I'm writing this post because a friend of mine in the non-profit industry asked me where she could buy a cheap photo booth for the events she does throughout the year. She had a very limited budget, so instead of buying one, I told her she could build her own.
Goal: Build a photo booth that will get the job done.
Total estimated cost: $2,410.89
Disclaimer: Our booths are not built this way. I wouldn't recommend this method for anyone trying to start a photo booth business. Our recommendations are what we believe is best to achieve the goal.
Most ready-to-go photo booth starts at $5,000 and can go all the way up to $13,000 based on your preferences. But you can go cheaper if you decided to buy a shell alone then add the component yourself. Just know that getting a shell will cost you at least $1000 to start.
In my friend's case, that was not an option. This being said, let's look at all the 20 components required to build your very own photo booth. We are not worried about aesthetics nor high-end stuff here, only something to get the job done.
For simplicity purpose, most purchase links are on Amazon. I've added more websites options at the end of the article.
1. Camera + Tripod
When buying the camera, you need to think about the additional lens, the carry bag, the memory card, the battery pack, etc. To make your life easier, buy a bundle:
- Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR Camera Bundle with Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens + 2pc SanDisk 32GB Memory Cards + Accessory Kit - Cost: $459.00
- Tripod: ZOMEI 55" Light Weight Aluminum Tripod Flexible Camera Tripod 4s Stand with 1/4 Mount 3-Way PanHead for DSLR EOS Canon Nikon Sony Samsung with Bag-F467 - Cost: $34.99
This is really up to you but I wouldn't recommend anything less than an i5 processor with 8Gb of RAM. The more powerful the better. I wouldn't go too cheap on this one, it's the most important part of your setup. My recommendation below should be okay:
- HP 15-inch Laptop, Intel Core i5-7200U, 8GB RAM, 1TB hard drive, Windows 10 (15-bs030nr, Gray) - Cost: $529.00
3. Flash Unit + Tripod + Umbrella
- Flash Unit: AlienBees™ Flash Unit - Cost: $224.95
- Tripod (From the same retailer as the Flash Unit to save you compatibility headaches): 10' Air-Cushioned Light Stand - $49.95
- Umbrella: Impact White Translucent Umbrella (33") - Cost: $12.98
4. Printer + Printer Bag
5. Printer Media (Paper + Ink)
- Sinfonia 4x6 Print Pack - Cost: $99.00
Note: You'll need a different type of media if you choose to buy a different printer
6. Power and connection cables
- Camera Power (Instead of using your camera battery, use this as it connects your camera to a power source): ACK-E10 AC Power Adapter Charger and DR-E10 DC Coupler Kit for Canon EOS Rebel T3, T5,T6, Kiss X50, Kiss X70,EOS 1100D 1200D 1300D Digital Cameras (Canon LP-E10 Battery Replacement). - Cost: $11.99
- Hot shoe (goes on top of the camera): Pixel e-TTL Flash Hot Shoe Adapter with Extra PC Sync Port for Canon DSLRs and Flashguns - Cost: $10.00
- Sync Cable (connects the Hot shoe to the flash): Foto&Tech 3.5 mm to Male Flash PC Sync Cable 14-Inch Coiled Cord with Screw Lock Suitable for Nikon, Canon, and most DSLR cameras Pocketwizard Miniphone PC1 (1 PC) - Cost: $8.99
- USB Hub (Unless your Computer has three USB ports, you'll need this): Anker 4-Port USB 3.0 Ultra Slim Data Hub for Macbook, Mac Pro / mini, iMac, Surface Pro, XPS, Notebook PC, USB Flash Drives, Mobile HDD, and More - Cost: $9.99
- Power strip (To plug in Computer, Camera, Flash, and Printer): AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip, 790 Joule - Black - Cost: $9.92
- Camera to Computer cable (USB cable to connect the Camera to the Computer): AmazonBasics USB 2.0 Cable - A-Male to Mini-B - 6 Feet (1.8 Meters) - Cost: $5.49
- Extension Cord: Go Green Power GG-13725BK 16/3 25' Heavy Duty Extension Cord, Black - Cost: $10.00
- Keyboard: Rii Mini Wireless 2.4GHz Keyboard with Mouse Touchpad Remote Control, Black (mini X1) - Cost: $14.75
7. Backdrop stand
- Emart Photo Video Studio 10Ft Adjustable Background Stand Backdrop Support System Kit with Carry Bag - Cost: $31.90
You can buy backdrops at any of the following sites:
- dslrBooth Photo Booth Software for Windows - Cost: $159.99
- Other options are Darkroom Booth or Social Booth.
Other purchase sites:
If you need help putting all of these together or have a question, please comment below.