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Photo Booths 101

A disco queen, a superhero, and a unicorn walk into a photo booth … and walk out with snapshots to remember the incredible time they had at YOUR PARTY.

That’s right! Photo booths are one of our absolute favorite ways to make any occasion special. So we’re here to show you just how we make them work so well! We’ll share exactly how we:

  • Select settings at our venues

  • Build our own backgrounds from scratch when needed

  • Create unique props, and we’ll show you where you can find amazing resources to help you do the same

Settings + Backdrops

Selecting your backdrop is crucial, so we’ve pulled together our best tips. In the past, we’ve set up shop in some really unique places, proving that you can work with just about anything. We’ve been in an RV for a grad party, in a daunting warehouse-sized venue, and in the middle of a Macy’s store. The key is establishing the right background, no matter where you are.

So here's how to create the best photo booth backdrop:

  • Use the architecture you already have and build onto it! Think about door frames, bare walls, and landscaping. Make sure to also plan where your contact points are going to be when you add new items to existing elements. For instance, if you’re thinking you might set an outdoor photo booth between two trees, take a good hard look at where and how you could tie off a hanging fabric backdrop.

  • The ideal backdrop space is 8’ x 8’. It will give you the best square crop for iPhones!

  • Don’t forget to think about flooring! A great photo booth can be ruined if you don’t consider what is seen on the floor. Guests love full-body photos to show off their outfits, but the flooring can definitely clash with the backdrop if it is not tied into the design.

  • Take a look at the lighting around the area. Natural light and ambient lighting are best. If you have an overhead light source, make sure the lights are not situated right above the people in your photo booth. It will cast shadows on the faces of your party-goers. Might be cool for your Batman mask, but it will be not-so-flattering on your glamorous flapper girls :)

  • Got your location? Good! Now let’s talk about how to make it unique. If you’re thinking about applying a graphic element to your backdrop, we always recommend installing it to one side or the other so that your guests don’t block it in the shot. Think something like this:

  • Or see these examples of how we've offset other elements to frame the photos:

  • Or, try adding an overall graphic for your backdrop:

  • And for our “Carmichael Lynch Goes Mad” party, we really set the stage with larger-than-life environments. It was so much for us, and so much fun for the party guests!

Props, Props, Props

  • Photo booth props are a dime a dozen. You can find some awesome pre-made, inexpensive options that will do the trick. We have quite a few go-to places:

  • Thrift Stores - Salvation Army, Goodwill, Arc’s Value Village

  • Target (Dollar Section)

  • DollarTree

  • Litin Party Value - Minneapolis

  • Anagram Balloons

  • Andon Balloons

  • Etsy - We LOVE the foldable masks that you can find on here - animals, characters, helmets and hats!

  • If you want to step up your game, you can do something to really play up your party theme like modify what you’ve already purchased or start from scratch.

  • We love anything that your guests can interact with and that solidifies the theme of your event:

  • We also dig props that help to set the stage, whether it be a custom champagne tier, a styled stack of books and props, or a curated Christmas vignette:

  • There are a number of things we love so much we’ve held onto them, and you can find them on our Rentals page! Check out some candleholders and suitcases for background props, and think about some baskets for holding your props!

If you’re like us, you love to capture the best moments of important gatherings. We hope that this inspires you to make your photo booth truly unique and bring your next party to life!

Party on,

The Uncommon Team

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