Are you looking to build a portable DIY photobooth? Not sure whether you should build or buy? Here we look at what you need to build a photobooth as well as some of the pluses and minuses of building your own DIY photobooth vs buying either a frame or full ready to go system.
Putting together your own photobooth from scratch is no mean feat and involves many hours of planning, material sourcing, light engineering and construction. You also need to ensure the parts you are sourcing are fit for purpose and reliable enough for continued use out in the venues.
More on those points later in this post. First lets look at all the items your booth will need to include:
The Frame – Here you have to consider strength, weight, portability and flexibility, especially this point if you want a booth with a bit of design to it where you will need to shape some of the sections. It is likely that your material of choice will be an aluminium extrusion.
However you need to be careful that it is not just the cheapest hollow extrusion you can buy. Our engineers have spent the last 3 years testing and perfecting the internal and external design of the extrusions used to manufacture our photobooth frames to provide the right balance of weight, strength and flexibility.
The Connectors – Unless you have a large van and are intending to transport your DIY photobooth in one or two sections you will likely be looking at a build that involves connecting your various sections of aluminium framework together. Now there are some connector systems on the market designed primarily for the exhibition market that others have used in their booths.
However being designed primarily for the exhibition market they would not normally see a great frequency of use compared to a photo booth which could be set-up and taken-down every few days or so and even more frequently at weekends. You will need to ensure you source a connector system that is robust enough to cope with such frequent use.
Skins & Panels – Starting with the skins the key factor here is the flexibility. There are two main materials used for skins across the market and these are HIPS and PVC. Both have their good and bad points. What you need to ensure is that you get the right material in the right thickness to be flexible enough to bend round any curved sections of your booth frame both without cracking and also flexible enough not to spring back off the frame work.
The main consideration for the flat panels used on many booths is weight and rigidity as they provide additional strength and sturdiness to the booth construction to prevent it collapsing during use.
Most of these flat panels will be made of a composite sandwich of aluminium and plastic to provide just the right amount of strength without being too heavy. If you were to used solid metal panels this would add significantly to the weight of the booth and make it difficult to carry up and down stairs at venues.
The other panels you will need to source and build into you design will be the perspex lighting panels. You will need to ensure the size, positioning and opaqueness of these panels is correct to provide the ideal amount of light into your DIY photobooth for the best photo exposure.
I hope this has helped highlight some of the things you will need to consider when designing and building your DIY photobooth. In part 2 I will detail the photographic and electrical equipment needed to kit out your booth, followed by the software requirements in part 3.
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If you want to find out more about any of the items mentioned above simply visit our sister site Photoboothlabs.com where you can review and even purchase many of the parts required to build your DIY photobooth.