Thursday, August 20, 2009

DIY: Wedding Photo Booth - Upgrade

I was inspired by a blog which was written by David Cline that has been getting a lot of attention on the net and bridal forums, even Digg.com. Basically, he created a makeshift photo booth using a Macbook, the built-in web cam, and Automator software for his sister's wedding. This was a much more economical solution than renting a real photo booth for thousands of dollars. This was very innovative thinking and was a big hit at the wedding by the looks of the video. I had never used automator before and rarely use my mac, but thought I would try and re-create the magic. His solution also printed out a souvenir for the wedding guests as a photo strip, while keeping the originals stored on the computer. I thought, why not see if Automator can interface with an external camera, so that you'd get better image results for the Bride and Groom, not just average shots from the built in iSight camera. Sure enough, I plugged in my Canon G9, and was able to initiate shapshots from within Automator in a similar fashion to David's original idea. Now, there are differences. You don't get the fancy 3 second countdown that the buddy image application gives you, but I was able to use the text to speech function to have the computer say the person's name, followed by "Say Cheese!" The other big difference in my work-flow, is that once the pictures have been taken, and a printout is complete, the images show up in a slide show on an external monitor. Currently, I'm using PhotoPresentor which also has it's own Automator actions, to display the slide show on the secondary monitor. The plan is to have a slide show at the reception that has a number of pictures from the ceremony earlier that day, and any of the images that were also taken with the Photo booth during the reception. I'm thinking that for people who were not able to make it to the ceremony, this is a way to see some of the better shots from the wedding, and also instant gratification and hopefully some laughs for the folks who utilize the photo booth. If the Bride and Groom agree, I'd like to bring a 37" LCD to set up as the secondary monitor. The macbook will be performing double duty, as the engine for the Photobooth and the slide show. The Canon G9 is a perfect photo booth camera as well, because it captures really nice 12 Megapixel images. Much better than the built in camera on the macbook. It also has the ability to utilize the internal or potentially even external flash, which you wouldn't be able to get from the built in web cam. I've got one day of Macintosh Automator programming under my belt, and think that I'll end up using the mac for a lot more things now that I understand it's capabilities.

Please visit David Cline's blog, and donate to get a copy of his automator workflow.

3 comments:

  1. can you explain how do to this " is that once the pictures have been taken, and a printout is complete, the images show up in a slide show on an external monitor"?

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  2. this is awesome. we also did a photo booth at our wedding and made our own props. the guest had a great time.

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