Setting up a simple photo booth

Whatever the event, set a camera on a tripod and let people have some old-fashioned photo fun with a modern twist

Stuffed away in a notebook, on a shelf somewhere, I have a photo of me, my best friend, her then-boyfriend, and two more friends, taken when we were about 17 years old, squashed into a photo booth in Cambridge city centre, pulling ridiculous faces. It's a sweet memory, and I love knowing that my best friend has a similar photo from the same set, filed away among her papers too.

I'm not really sure if teenagers, or lovers, squeeze themselves into over-priced photo booths for a sequence of keepsake prints any longer. They probably take selfies with their phones instead. But there's something romantic about shoehorning yourself into a confined space and waiting for the timer to tick down for a series of silly images with someone you love. 

Set one up at a party and not only have you created an easy memory-maker, you've just introduced instant fun and silliness to the event. We've already shown people how to set up a scream-activated photo booth, but if strained vocal chords aren't your scene, there is another way to get some more 'traditional' results. 

In essence, you're going to run a really short time-lapse sequence for each series of photo booth prints. 


You'll not need a whole lot of fancy kit, but you will require a few bits and pieces.

Camera settings

You need to start by setting your camera on its tripod, putting it in manual focus, and getting your exposure right. An off-camera flash is useful to ensure consistency. 

You might well want to switch from Raw to JPEG if you're anticipating having a lot of people making use of the photo booth. And if you've set up your lights and exposed accordingly, there shouldn't be too much tweaking required.

Seeing as you're in manual focus, sort that out, too. Use a relatively small aperture to give as much wriggle-room as possible, and then mark the floor so that people know where they need to stand. That's what the gaffer tape's for. Cunning, no?

Time-lapse set-up

With your lighting, exposure, and focus sorted, you'll need to set up the time-lapse kit. Connect your camera to your device running Triggertrap Timelapse Pro using your Triggertrap kit

Then you need to create a time-lapse pre-set in the app. You can create time-lapse pre-sets for just about any scenario when you envisage you might want to record a time-lapse video, but for a photo booth, the guys at Triggertrap recommend a five or ten second delay (it lets your willing victims get into place), an interval of two to five seconds between shots (some reaction time is recommended), and a total of four shots in the sequence.

Press the button

All you need to do then is secure the device running Timelapse Pro somewhere obvious and accessible to anyone using the photo booth, maybe run off some instructions, and then let people press the big red button!

The results?

Yes, that's me with a pokey-out-tongue. Don't tell my mother.