Photo booths are an incredibly fun and interactive way to capture unforgettable memories with friends and loved ones at parties, weddings, and various events. They provide a unique opportunity for guests to let loose, unleash their creativity, and create lasting mementos to cherish. However, renting a professional photo booth can often be costly and time-consuming, requiring extensive setup and coordination.
With a DIY photo booth, the possibilities are endless. Whether it’s a themed birthday party, a lively wedding reception, or a festive holiday gathering, having a self-made photo booth adds an extra element of entertainment and excitement. Guests can strike a pose, capture hilarious and heartwarming moments, and instantly print or share their photos, creating cherished keepsakes that will be treasured for years to come.
So, why settle for a standard photo booth when you can unleash your creativity and create a personalized experience that reflects your unique style and personality? Dive into the world of DIY photo booths with a Raspberry Pi and embark on a fun-filled journey of capturing magical memories and creating unforgettable experiences. Let your imagination run wild and watch as your homemade photo booth becomes the life of the party, leaving everyone with smiles and memories to last a lifetime.
What You Need
To make a photo booth with a Raspberry Pi, you will need the following materials:
- To set up your Raspberry Pi camera project, you will need the following components:
- A Raspberry Pi (any model will work) that serves as the brain of your camera.
- A camera module compatible with the Raspberry Pi, allowing you to capture high-quality images.
- An LCD screen for display, providing a convenient way to preview and review your photos.
- A push-button or touch screen for taking photos, ensuring a user-friendly interaction with your camera.
- A printer (optional) to print out physical copies of your captured moments.
- Photo paper and ink cartridges (if using a printer), ensuring you have the necessary supplies to bring your photos to life.
The camera module compatible with the Raspberry Pi allows you to take high-quality photos with your mini-computer. The LCD screen serves as the display for the booth, allowing guests to see themselves before taking photos. A push-button or touch screen will act as the trigger for taking photos, providing a seamless and user-friendly experience.
If you want to print out photos instantly, you will need a printer and photo paper with ink cartridges. However, this is optional as you can also choose to share the digital copies of the photos instead. 
Step 1: Mechanical Setup
The first step in creating a photo booth with a Raspberry Pi is the mechanical setup. This involves assembling the physical parts of the photo booth to create a functional structure.
- Begin by setting up your Raspberry Pi and connecting it to your camera module, LCD screen, and touch screen or push-button according to their respective specifications.
- Build or purchase a frame for your photo booth, ensuring it is sturdy and has enough space to accommodate all the components. You can also use a cardboard box or a wooden frame as an alternative.
- Mount the Raspberry Pi, camera module, and LCD screen onto the frame using screws or adhesive.
- Place the push-button or touch screen in a convenient location for guests to take photos easily.
- If using a printer, set it up and connect it to the Raspberry Pi. 
Once you have completed these steps, your photo booth will be all set up and ready for the next step.
Step 2: Run Raspi-config for Initial Setup
After the mechanical setup is complete, you will need to perform initial software setup on the Raspberry Pi. This includes setting up the operating system and configuring your camera module.
- Insert the SD card with the Raspbian OS into your Raspberry Pi and power it up.
- Once powered on, go through the initial configuration process by entering relevant information such as your preferred language and Wi-Fi network.
- After the configuration is complete, open the terminal on your Raspberry Pi and run the following command:
- This will open the Raspi-config menu where you can change various system settings.
- Select “Interfacing options” and enable the camera interface, which will allow your Raspberry Pi to communicate with the camera module.
- Save the changes and exit Raspi-config. 
Step 3: Update the Raspbian OS and Install Dependencies
Now that the initial setup is complete, you will need to update the Raspbian OS and install any dependencies required for your photo booth software.
In the terminal, run the following commands:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade -y
- This will ensure that your Raspberry Pi has the latest updates and security patches.
- Next, install the PiCamera library by running the following command:
sudo apt-get install python-picamera
- This will enable your Raspberry Pi to communicate with the camera module and take photos.
- Lastly, if you are planning on using a printer, install any necessary drivers or software for it at this time. 
Step 4: Raspberry Pi Access Point Setup
To create a self-contained photo booth using your Raspberry Pi, you can set it up as an access point. By doing so, your guests will be able to connect to the booth’s Wi-Fi network and access the photo booth software effortlessly.
To begin, open the terminal and run the following command:
sudo apt-get install hostapd dnsmasq
This command will install the required software for setting up the access point on your Raspberry Pi.
