A Slick DIY Self Contained photobooth
Photographer John Nakatsu of K+J Studios operates a photobooth on events. On of the challenges with these kinds of botoh is to make them portable, and easy to set up. John came up with quite a clever solution to make the entire botoh self contained and easy to port without losing quality and fun.
The pictorial below goes through all the steps, so you cna get inspired on creating your own. Here is how he did it:
Here is how it looks like when working
- White ABS sheeting
- Microsoft Surface Pro 1
- USB fans
- USB 3.0 powered hub
- printer – DNP DS40
- various miscellaneous items
- Camera – Canon T3i
Cutting the plywood to size. The box is essentially a custom road case. I used 3/8″ sanded plywood for the sides. The edges are held together with aluminum extrusions. All the road case stuff was purchased through Reliablehardware
We used aluminum throughout to help strengthen the photobooth without adding too much weight. Some 2x4s and a 2×6 attached to some aluminum for stability. This will be the bottom.
I originally planned on having it mounted on a speaker stand. Here we are drilling the holes for the speaker mount. It works, but is kind of a pain to lift everything up onto the stand so I just sit it on a table instead now. I can still mount it, if I ever need to! The stand is meant for large speakers, and can accommodate up to 150lbs
The sides are going up
and the rest of the sides….
Here you can see how the printer snugly fits inside
This is the aluminum U-channel that will be used to hold the Surface.
Holes cut out for the Surface and camera
More holes for the fans and cords
Door hole cut. The box is only assembled temporarily until I put on the ABS sheeting
Added a crossbar for support
Here are some views on the thing assembled:
And an inside view on the cross bars
Here is how the camera is mounted with another crossbar
I have some hooks mounted on the bottom to strap down the printer, which turned out to be unnecessary.
Here is where we got so far
Adding a cable outlet and a fan
Pre drilling holes to attach the wood and ABS to the aluminum case frame
Gluing the ABS sheeting to the plywood
Now the whole thing is starting to come together…
Loctite on the bolts keeps it tight
prettifying the lens and surface holes with aluminum framing
I can slide the Surface into the U-Channel
Here is how the printer door slot looks like
And making sure that the hole is aligned with the printer…
Here is the finished door (and slot) on their hinge.
For the air intake I got a filter to help keep dust out. It just barely didn’t fit inside the fans cover
So of course I sanded the edges down until it fit
Everything installed. Lots of zip ties and velcro
I also got a folding cart to make moving everything a bit easier. The printer is removed for transport since it weighs >30lbs. The other tubs have my props, a hand steamer for the backdrop, the backdrop, the printer, and some other various things. The backdrop and lightstands are in the bag in the front. The Pelicans have my photo and video gear
The booth is running DSLR Remote Pro by Breeze Systems on a Microsoft Surface Pro 1. I chose the Surface Pro since you can get the older models cheap now on eBay.
The software requires a full version of Windows to run, so you can’t use an android tablet or the Surface RT. It also functions as the touch screen with controls for the photobooth. Since it only has one USB 3.0, I have it plugged into a powered USB 3.0 hub (make sure it’s a powered hub!)
To see more of the photobooth in action head over to K+J studios.
Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.