Photo Bomb

When we get all dressed up and fancy without our kids, as in never, I usually try to take at least one photo to remind myself of my youth, and to use as a totally realistic Facebook profile pic.  I know I'm not alone.

So for Adam's birthday party, I got to work making a photo booth, so that everyone could get a pretty shot of themselves dressed up. I didn't have a professional photographer, and I had to combat the nighttime lighting which can be either too dark or stark/artificial, so I had to think through the easiest way to make it work. I thought I'd share some tips for making a photo booth for evening-time soirees. Academy Awards party?

1. Keep the back ground simple. I love the tutorials for hand painted back drops for daytime parties, but at night, either shiny metallic, sequined or lustrous velvet looks best. This is because of lighting, and formality. I layered three party store gold curtains against a white wall for my booth, inexpensive and easy.

2. Lighting.  It cost me $35 to rent two lights, on stands with umbrellas.  I sourced them from my local camera store. Direct the light at chest height so that it will bounce up to the face. If you do not intend to have a dedicated camera, ask for lights that just remain on, without a strobe.

3. Use Instagram.  Here's why: you can create a hashtag, so that everyone at the party can take their own pictures, pictures that they are happy about and want to share.  At the end of the night you have a cache of party photos of everyone looking their best.  Also, no one has to man the camera, and the tripod won't take up any space/get knocked into.  

4. Suggest a pre-selected filter and hashtag.  For Adam's party, I told everyone to use the X-Pro II, because it made the gold pop, and gave a nice complexion.  The pictures look cohesive, like they were taken with the same camera. I assigned the hashtag #adamis40, and voila.

5. Props. Not everyone has to use them, but they do encourage people to have fun. I'm always a fan of glasses and staches on a stick. Here's

my tutorial

from last Valentine's day for making your own.  

And there you have it, party on.