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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 15 Sep 2013 (Sunday) 14:05
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Photo booth Q and A.

 
Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Sep 15, 2013 14:05 |  #1

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.


Thanks !



christopher steven b. - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

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slg13
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Sep 17, 2013 09:00 |  #2

I'm curious to see how other peoples' setups compare to yours (I obviously don't have one). Just curious though; why don't you want to do prints on site? I can see how it makes your life easier, but it also seems that brides what the "instant gratification".

Re: card on the table... excellent idea, whether you offer prints or not!




  
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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Sep 17, 2013 09:12 |  #3

^Adding the inclusion of printing on site would only marginally increase my fee but comes with a significant price (buying and maintaining more equipment, which I'd need backups of; schlepping even more gear to a wedding; increased possibility of equipment failure, possible bottleneck of people waiting for photos, more manpower possibly required to run booth etc.).

I use a large television to display the photos taken--the guests only have the wait a few seconds. Their ability to actually see the photo on a screen that quickly seems to mostly satisfy the instant gratification element. I tried a booth last weekend WITHOUT a monitor and it didn't work as well--it played out more like a movie without any climax.

Thanks !



christopher steven b. - Ottawa Wedding Photographer

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Livinthalife
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Sep 17, 2013 09:13 |  #4

I run a "booth" I use dslrbooth (just google it). There are ways for people to trigger the camera themselves as well (like foot switches also on the dslrbooth site). the only issue, is you have to keep an eye on paper and ink :/


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Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
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Sep 17, 2013 16:00 |  #5

I've used a foot switch in a photobooth before and it seemed to work well combined with the 2 second timer.


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Ahtz
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Sep 20, 2013 18:29 |  #6

I run a booth pretty similarly to you. Mine is a little larger backdrop, I use two off camera speedlights in umbrellas using the same triggers as you. I use a 50d tethered to a macbook, connected to a printer which prints 4x6's at about 10 seconds per print. And it's not a $2000 dye sub printer. I charge a fee for the booth, and I hire someone to run it. People love it. Printing is an 'add on.'


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Red ­ Tie ­ Photography
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Sep 20, 2013 19:34 |  #7

The hardest thing for me about printing in the extra backup I would need in order to feel comfortable offering it.


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Ahtz
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Sep 20, 2013 19:58 |  #8

I have a backup printer but my printer was only $100 so it's not a big deal


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m.good
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Sep 20, 2013 20:01 |  #9

For the 5D and Windows 7 questions, If Windows 7 is running in 64 bit the 5D software will not work. You will need to down load virtual desktop from Windows and load in Windows XP to make it run. I had the same problem with my laptop and Windows 7 64 bit. The software for the capture from tethered to camera and computer will not work. Canon did not up date the software for the 5D camera for the new 64 bit computers.


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ShotByTom
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Sep 21, 2013 08:52 |  #10

Ahtz wrote in post #16312903 (external link)
I have a backup printer but my printer was only $100 so it's not a big deal

What printer are you using? I'm having a hard time finding lower priced dye subs that work with Mac.


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Ahtz
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Sep 21, 2013 08:54 |  #11

I don't use a dye sub. Its an Epson ink jet


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ShotByTom
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Sep 21, 2013 18:59 |  #12

Livinthalife wrote in post #16303518 (external link)
I run a "booth" I use dslrbooth (just google it). There are ways for people to trigger the camera themselves as well (like foot switches also on the dslrbooth site). the only issue, is you have to keep an eye on paper and ink :/

have you every had any problems running dslrbooth? The last time we used it, after about 150 prints it started printing lines that looked like a watermark on the photos. They didn't show up in the print folder, just on the print itself.


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ShotByTom
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Sep 21, 2013 19:00 |  #13

Ahtz wrote in post #16313745 (external link)
I don't use a dye sub. Its an Epson ink jet

I used Epson Artisan 837 printers, but they have clogged after a bit of use each time I use them. Which model are you using?


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MFG
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Sep 22, 2013 19:37 |  #14

subscribed.


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Ahtz
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Sep 23, 2013 00:57 |  #15

ShotByTom wrote in post #16314853 (external link)
I used Epson Artisan 837 printers, but they have clogged after a bit of use each time I use them. Which model are you using?

I use a similar model and have never had clogging issues.


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Photo booth Q and A.
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