DIY Photo Booth Lighting: How To Create The Best Setup

Article by BlissLights LLCWed, Feb 10, 21
four teens in front of pink photo backdrop

At holiday celebrations and weddings, you’ve probably enjoyed taking sweet or goofy pictures in professional photo booths. You don’t have to limit these fun pics to big events -- you can just as easily make a photo booth of your own!

If you and your friends love snapping silly pictures, then DIY photo booths are an excellent way to entertain guests without breaking the bank. Keep reading to learn how to create your own DIY photo booth with fun props, dazzling lighting, and top-notch equipment.

How to create a DIY photo booth

When it comes to DIY photo booths, you have full creative freedom to choose your own themes, props, and equipment. That said, you don’t need professional build-outs or accessories to create the perfect photo booth. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Pick a location. Before unpacking all your equipment, take a look around your event space and determine the best location for your photo booth setup. The location you choose should ideally allow the photo booth to be set up against a wall with easy access to electrical outlets, in a wide hallway, or anywhere that is out of the way from the action.
  • Use an appropriate backdrop. There are endless backdrop possibilities for a DIY photo booth. If you’re setting up your photo booth at a party, a backdrop with an exciting and cheerful tone is a great way to get guests hyped for their pictures. You can also use geometric paper cutouts, glitter streamers, or flowers for a unique finish.
  • Get props. Photo booths are meant to be goofy, so no photo booth would be complete without some fun props. Get some oversized glasses, hats or crowns, plastic jewelry, or anything else you think would make for an unexpected, unforgettable picture!
  • Get a high-quality camera. Although you can use just about any camera for your DIY photo booth, a high-quality camera will help to ensure all your photos come out crystal clear. Most high-quality cameras also have additional settings and features that can help you best capture the moment.
  • Use the right equipment. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to bring the right equipment into your photo booth. A tripod to keep your camera steady and a remote shutter release for guests to take their own timed photos should be sufficient.
  • Consider how people will get their pics. Waiting for pictures to print is a thing of the past! Bring a digital printer to your photo booth to instantly print photos for your guests. Often, high-quality cameras can wirelessly connect to your printer through apps. If you don’t have a printer, you can digitally send photos to your guests.
photobooth props

How to choose lighting for your DIY photo booth

Once you have all the equipment you need to create your own photo booth, it’s time to think about proper lighting. Your lighting choices are important for both making the photos visible and setting the right mood. For help deciding the right lighting for you, follow these tips:

  • Choose between natural light and light fixtures. If you’re looking to keep things simple, there’s nothing wrong with using the natural lighting already around you. Natural lighting can provide a soft, warm glow for your pictures, especially during the golden hour. Alternatively, to elevate your lighting, bring in artificial lighting fixtures that give your photos a unique effect. With fixtures, you can control your lights’ temperature, color, and patterns – an especially fun addition to a whimsical photoshoot!
  • Choose between layered lights and solely accent lights. Layering your lights is often a great idea when taking photos. Not layering your lighting often leads to a poorly lit space, not to mention too many shadows in your pictures. Instead of having one main source of light, such as overhead recessed lighting, add accent lights to shine some extra glow right where it’s needed.
  • Consider the atmosphere and ambiance. Photo booths are often used at joyous events that warrant lots of celebrating, dancing, and smiling. That’s why your photo booth lighting should be just as upbeat as the event itself. When you’re going for exhilaration, use fun lighting that gets everyone in the mood to bust a move – and, of course, take plenty of goofy pictures.
  • Match the lighting to your event’s theme. Whether your event theme is disco or winter wonderland, your photo booth lighting should complement the party. For an under-the-sea theme, use blue lighting so guests can make fish faces in their pictures and look as if they’re underwater. Having a Christmas party? Light up the room with green and red to welcome Santa to the holiday celebration.
fun group photo