Next, you need to configure your Raspberry Pi to act as an access point. You can find detailed instructions on how to do this in the tutorial provided at:
Once you have followed the instructions and configured your Raspberry Pi, don’t forget to reboot it for the changes to take effect. 
Step 5: Activate the Touchscreen or Push-button
The final step before testing the photo booth is to activate the touch screen or push-button for taking photos. Here are the detailed instructions:
- In the terminal, navigate to the directory where you want to store your photos (e.g., Desktop) using the `cd` command.
- Create a new file by running the following command:
sudo nano takepicture.py
This command will open a new blank file in the nano text editor.
Copy and paste the following code into the file:
from time import sleep
camera = picamera.PiCamera()
By following these steps, you will be ready to test the photo booth and start capturing amazing moments! 
Step 6: Compile a New Kernel for Touchscreen-support
If you are using a touchscreen for your photo booth, you will need to compile a new kernel with touchscreen support. This is necessary to ensure that the touch function works correctly and provides a seamless user experience.
To enable touchscreen support on your Raspberry Pi, you can follow this step-by-step tutorial: https://github.com/derekhe/waveshare-7inch-touchscreen-driver. The tutorial provides detailed instructions on how to install and configure the necessary drivers to enable touchscreen functionality.
Once you have completed the tutorial and installed the required drivers, it is important to reboot your Raspberry Pi for the changes to take effect. This will ensure that the touchscreen is properly recognized and integrated into your photo booth setup.
By following these steps and enabling touchscreen support, you can enhance the usability and interactivity of your photo booth, providing an enjoyable experience for your users. 
Step 7: Install Webserver and Photo Booth Software
The final step in creating a photo booth with a Raspberry Pi is to install the webserver and photo booth software.
Begin by installing Apache, PHP, and MySQL on your Raspberry Pi using the following command:
sudo apt-get install apache2 php mysql-server -y
- Next, download and install the photo booth software. There are various options available, but popular choices include Simple Photo Booth (https://github.com/SimplePhotoBooth/SimplePhotoBooth) or Pi Photobooth (https://github.com/gdombiak/pi-photobooth).
- Follow the instructions provided by the software developers to properly install and configure the photo booth software.
- Once installed, your photo booth is now ready to use! Guests can connect to the Raspberry Pi’s access point and access the web-based photo booth software to take photos and print or save them. 
Step 8: Install Camera and Python Modules
Before you can start using your photo booth, it is crucial to properly set up the necessary camera and Python modules. Here are the steps to follow:
- In the terminal, navigate to the directory where you have saved the “takepicture.py” file that you created in Step 5. This file will enable your photo booth to capture images.
- To ensure that the script can be executed, run the following command in the terminal:
sudo chmod +x takepicture.py
This command grants the necessary permissions for the execution of the script.
Next, you need to install a couple of Python modules that are essential for the proper functioning of your photo booth. Run the following commands in the terminal to install the required modules:
sudo pip install flask
sudo pip install pillow
The “flask” module is used for creating the web application that powers your photo booth, while the “pillow” module is responsible for handling image processing.
Once you have successfully installed these modules, you are now ready to test the functionality of your photo booth. Simply run the “takepicture.py” script, and you will be able to capture photos using your photo booth.
By following these detailed steps, you will ensure that your photo booth is set up correctly and ready to provide hours of fun and memorable moments. Enjoy capturing those special memories! 
Step 9: Install Qrencode to Generate QR-Codes
If you want to provide your guests with a convenient digital version of their photos, you can utilize QR codes. These codes serve as a quick and easy way to grant access to the online gallery or enable them to download the images from the photo booth.
To begin, you will need to install Qrencode by running the following command in your terminal:
sudo apt-get install qrencode
Once the installation is complete, you can generate a QR code specific to your online gallery or photo download link by executing the following command:
qrencode -o output.png “Your URL goes here”
By running this command, a QR code image will be generated and saved in the current directory, ready to be shared with your guests.
Step 10: Add a RTC to Your Raspi
To ensure that the time and date on your photo booth are accurate, you can add a Real-Time Clock (RTC) to your Raspberry Pi. This will prevent any issues with incorrect timestamps on photos.
In the terminal, run the following command to install necessary software:
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y && sudo rpi-update
- Select “Interfacing Options” and then “I2C” to enable the I2C interface.
- Reboot your Raspberry Pi for the changes to take effect.
