DIY or Professional Photo Booth: Which is Better?

A professional photo booth will provide all the essential equipment and supplies for a successful event. This includes backdrops, props and lighting.

You may already have some of these items in your own home, but the rest can be purchased online or from a local party store. Consider your budget carefully before making a purchase.


A photo booth isn’t complete without props, and luckily for those on a budget there are plenty of affordable options. The cheapest props are usually wigs, feather boas and blow up items that are easy for guests to hold or pose with. There are also hats, masks and silly signs that can help attendees lose their inhibitions and have some fun. There are also ring-shaped balloons for mock proposals, plastic champagne flutes to use as toast glasses and Polaroid frames that add to the retro feel of any event.

For a professional look, consider investing in some lighting equipment. A spotlight or photography umbrella (available online and at camera supply shops) helps diffuse the light and create a flattering glow on your friends’ faces. If you’re not able to get your hands on these then simply turning your camera flash on or positioning a floor lamp next to the camera can help.

The backdrop is another important component that will add a lot to the final photos. A simple white sheet is a great option, but you can also buy or make one that suits your theme. For example, a patterned or painted paper might work well for a vintage wedding or for a more rustic party a barn door could be used.

It is also a good idea to set up the booth in an easily accessible area of your venue and make sure that you leave clear instructions for guests so they don’t get lost. You may also want to put up arrows on signs around the venue or on tables for guests to follow.

Once you have all the essential props, backdrop and electronic equipment it’s time to think about the overall aesthetic of your photo booth. A beautiful backdrop and props that match your theme will really help to set the mood and encourage people to get involved in the photos. If you’re going for a vintage or rustic theme, try adding a wooden wall or bamboo furniture. This works particularly well with a barn or farm theme.


The lighting for a photo booth is key. It needs to be bright enough for people to take pictures but not so bright that it causes unflattering shadows or creates color casts on your guests. For this reason, it’s best to use a flash or studio light that’s controllable and has a high maximum brightness. This type of light is more expensive than regular lights but it’s worth the investment if you want your photos to turn out well.

If you’re on a budget, you can still achieve great photos with an affordable camera and a simple backdrop. A point-and-shoot camera will work just fine, as will a phone or tablet with a camera app that allows you to remotely trigger the shutter. You’ll also need a tripod to hold the camera steady. You can get a simple one that will attach to the camera with a cable or you can buy a stand that works wirelessly. You’ll also need a remote shutter release (available online or at camera shops) that lets your guests take their own photos without needing you to be there.

Photo props add a fun and goofy element to your photos and can really help you create some memorable images. Whether you’re going for retro with giant frames or Polaroid style, or a romantic theme with a chalkboard or flower wall, the possibilities are endless. You can even add a touch of nature with bamboo screen and furniture to give your guests a rustic and stylish setting.

While lighting is important, you’ll want your backdrop to provide the perfect frame for your guests’ goofy poses and expressions. You can build your own bespoke background or purchase a pre-designed one to fit your theme.

Backdrop decorations are a fantastic way to add color and texture to your photos and can elevate them into new worlds. Hanging fairy lights are a must-have, and you can customize them with sheer fabric or pretty garlands. You can also use rope lights that are shaped into letters for a fun and unique backdrop or even add some neon sculptures to your design.


A DSLR camera would be ideal as it gives you a lot of control over settings, but if your budget doesn’t allow for it, a smartphone with a good camera app is still a great option. Choose one that has a remote-controlled shutter or a timer function so you can be enjoying the event rather than being stuck behind a camera!

Once you’ve sorted out your camera, it’s time to think about the backdrop. Backdrops can either be a standard printed fabric or a more creative display that enhances the photos. You can use a variety of materials such as paper, glitter streamers or even flowers to create a custom backdrop that fits the theme of your event.

You should also decide what kind of lens you will need. A wide angle lens is best for photo booths, allowing more people to fit into the frame. If you are planning on printing large images, a lens with a slow aperture is more suitable, as this allows for a greater depth of field.

Another important consideration is lighting. Make sure your photo booth is well-lit so your guests can see where it is and don’t end up with blurred or darkened pictures. If you’re hosting a wedding, ask the venue owner or coordinator about the best place to set up your wedding photo booth. They’ll be able to recommend an area that has worked well in the past.

A DIY photo booth is a great idea for any event, whether it’s a party or a wedding. It’s an excellent way to give your guests a memorable experience and provide them with a keepsake that they can look back on in years to come. Just remember to keep the props and backdrop consistent with the event’s theme, so you can ensure that your photos are of high quality. And, don’t forget to encourage your guests to share their photos online using a hashtag so they can be seen by everyone! That way, they can relive the joy and laughter of your special day forever.


Unlike a professional photo booth, where a photographer sets up and handles the lighting, with DIY you’ll need to set up your backdrop and a light source. You’ll also need a place to store props and your computer or printer if you’re using one. A small tent or a table is also helpful for keeping your setup out of the way.

The backdrop is where you really have the most fun with your DIY booth. Instead of buying a simple fabric backdrop, use your creativity to design something that enhances your event’s theme or creates an eye-catching focal point for photos. For example, if you’re hosting a tropical wedding, a palm leaf wall will look perfect or for a garden party a flower wall is a great option.

A brick wall is a simple and affordable option that can provide some added texture to your photos. Adding a few flowers, some fairy lights or repurposing a piece of furniture can bring your backdrop to life.

If you want your photos to be more flattering, you can also use a photography umbrella, which is available online or from camera supply stores, and diffuses the light for an even more flattering glow on your friends’ faces. It’s also a good idea to do a test shoot with your backdrop and equipment before the event starts. This will ensure that you have the right amount of space for your setup and that your backdrop is the correct size to frame your guests waist up in their photos.

You can also take your backdrop to the next level by creating a balloon wall. You’ll need a lot of balloons and some blowing power to make this a statement backdrop or you can opt for a monochrome look with a single color of balloons.

Another easy way to add some extra texture is with a scrapbook paper backdrop. Using paper that matches your event’s colors or that can be easily found at your local craft store is a budget friendly way to give your photo booth a personalized touch. You can also use tissue paper for a whimsical backdrop.

Rebecca Alderson
Rebecca follows and writes about the latest news and trends surrounding crypto currency. She's currently investing in BTC and ETH.