So after several requests from wedding clients I've just started introducing a photo booth setup at my weddings. Although my current setup is working very well so far, I have a bunch of questions for those who have experience running booths at weddings.
First, my setup:
-a 5'x6' collapsible backdrop on a stand--fairly neutral in color.
-a desktop computer with a 40" LCD television displaying the previous photo taken (shot takes about 5 seconds to show up)
-I'm running lightroom and capturing RAW via a tethered session. All files are saved to a folder on the hard drive
-a 30D connected via usb, on a tripod
-a flashzebra sync cable connecting to a 430ex flash + umbrella, placed about 45-degrees off-axis and above eye level
-yongnuo 602s triggering the shutter wirelessly with timer mode set on the camera and 'mirror lockup' enabled for a 2-second timer
-I set up so that a wall (sort of opposite the flash) is serving to add fill
-edit: I almost forgot. I also have an assemblage of costume items (moustache on a stick, bowler cap, wedding veil, wigs, masquerade masks, waldo glasses etc.)
Here are some of the questions that have come up during the course of my first couple of times out with this setup:
1) I'm using the 30D mainly because I can't make my 5d connect in the appropriate way to my windows 7 computer. Is there a workaround to get my 5d to connect ?
2) So far I'm babysitting the booth and helping the guests get lined up and in the shot; and I'm pressing the shutter (via wireless trigger), but I was considering allowing guests to handle this. The upside is perhaps more dynamic photos, more people using the booth. The downside includes: 1) possible misuse of equipment 2) malfunctioning equipment leading to frustration for the guests (especially if I'm off shooting something else) 3) possibility that guests will lose or walk away with the wireless piece etc. Any thoughts ?
3) Relevant to (2), If I'm also simultaneously shooting other aspects of the wedding while, say, an assistant monitors the booth, what should I be thinking about in terms of charging for the booth per se ? Thus far I have set up the booth at the end of regular shooting, babysat the booth and charged my normal per/hour rate ($200/hour); but this is obviously not a very good use of my time and I'm sure my clients would like the option to have my working at the same time.
4) Do any of you have issues with the idea of using a basic speedlight for this ? The 2-second timer on the camera as well as the slight delay before the image shows on the screen results in zero issues regarding flash recycle. I'm also generally at no more than 1/4 - 1/2 anyway. Also, do any of you run 2-light setups ?
5) The ideal orientation for one shot might not be the ideal one for the next. But do most of you leave your camera in portrait orientation or landscape ? If you're monitoring the camera, do you rotate it on a per shot basis ?
6) I placed a rectangle of tape (about 4' wide, 1' deep) on the floor about 2 feet from the backdrop so that the guests had an idea where they should stand. Any tips regarding setting that up ?
7) How many of you employ signage (e.g. a concise, charming numbered list) to help guests know what do ?
8) Other than alcohol, how do you encourage guests to be dynamic for the photo booth rather than donning their costume and then holding still in their selected pose ? Perhaps giving them more control of when the shutter is pushed would help this..
9) I have no interest in offering prints on-site, but I'd love to be able to offer at least a little instant gratification for guests before the evening is done. I've thought about designating the last 20 minutes to having the monitor show a slideshow of the photos taken. The downside to this obviously is that it basically means no working photobooth for that time.
10) What about leaving cards on the table so that guests can download their image from my site ? It seems like a fabulous marketing opportunity to me if not done heavy-handedly.