Harry Potter Photobooth Tutorial

Instead of talking about all the food I ate and the shopping I did, Im going to share a tutorial today!!!

Just when you thought I was done with Harry Potter party stuff…I remembered I still need to share how to do your own photobooth!!!  I have to say the photobooth was a great addition to the party and I think everyone had a great time doing it.

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First things first, you need to set up the space.  Make sure you have a blank wall that has enough space in front of it to set up a camera.  I used my office room and the wall where the piano is.  I had a few things to remove (like the piano!) from in front of the wall but all things considered this was the best place for the photobooth.  A couple of things to consider when choosing your wall.

  1. Will the wall be big enough for a group of people to stand in front of
  2. Is there adequate lighting for decent pictures that wont need to rely on the flash
  3. Do you have enough space in front of said wall for your camera set up.
  4. Is this space somewhere you don’t mind people being
  5. Can the things on / in front of your wall be removed to make a clear space

DSC_0003Caitlin makes a great wall model 🙂  Testing the space to see if its wide enough.

If all those items are a go you have found your wall!  Now its time to jazz it up.  You can do all kinds of things to make the wall fancy like hanging string lights, fabric, streamers, etc.  I decided I wanted to keep it relatively simple and use streamers that matched the Hogwarts house colors.  At the time I needed to get the streamers up I had my wisdom teeth removed the day before.  To say I was at 50% strength would be an overstatement.  I enlisted Caitlin’s help because we crafty like that 🙂  Here is the process to putting up the streamers:

  1. Measure out one strand of streamer to desired length.  We measured ours a bit longer to account for the twist and “just in case” length
  2. Use that strand as a measure for all other strands.  We estimated 10 strands per color and you guys…we were dead on!  How often does that happen!  The reason for pre-cutting all the strands is quicker install.  Since one of us would be on a ladder things would move faster if everything was ready to go
  3. If needed—separate streamers into colors.  I had 4 separate piles one for each color.  If you are repeating a pattern its best to lay the colors out in your pattern so you don’t forget it half way through…trust me.
  4. Now you can start putting up the streamers!  Caitlin was on the ladder because someone was on pain meds and we didnt need any accidents.  She taped each strand to the ceiling right next to each other.  We used packing tape instead of regular masking tape just to make sure it held up.
  5. Once all the strands were taped at the top we contemplated whether we were going to do the twist or just leave it.  Caitlin twisted the first couple strands to see how it would look and we decided, yes the twist was the way to go.  To do the twist, since the wall was so high, Caitlin did it in 2 sections.  She made the twist on the top half, taped the back of the streamer to the wall then twisted the second half and taped to the bottom.
  6. Once all the streamers were taped in place we cut off the excess and viola!  A beautiful photobooth backdrop.
  7. DISCLAIMER—this did take about 2 hours.  Maybe because we were talking and not rushing through it or maybe its just a time consuming endeavor, but you have been warned.  I think it was worth the time spent but you  may not.

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Streamers up, now its time to set up the camera.  Before I go into the fancy settings on the camera first you need to set it up.  I have a tripod with a revolving top, which means I can swivel it to take portrait pictures as well as landscape.  My camera screws into the top of the tripod and from there the tripod adjusts so you can swivel the top then locks into place.  Caitlin and I tested it out to see which version was better.  With the size of the wall and the doors where they were we decided portrait was better.  As far as height goes, I just raised the tripod as high as it would go.  Below is us testing it out…dont judge the half swollen face on me or workout attire, we were doing serious work here people!!!

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After a few tests pictures (Im holding something in my hand…remember that for later) it was time to set up the camera. I also zoomed the lens in a little to cut out the doors on either side of the wall.  Im glad I did all this before the party, one less thing to worry about day of!  Ok, now that the camera is on the tripod, the wall is prepped its time to figure out how to actually take the pictures without someone manning the camera.  The following is for a Nikon D5300 but there are probably similar steps on your camera.  Note this is for a semi serious camera, not a point and shoot.

  1. Under the settings menu select shooting menu
  2. Under shooting menu select release mode
  3. from there select quick response remote (remember the thing in my hand, that was a remote, found here)
  4. you are ready to shoot!!!
  5. DISCLAIMER!!!  this setting only saves for a few minutes so if you arent quick enough taking the picture you will have to re-do the setting.  This was the only frustrating part of the whole setup.  I did have instructions for people to fix the setting on their own, but once the drinks were flowing you forget how to work things 🙂

Ok camera is ready, backdrop is ready, whats missing……PROPS!!!!  I have quite a few props for this and they were all a big hit.  Unless otherwise noted I made all the props myself.  Caitlin was a big help with the Have You Seen This Wizard poster because I cant draw/cut/anything in a straight line to save my life.  She totally rocked the poster too.

caitlin crazy wizard

  • Ravenclaw house robs (found here)
  • Sorting hat (found here)
  • Hogwarts scarf (from Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando)
  • Ravenclaw scarf (from Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando)
  • Gryffindor scarf (from Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando)
  • Hedwig (from Michael’s a few years ago, so technically its not actually Hedwig, but I bought it because it reminded me of Hedwig.  That counts right)
  • Have you seen this wizard poster sign
  • Snitches
  • Word bubbles
  • House color ties
  • Harry’s glasses
  • Harry’s Scar
  • The Dark Mark

_DSC1789Shot of the camera setup and all the props.  I thought I took a close up of everything but apparently not.  I was going to share the templates for my homemade photobooth props but apparently my google drive is full…sooooo I have to clear out some space then Ill update with the printables (UPDATEprintable are here!!!).  For the snitches I got foam balls from Hobby and spray painted them gold with gold glitter and attached white feathers spray painted with gold glitter.  They were beautiful and amazing and left a glitter trail everywhere.  My sister-in-law Geri also crocheted some snitches for the party but those we used mostly for a game.

So that friends is how to do an AWESOME photobooth!  There are a bunch of tutorials out there but I had to piece-meal everything together to get what I was looking for.  Maybe this will help you with your photobooth too 🙂

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Side bar—I thought about having the photos printed out as a photo-strip (which there are programs and printers that do that) but I figured that was way more work then was necessary.  If a photobooth is something you would do more than once you may want to look into something like that.  Its a nice touch.  I know I love putting photobooth strips up on my fridge 🙂

CHIME IN!!!  Do you like photobooth’s?  Have you ever done a DIY photobooth before?  Did you do shopping black friday?

 

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Aroon Melane says:

    Hahah this is too cute!

    Like

  2. atkokosplace says:

    Awesome. How fun it must be to play in your house! Hahaha! Well done! 🙂

    Like

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