Upgrade a DIY Photo Booth with Tethered Shooting

Upgrade a DIY Photo Booth with Tethered Shooting

Sonia Zjawinski
Feb 9, 2010

Having our very own photo booth is something we've wanted ever since we saw Dave Navarro's vintage booth in a very old episode of Cribs. Home Hacks shows us that it doesn't take much money or muscle to build your very own, but here's how we would upgrade it.

What You Need

What to Do

My favorite part of a traditional photo booth is that after a few minutes of waiting for the film to develop you have something to show off to your friends. While Priya, Jandra, and Ruella got the DIY photo booth just right, their set-up requires people to wait until the camera's photos are uploaded to a computer before they can be shared. Not so great for those of us that need immediate gratification.

One way to speed up the sharing process is to set up tethered shooting. Most dSLRs and some compact digital cameras have the ability to take photos while connected to a computer. As a result, just snapped images automatically upload to the computer's hard drive and are displayed on the computer's screen.

The idea here would be that the digital camera inside the booth would be tethered to a Mac Mini running either the camera's bundled tethered shooting software or Aperture 2 (or the new Aperture 3) which supports tethered shooting. As people snap photos of themselves in the booth, the photos appear on an inexpensive LCD hung on the exterior of the booth.

Partygoers waiting to take their own portraits would be able to look at the photos being taken or flip through the night's highlights without having to wait for the host to upload the photos themselves.

For cameras that don't support tethered shooting there's EyeFi. This wireless memory card uses your home's WiFi network to automatically upload photos to your computer as you take them. You select where the photos are uploaded, but will have to figure out how to create an automatic slideshow on your own. You could easily do this by creating an Automator workflow on the Mac Mini.

Since we're not PC aficionados we won't attempt to explain how this can be done with a Windows machine, but we're hoping our fellow Unplggd readers will share their PC solution.

(Image: top, Priya, Jandra, and Ruella; collage, Apple and EyeFi)

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