- Once rebooted, run the following command to install additional software:
sudo apt-get -y install python-smbus i2c-tools
- Next, connect your RTC to the Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Finally, follow this tutorial (https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=82373) for setting up and configuring the RTC on your Raspberry Pi. 
Step 11: Get the Photobooth-software to Automatically Start on Boot
To make your photo booth more user-friendly, you can configure it to automatically start the photobooth software when the Raspberry Pi is turned on. Here’s how you can do it:
- Open the terminal on your Raspberry Pi.
- Run the following command to open the `rc.local` file in the nano text editor:
sudo nano /etc/rc.local
- This command will open a file in the nano text editor, where you can make the necessary changes.
- Scroll down to the end of the file, just before the line `exit 0`.
- Add the following line to the file, which will execute the `takepicture.py` script:
python /home/pi/takepicture.py &
- Save the changes by pressing `Ctrl + X`, then `Y`, and finally `Enter` to confirm the filename.
- Reboot your Raspberry Pi for the changes to take effect.
By following these steps, your photo booth will automatically start the photobooth software every time the Raspberry Pi is turned on, providing a seamless user experience. 
Step 12: Setup and Use Your Photo Booth
Congratulations! Your photo booth with Raspberry Pi is now ready to use. Follow these simple steps to start taking photos:
- Connect your Raspberry Pi to a power source and turn it on.
- Wait for the Raspberry Pi’s access point to appear (e.g., “raspberrypi”).
- Connect your device (smartphone, tablet, laptop) to the access point.
- Open a web browser and type in the following address:
- This will open the photo booth software’s interface.
- Follow the on-screen prompts to take photos, print or save them, and generate QR codes.
Now you are all set to enjoy your own DIY photo booth with a Raspberry Pi. 
Step 13: Add Artificial Light to the Photobooth
For better photo quality and optimal lighting, consider incorporating artificial light sources into your photobooth setup. There are various options available, such as LED ring lights, softboxes, or even do-it-yourself solutions like utilizing white Christmas lights. When positioning the lights, it’s crucial to find the right balance that provides sufficient illumination without causing any unwanted glare on the captured photos. Taking these factors into account will help you achieve stunning results and create a memorable photobooth experience for your guests. 
How to create your own photo booth?
Creating a photo booth using a Raspberry Pi is an excellent option for those looking to build their own DIY setup. The steps involved include configuring the Raspberry Pi, connecting a camera, installing necessary software, and setting up the photobooth interface. With some technical knowledge and patience, you can have your personalized photo booth up and running in no time!
What can I use for a homemade photo booth?
You can use a variety of materials and tools to create a homemade photo booth, such as cardboard, fabric, props, camera equipment, lights, and various software. The options are endless; get creative and have fun with it!
Is Simple Booth free?
Yes, Simple Booth offers a free trial for their software. However, to access all features and remove watermarks from photos, a paid subscription is required.
Is there a free photo booth app?
Yes, there are several free photo booth apps available for download on both Android and iOS devices. Some popular options include Simple Booth, Party PhotoBooth, and Pocketbooth.
How much does LumaBooth cost?
The pricing for LumaBooth varies depending on the type of subscription chosen. The basic plan starts at $9.99 per month, while the premium and ultimate plans cost $19.99 and $29.99 per month, respectively.
Why did Apple get rid of photo booth?
Apple discontinued the use of Photo Booth on their newer Mac models, as it was replaced with the built-in camera application. However, Photo Booth is still available for download on older Macs and through third-party software providers.
Which app is best for a 360 photo booth?
There are several apps available for creating a 360 photo booth, such as Spinshot, Capture 360, and Panorama. It ultimately depends on personal preference and the features offered by each app.
How much will a photo booth cost?
The cost of a photo booth can vary greatly depending on the type of setup, equipment, and software used. A DIY photo booth with Raspberry Pi can be built for under $100, while renting a professional photo booth for an event can cost anywhere from $400 to $1500.
Useful Video: Make Your Own Raspberry Pi 4 Photobooth!
In this tutorial, we have discussed the steps involved in creating a photo booth using a Raspberry Pi. By following these simple instructions, you can build your personalized photo booth and add a fun element to any event or gathering. With the ability to customize and enhance your photo booth with additional features, you can create an unforgettable experience for yourself and your guests. So get started on your DIY photo booth project today and let the memories begin! The possibilities are endless, using different props and lighting techniques to create unique photos. Have fun experimenting, and don’t forget to share your creations with us. Happy clicking! Happy creating! Let the photo booths continue. Happy snapping, printing, sharing and reminiscing.