We knew we couldn't afford the cost of a professional photobooth. However, we wanted to have something similar, both as entertainment for our guests and so that we would have photos of all of our guests for our guestbook. Fortunately, a friend volunteered to bring appropriate lighting and to take the digital pictures, so we didn't have to worry about setting up a system for photos to be taken automatically.
The system we set up had four components. First, there was a backdrop, which we made. Second, we had a series of silly props for guests to use. Third, we had a guest book, made by a friend. Finally, we had an instant photo printer bought on Craigslist. The intent was to have one copy printed out and inserted into guest favors (bookmarks, photo frames, or calendars with a spot for a photo to be inserted). A second copy would go into the guestbook beside each guest's signature.
The one part of this that did not work out was the printing. The printer malfunctioned. However, we were still able to get the photos, print them out later for use in the guestbook, and post them on our photo sharing site for our guests.
To add to the fun of the photobooth, we provided a variety of props:
Most of the props were bought at Dollar Tree or a party store. However, NotFroofy made the thought bubble and speech bubble. The basic shape was cut out of a piece of foam core. She then cut out a piece from a self-stick dry erase rollResources for Reading, the same size as the foam core, and stuck it on. She used paint markers to outline the edges so they would be easier to see in photos.
We also made the mustaches on a stick ourselves. We got a bunch of stick-on fake mustaches. We cut out a piece of cardboard in the shape of each mustache. We stapled each cardboard to a long straw, and then glued on the corresponding fake mustache.
Our first thought was that we would just use a large sheet taped to the wall for background. However, because it turned out that our venue will not allow us to tape anything to the walls, we had to come up with a backdrop stand. This one was inexpensive and simple to make.
The photo backdrop stand I made was adapted from the instructions at this link. All of the materials except for the cane tips came from Lowe's:
The two PVC pipes are the frame legs, and the closet hanger rod is the top piece. You use the T connectors to hook these three things together.
Here is the finished stand, leaning up against the side of my house. As you can see, even on uneven ground, you can simply adjust the angle of the legs to make the top horizontal. You can then tape a sheet or piece of material to the top rod to use as a backdrop.
We had one sign directing guests to the photo area, and another sign for the props. Both were created in exactly the same way as our "Closed" signs, but in a larger size. We also managed to find a larger size of gold chipboard letters on eBay.