Photo Booth Glossary


Backdrop: Not to be confused with the wedding decoration, this is traditionally a coloured, painted or printed cloth which is hung in front of the camera and behind the wedding guests being photographed. Usually, a number of backdrops are available, and you can choose the one you’d like. However, modern technology allows the use of green screens which are versatile and allow you to have any pattern, design, picture, image or cartoon displayed behind the photographed guests, so you can have a lot of fun with your pictures.

Batteries: Here, chemical energy is converted into electrivcity and used as a source of power for the cameras (along with thousands of other household items). Ensure you have charged the batteries of any photographic equipment. If you use the item regularly, charge it the night before. If you rarely use it or have hired it especially for the event you can charge it sooner and leave it turned off to ensure it’s fully prepared for your big day. Rechargeable batteries are handy as you can bring along your charging unit along with your other chargers (See below).

Booth: This is the physical structure containing the camera, equipment, photography area and backdrop. Sometimes this may be a tent or a gazebo for outdoor weddings, or it may simply be an area of a room if you’re opting for an open air or DIY booth (see below). If you’re hiring a photo booth, this will usually be a large rectangular shape that is portable. Check with your venue before booking a booth, as they may not be able to accommodate you and your needs.

Many photo booth companies have provided big brands with the option to personalise their photo booths by adding their logo, brand or current advertising scheme on the sides. This has been so successful that many of these companies will provide the same service for your wedding photo booth, so your booth can be designed by you personally. Discover online and make comparisons to find the best deal for your budget.

Camera: This is the device used to record the photographs. Modern technology has made it possible to take high quality pictures on smartphones, cheap digital cameras, laptops, webcams and tablets – if you have a professional photography camera, that’s brilliant. You can rent them for your wedding day, though you may want to hire a professional photographer with the booth as they can utilise the technical aspects of such a camera. However, this is entirely up to you – there are plenty of options out there.

Charger(s): It is vital to bring any chargers for your laptop, camera tablet or smartphone for your DIY photo booth as and where required. Ideally, you will have already checked that your venue has conveniently placed plugs (or you’ve brought extension leads to compensate) so that such equipment doesn’t lose its battery at a vital moment.

Chemical photo booth: This is an increasingly rare form of photo booth, but they can still be hired from some vendors. The chemical photography process is much slower, the equipment is heavier and the wait for the photographs is longer than with a digital photo booth; this is why such booths are becoming rare. However, it is available for a reason, as many people enjoy the process and the pictures produced by the chemical booths (which lack the digital quality of modern photos, but offer a beautiful, nostalgic throwback). It could serve as a beautiful addition to for a retro fancy dress themed wedding, or a wonderful surprise for a groom who’s mad about old-fashioned photography techniques.

Chimping: This is a lovely piece of photography slang, which describes the crowds of guests you’ll inevitably have swarming around the camera. This term arose from the noise of photographers peering at the pictures on a digital camera and saying ‘ooh’ with delight, like a chimp! This is perfectly understandable, and your hired professional should accommodate. They may provide an extra screen just for viewing the images for this reason. If you’re creating your own photo booth, you may want to prepare for this yourself. You can either set up a viewing system, which can be as simple as a queue, but a much more fun idea is to use your computer or laptop to use as an alternate screen. You can even use computer software to create a slideshow of the images over the day so guests aren’t waiting around.

Costumes: A quick and easy way to provide a fun atmosphere in the photo booth, having a range of costumes available for your guests will liven up any picture and give your guests a laugh. Costumes could include Star Trek suits for sci-fi fans, a pirate hat, cowboy jackets, rainbow wigs, sailor outfits, a top hat or silly glasses, anything that’s bright and fun that you can think of! They can be bought and hired cheaply in advance. It’s a great idea because little details like this can really make your wedding day memorable.

