I’m back from visiting my best friend in Maryland and I’m ready to bust out some more great tutorials for you guys! I had a BLAST at my friend’s house and took tons of pictures and even did some projects for my blog while I was there. I babysat one afternoon while her and her hubby were out looking at furniture for their new house and the kids and I had some much fun taking pictures. I wanted to create a photo-booth style photo strip for my friend of her kids being cute and silly and I think they turned out great. So, I thought I’d do a tutorial on it and share my little shooting tips and techniques and editing. So, here we go.
Supplies: A couple of cute kids, or funny teens, or crazy adults… I had a friend who did this kind of thing at her wedding and hired a photographer to take photo-booth style pics of the guests. It was SO FUN. I only wish I would have thought of it at my wedding.
You’ll also probably want to hang a piece of fabric up or drape it over a table near a large window. I used my friend’s table with a white sheet draped over it in the kitchen. Heres what the set-up looked like:
I know. Super complicated right. I used natural light coming through the window as side-lighting and the overhead kitchen light to light the tops of their heads a bit. There are some really great books out there on using natural light in photography and are well worth the read if you are an amateur (or professional) photographer who loves taking pictures but doesn’t want to spend all your money on studio lighting equipment.
Anyway, I sat them down on the floor with the sheet as the backdrop and squish them in close together. *TIP* Although I didn’t do this, it might be a good idea to use a tri-pod to get consistent depth-of-field and zoom in your photos (like a photo-booth would have). I then kneeled down at their eye level and started snapping! At first they did the standard “smile at the camera” stuff but before long they got silly and the great faces started coming out. *TIP* When shooting kids, make sure you have a faster shutter speed. They’re wiggly and it will cut down on blur. Also, let them be silly! Especially with these kind of pics, the sillier the better! P.S. Once again you don’t have to have a fancy camera to take good pictures. I happen to have an Olympus DSLR but even a point and shoot would work just fine. Real photo-booth pics aren’t taken with fancy equipment either.
Here is a look at what we got. These are unedited or SOC (straight out of camera).
And thats them. Aren’t they a crack up! Wesley is 4 and a half and Katie is 3. They are two of my favorite kids in the world. 🙂
1. Set up your shooting area. Sit your little people down (or they can stand, but kids will be more still if they’re sitting) in front of your backdrop. Start snapping pics. *TIP* Give them direction by telling them to act serious, silly, happy, sad, angry, tough, etc. You might need to stop periodically to show them the pics (kids LOVE to see pictures of themselves, especially when funny faces are involved).
2. Once you have all the pics you’d like, upload them to your computer and sign in to Picnik. Upload them to picnik and do any “preliminary” editing that you feel is necessary: take out red eye, blemishes, crop, rotate, etc. You pretty much want to maintain a uniform feel throughout the photos. Try to keep the cropping and rotating the same as it would be if they were taken in an actual photo-booth.
3. Once you have the photos the way you’d like them, find the “Collage” feature on the Picnik home page.
4. That will take you to the collage page where you can choose from several different layouts to create your collage. Under “Basic” there is a collage layout with a column four photo style collage. This is the one I’ll be using for my photo-booth style pics.
5. As you can see at the bottom of my picnik screen there is my “Photo Basket”. If you have uploaded all your pics they will be shown there. This is great because it allows you to just drag and drop the photos you’d like to use into the alloted collage spaces.
6. Once you have the collage pics in, you can move them around in the frame, adjust the spacing, proportions, round the edges, change the color of the frame, etc. I am going to space mine out a bit less, change the frame color to a true black, and round the edges a little.
7. Once you get your collage how you’d like it hit “Done!” and it will take you to the editing page. If you’d like you can go to the “Edit” tab and play around a bit with the exposure and contrast and other settings. Then head over to the “Create” tab and click on “Effects” to display the effects toolbar.
8. Next make your photo black and white by clicking on the “Black and White” tool and hitting “apply”. For a digital style photo-booth picture you could be done at this point, but my goal with these are to make them into the real old-fashioned photo booth style pics so more editing is required.
9. Next, hit the next tool down “Sepia” and play with the “fade” slider to get a soft sepia tint to your collage. I set the “fade” on mine to 55%. Hit “apply”.
10. Now scroll down the effects toolbar to find “1960’s”. Click that and us the “fade” slider to adjust the amount of grain and pink-ness that is showing in your collage. I set mine to 70%.
11. And there you have it! Old photo-booth style pics of your cute little ones!
How fun was that!!? If you’d like to keep reading, I’m going to continue on with this tutorial to show you some additional things you can do with Picnik to your photo-booth style pics.
– Add a wrinkly paper texture to your photo using Picnik’s premium tool “Texture” under the “Effects” toolbar. This even further enhances the old-photo look.
– Give your photo a retro wash by taking your photo collage from the black and white phase and using the “Tint” tool with an acid yellow-green color faded to about 65%. Then you can further enhance the retro wash by using the “Cross Process” tool faded to about 65% as well. I also used the “Gritty” tool (a premium feature) faded to 70% at 30% darkness to add contrast and pop to the retro photo-booth wash.
– You can also do a high-contrast color strip by using the “Boost” tool faded to 25% and then adding the “Ortonish” tool with the bloom at 0%, the brightness at 50%, and the fade at 0%.
– THEN you can take that collage (from above) and give it a vintage rosy color wash by going back to you “Edit” tab, bringing down the contrast, and then using the “Tint” tool under the “Effects” tab again to tint it a soft rosy color. I set my contrast to -45. Then I set my “Tint” to a light rose color and faded it to 55%.
I could probably go on forever but the baby is crying so I’ll leave you to it! Happy picniking! 🙂
UPDATE 2/19: Here are some more photo booth style pics my family and I recently did.