If you’re looking for unique summer party ideas to take advantage of your outdoor entertainment space, consider adding a DIY photo booth to the festivities. Everybody loves party photos, and a photo booth is a fun way to provide your guests with a keepsake they’ll want to hold on to.


photography lighting equipment in front of a white backdrop

Lighting can make or break a picture, so the first step in designing a successful photo booth is making sure you have a spot with adequate light shining from behind the camera. If your party is outside, just pick a place where the photo background will be hit with sunlight. If your yard lacks direct sunlight or if your party will be indoors, use a room with a lot of natural light, or strategically place lamps in order to brighten up the space.


Polaroid camera with developing photo on red background

Next, designate the photo booth camera. A regular point-and-shoot will work great, but if you’re planning to use one of the many photo booth apps on the market, you’ll need a good smartphone camera. You will also need a tripod if you don’t want to assign someone to do nothing but snap photos during the party. If the camera isn’t equipped with a timed shutter-release feature, you may want to consider using an intervalometer—a shutter-release device that hooks up to your camera and allows you to take photos from somewhere other than behind the lens.


girls pose with props in a dance party photo booth

The photo booth experience just isn’t complete without props, so encourage your guests to strike a pose by having a variety of props on hand. You can use items you already have around the house, or you can design your own photo booth props from anything you want. There are also tons of free, printable props available online.


wedding photo booth backdrop with flowers along the top

If you’re a creative type, making a backdrop for your guests’ pictures may be one of the most fun aspects of setting up a photo booth. It’s best to develop a backdrop that’s in line with the theme of the party, but the possibilities are truly endless. You can create awesome backdrops from practically anything, including ribbons, lace, balloons, flowers, paper, umbrellas, picture frames, books—you name it.

Photo Booth Apps

three scratched film strips

If you’d like your guests’ pictures to be printed like classic photo booth strips, computer or smartphone apps can be used to format them. Some apps can even be set up to take photos at random to allow for candid shots, which is part of the fun of a traditional photo booth.

Now that you have some inspiration for your photo booth, it’s time to get the party started! If you want to freshen up your outdoor space before your party or event, reach out to a local Best Pick that specializes in outdoor living spaces.

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