop for your photo booth is the foundation of your design, and may heavily rely on the location of your booth. If you’re throwing an outdoor party, consider simple garlands or props to highlight the natural beauty of the space. Indoor receptions may lend themselves better to a full backdrop of florals or a simple pattern.
If you’re planning a virtual event or live stream, then you can use virtual backgrounds or templates that match your event’s theme and allow everyone to feel included in the occasion. Plus, you can still take screenshots of your guests on your phone, computer, or iPad with a beautiful photo booth backdrop. No DSLR required.
Floral backdrops are a classic for weddings and can be created to match any event. They can be as simple as a floral garland hanging from the frame or as elaborate as a full wall of greenery and fresh blooms. Whether you choose real or fake flowers, your guests are sure to enjoy this photo booth’s simple and natural beauty. Incorporate movement with fabric backdrops.
Fabric backdrops may be the easiest DIY way to dress up a wall. Plain colors are easy to elevate with props or pleats for a little extra energy. You can also choose a cloth with a simple pattern, or even print your own custom design you can keep, sell, or reuse.
Lighting is key for great photos, but it can also add an aesthetic to your DIY photo booth. Hanging fairy lights are super trendy, and you can customize the look with sheer fabric, pretty garlands, or even shape the strings to spell your shared name. Novelty lights, neon sculptures, and Christmas lights are also great ways to add color and fun.
Of course, everything can be improved with a good theme! Build a tropical photo booth for your beach wedding, a beautifully crafted arch fit for a barn celebration, or glitter and glam for a bridal shower.
DIY photo booth props add fun to the photo booth and will keep your guests coming back to try new poses. You can bring props from home that represent your favorite things or add to the party theme. Your guests can also enjoy simple printable props like these wedding day designs.
Printable props are affordable, recyclable, and easy to DIY — saving you time and stress. Plus, you can send them to virtual guests to print for their own virtual photo booth. You can find several printable props online or make your own by printing photos of yourselves, your pets, and other favorite things.
Your options for photo booth props are endless, and great ideas are easy to find. Buy ring-shaped balloons for mock proposals, dollar-store flowers for an easy bouquet prop, or plastic champagne flutes for photo toasts. Just consider what fits within your theme and reflects your celebration best, then get creative with it.
If you have space, beautiful couches or armchairs can make great photo props. Vintage furniture can create a boho or glamour theme, while benches or swings are lovely for the outdoors.
Lighting is great for aesthetics and essential for good photos. Once you know where you want your photo booth you’ll want to see how the lighting looks in photos. Consider what works well for photos as well as the mood you’d like to set with your photo booth. For example, overhead and fluorescent lights can be harsh on your skin and cast dark shadows. Warm accent lights can add romance, while natural light will help your guests take balanced, well-lit photos.
If you want to guarantee beautiful photos with any camera, then natural light is the way to go. Face your photo booth towards a window or other natural light source for gentle, glowing photos. Stay mindful of the sunset, since direct sunlight may cause awkward shadows and squinting guests. Of course, this natural light won’t last for late evening parties — prepare a secondary light source, like ring lights, in advance for photos that look like they came from a professional photo booth.
Fairy lights are a simple way to add a soft, romantic mood to your photo booth. They’re light and flexible, making them great for hanging from your backdrop, framing the booth, or wrapping with garland for some extra glow. They won’t provide the lighting you need for a great photo, but they can definitely improve your design.
Novelty lights are a growing trend in party decor. Neon lights are great keepsakes and beautiful in photo booths with classic phrases like “Oh, baby!” for baby showers and “ ‘Till Death Do Us Part” at weddings. You can also get lights to match a theme, like star and moon shapes for a celestial celebration or a fun pineapple for a pool party.
The best way to make a memorable photo booth is to customize it for your party. Include your favorite things, like your pets or favorite colors, or match it to the event’s theme. You can go as large or small as you like when planning your photo booth, but the personal touches will mean the most.
Get creative and brainstorm ways to personalize your photo booth with the things that matter most to you. If you and your partner bonded over movies, consider giving your guests the red carpet experience with prop cameras, sunglasses, and wigs to pose as celebrities and event photographers. Everything from camping to superheroes can be incorporated tastefully.
Who doesn’t love pets in weddings? Even if your furry friend can’t stay for the party, you can include them in your reception theme. Print out photos of your pets to be used as props so you can still have photos with your best friends on your special day.
The easiest way to customize your photo booth is with the event itself! Get signs or props made with your wedding or party date, as well as your last name(s). Some signs may even double as a precious keepsake you can hang above your mantle long after the party is over.
Finally, after everyone has taken photos with all of their friends and props, you’ll all be looking for a way to share your best, funniest, and most memorable photos of the night. Create a wedding hashtag just for your event so everyone can see and save beautiful photos. The best part is, it’s like a lasting digital album you can revisit as long as you have social media, which means no photos are lost next time you upgrade your phone.
Digital photos are great and can last a lifetime, but few things beat a physical print. If you’d like to give a little something extra, consider buying Polaroid or disposable cameras. Polaroid cameras will allow your guests to keep their photos or leave them behind with a special note for you. You can also develop disposable cameras to get a new perspective of your wedding day, then distribute the photos as you like.
Planning a wedding takes a lot of creativity, organization, and time, especially when it's a DIY wedding. It can be trying, but your photo booth shouldn’t be! Have fun creating the perfect space to capture lasting memories, and don’t forget to take some selfies yourself!
Now that we've taken you through the tutorial, it's time to lean into your creativity and seek out some inspiration. Of course, we wouldn't leave you without some of our own DIY photo booth favorites. The following photo booth setups are ideal for bach parties, guest book tables, wedding receptions, and any other celebration worth capturing.
Flower walls are eye-catching and lush, adding tons of texture and color to any photo. That being said, this popular backdrop can be quite the splurge if professionally made—especially if you want real flowers. However, building one yourself can be easy and affordable. First, decide whether or not you want to purchase real florals and greenery or save some money and opt instead for faux versions. Then acquire a plywood or foam board and bring it down (or up) to your preferred size. Finally, with a visual in mind, adhere the florals of your choice to your board. We suggest laying them out beforehand so you can get a good look. Full flower boards are great, but fewer florals with exposed wood is also beautiful.
Older types of photography are coming back into style. Lean into the trend and build a photo booth frame inspired by the borders of a polaroid picture. All you need is a large enough piece of plywood, foam core board, or poster board for the border, a ruler, a pen or pencil, and something to cut your material with. Simply draw the outline, using a ruler for straight lines and accurate dimensions, then cut out. You can then decorate your border in any style you choose.
This photo booth idea is a bit more involved, but is guaranteed to thrill guests and make for beautiful photos. If you own and are able to transport a couple nice chairs or a small couch to your reception space, use them to set up a comfy lounge and photo area. For added appeal, decorate the space with a rug and some decorative pillows that go along with your wedding colors. This setup will inspire comfort in front of the camera and a ton of fun poses. Pro tip: Get your wedding party early access to this spot for chic group photos.