Crazy Booth: This refers to open-air booths that allow room for tens of guests, and incorporates the equipment of a professional photography studio with the portability of a digital photo booth. Most of the photographic elements remain the same as with other digital booths, apart from the extra lighting equipment, high quality handheld camera and the large open space required. A backdrop, costumes and props may also be provided (see above and below for more details on each of these items). This type of photo booth is an ideal model for your DIY photo booth (see below).

Digital photo booth: The vast majority of modern photo booths are digital, allowing for high quality, quick print outs and high numbers of pictures being printed over your wedding day. Your guests can print out the pictures for themselves and receive them in an email after the reception, and you’ll get to have a copy of every single one too. They are immensely popular, portable and increasingly inventive in terms of matching your bridal needs and desires.

DIY photo booth: Brides can easily and affordably create their own photo booths with a few essentials. A backdrop (see above), a camera (see above for the various types of cameras available) and space are the main requirements. If you’re outdoors you may need a tent, if you’re indoors you’ll need extra room. Using the technology you probably already have in your home, you can create photographs that’ll you treasure forever without breaking the bank.

Gazebo: A structure, usually erected outside, to house your photo booth in. Ensure the entrance can be sealed in case of unfortunate weather.

Memory Booth: This is another name for a Crazy Booth (see above).

Open air photo booth: This is photo booth minus the actual booth: in other words, you have a sturdy structure in which the camera is placed. This essentially means that all you need is a stable, flat surface for it to stand on whether you’re indoors or outdoors, though you could always opt for additional backdrops. With these essentials, you can hire this handy, portable device nearly anywhere. You may also want to hire an instant printer with this booth if it isn’t provided; you can opt for an inventive printing option, such as one add-on which allows your recorded videos to be transformed and printed instantly into flipbooks! It can record pictures containing approximately 10 to 30 guests.

 Props: Sometimes these will be provided with hired photo booths or they’ll be available as an add-on. If this isn’t for you, you could have fun choosing your own props for guests to use in their photographs, and will ideally match the clothes in your costume box, if you’re having one of those too.

Rechargable batteries: Also known as a ‘storage battery’ or ‘accumulator’. Here, electrochemical reactions are chemically reversible, allowing the same battery to be charged and used multiple times over.

Rental time: This refers to the hourly cost of the photo booth. Sometimes you can hire one for a set rate over one or more days, but they are usually charged at hourly rates. Many companies offer the opportunity to have idle time (usually when the wedding party is in the ceremony or at dinner) before and during the wedding day, though you may have to pay more.

Set-up time: This is how long the company’s representatives will require to arrange all of the equipment, ready for you and your guests to enjoy. This will vary with every booth; discuss it with your company if you’re bringing in professionals. If you’re setting up your own photo booth you can do a dry run in the months beforehand to see how long it will take. You can always ask a trusted loved one to take on this job on the day of the wedding.

Slow motion photo booth:
These innovative new machines can not only record high quality images, but extremely high quality footage of you and your guests in slow motion. The camera can record at 50 frames per second, whereas the human eye can only see 24fps. This can create some beautiful footage, whether it’s your guests dancing with joy or you and your groom sharing a kiss. This is not a cheap option, but it is a simply fantastic way to record your special day.

Tripod: This is a three legged stand (hence the word ‘tri’) on which the camera rests stably. This is a standard piece of photography and cinematography equipment, as it is necessary for the camera to be balanced and held in place. If you’re creating a DIY photo booth you can use a table as long as you’re certain it’s stable and secure.

Video confessional booth: These are very similar to standard booths but they are usually designed in the style of the Big Brother diary room – a self-contained, often soundproof booth for one or more guests to use at a time. It’s designed so they can leave messages for the happy couple, and they can be used to replace or enhance your guestbook. You could even have one virtual and one physical guestbook to remember your day with. Video confessional booths are often available as an add-on to many wedding photo booths. This is possible because most modern cameras can cope with video and still footage alike (even personal gadgets such as smartphones and tablets, which can be used for DIY video confessional booths).