The best DIY photo booth lighting options

Don’t be shy with photo booth lighting! If anything, you’ll want to provide as much light as possible to keep your photos crystal-clear and high-quality. The best DIY photo booth lighting is thus any light that adds brightness to your pictures, has a fun tone, and is easy to use. Check out these lighting ideas for some inspiration:

1. LED lighting

For energy-efficient lighting that will give you as much brightness as you need, LEDs are a good choice. LEDs don’t generate much heat compared to most lights (though they still generate more heat than laser lights), so your photo booth will stay comfortable for your entire event. LED lights also come in various colors or color-changing options, so you won’t have to pick just one.

colorful led lighting

2. Rope lights

Give your photo booth a futuristic appearance with rope lights. These lights come in vibrant colors, along with classic white, to elevate your images into new planes. You can easily wrap rope lights around backdrop stands and furniture, or you can shape them into words to display in the back of your booth.

led rope lights

3. Ring lights

Say goodbye to unpleasant shadows in your photos with ring lights! Some ring lights are small enough to mount on your camera, while others are large and stand on their own. With larger lights, the circular design facilitates positioning your camera to shoot through the ring’s middle, thus eliminating those pesky shadows.

led ring lights

4. Laser lighting

Create a dazzling photo booth light show with laser lighting! Lasers have the unique ability to project eye-catching patterns anywhere you want. With shimmering, colorful designs in your photo booth, your guests might have an easier time getting in the spirit of the party. Laser lights are also easy to set up and cost-efficient, and some can even be controlled remotely. With laser lights, you can change things up without flipping any switches!

For a brilliant abstract laser aurora that will enthrall all your guests, use the BlissLights Ark Ambient Aurora Light – the fluttering clouds and alluring northern light effect will turn your photo booth into an out-of-this-world happening.

ark aurora light
ark aurora projector

ARK Aurora Light


Transcend reality with a moving abstract aurora.

5. Color lights

Use colored lights to enliven your photo booth without overwhelming or distracting your guests. Whether you want lighting that’s fun and thrilling or beautiful hues that match your party theme, colored lights readily elevate your DIY photo booth experience. Consider using the BlissLights BlissBulb for a shining photo booth array of glimmering red, green, or blue stars.

man smiling in front of red blissbulb
blissbulb laser lightbulb in red

BlissBulb Laser LightBulb


Transforming your world is as easy as changing a lightbulb.

6. Galaxy lighting

Whether you’re planning a space-themed event or just want to mesmerize your guests with swirling colors and floating clouds, galaxy lighting will bring entrancing light displays to your DIY booth. For the ultimate sky lighting, pair your photo booth galaxy lights with other DIY galaxy crafts such as sparkle balls and paper lanterns. With the BlissLights Sky Lite Evolve Galaxy Projector, your guests will be mentally transported to an extraterrestrial abyss filled with colorful drifting nebula clouds and glistening laser stars.

woman posing with balloon in front of sky lite galaxy projector
sky lite evolve smart multicolor galaxy projector

Sky Lite Evolve: Smart Galaxy Projector


The latest evolution in smart galaxy lighting.

7. Star lighting

Setting up your photo booth outside isn’t always practical, but what if you could bring the night sky indoors? Instead of going outside, replicate the great outdoors in your home with indoor star lighting for your DIY photo booth setup.

living room with multicolor lights

Make memories that will last a lifetime with BlissLights

Having a photo booth at your event is more than entertainment – it’s a way for you and your friends to walk away with tangible memories. With BlissLights, you can make the most of your DIY photo booth by properly and uniquely lighting your newly created memories. BlissLights elevate your lighting beyond the standard to the exceptional, making your photo booth the big talk of your event. Browse the BlissLights collection to find the perfect lighting for a zany, kooky, unforgettable DIY photo booth.

About BlissLights

BlissLights has been a leader in the laser lighting industry since the company was founded in 2006. Our team of experienced engineers and technicians helped create award-winning special effect lighting for major theme parks before minaturizing ourpatented technology for home use. BlissLights is dedicated to laser safety and education, and is registered with the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).

View all articles by BlissLights LLC

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