Sparkbooth Photo Booth Software News

Some Mac users have been asking what Sparkbooth has to offer over the Mac’s own Photo Booth app. To start, I am a Mac user, Sparkbooth is developed on a Mac, and I created Sparkbooth because the Mac Photo Booth app didn’t offer everything I was looking for in a photo booth software, including:

  • Full screen kiosk experience. You do not want users to be distracted by rest of the operating system, which would encourage them to start clicking around and doing non-photo booth things on your computer.
  • Simple and easy-to-use interface. This is another important feature for unattended operation. Users just walk up, press the space bar, and photo booth starts. The on-screen instructions walk guests through every step. They see how many shots are going to be taken and what the shots will look like.
  • Sparkbooth has 4-strip photo layouts plus several other layouts.
  • Customizable backgrounds, overlays, or logos can be added to photos to commemorate your event.
  • Sparkbooth can automatically upload photos to photo sharing services so users can see all the photos.

It is also interesting to note, about half of Sparkbooth users are on the Mac.

-John

P.S. I haven’t forgotten about all you Windows users, Sparkbooth also runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.


Offer a table of props for your guests to use in the photo booth. Some great ideas include:

  • For funny pictures, use a variety of hats, wigs, nerdy glasses, sunglasses, feather boas, fake mustaches, Hawaiian leis, Mardi Gras beads, viking, roman soldier, biker helmets, stuffed animals toys or sports equipment.
  • For holiday parties, use Santa hats and reindeer antlers, and mistletoe as props. The resulting photos make a great holiday card.
  • A small chalk board or whiteboard that guest can write messages and photograph with can be used as a guestbook.

When setting up a photo booth at your event, consider:

  • Placing the computer, webcam, and keyboard on a table in a well-lighted area. Don't forget a chair or stool.
  • Adjust webcam height to eye-level.
  • Use a directional lamp to provide enough lighting.
  • Turn off instant messaging and other applications on the computer, and run Sparkbooth in full-screen kiosk mode.
  • Consider a plain, neutral background like a wall, screen, or curtains.
  • Create a sign that says "Photo Booth Entrance" to indicate where the photo booth is located.

Here are some real-world examples of Sparkbooth at events:

Great job everyone!


Here are some useful resources if you are building your own photo booth with Sparkbooth:

Please email me if you have other recommendations, I will post them up here.


  • Add test button for output and uploaders
  • Count down timer goes 3, 2, 1
  • Set wait time for user prompts
  • Fixed photo filenaming issue
  • New EULA

-John


Automatic printing has been a frequently requested feature for Sparkbooth. I have been working on a solution which is waiting on the release of Adobe AIR 2.0. [Note: Please do not install Adobe AIR 2.0 beta and run Sparkbooth. I am getting reports of webcam and printer issues when running the beta. Only run Sparkbooth on the latest release, Adobe AIR 1.5.3]

In the meanwhile, wedding photographer Josh Rodriguez has come up with a solution in Mac OS X using a simple Automator script. Check out Josh's article. Great job Josh!

[Update April 2, 2010]: Someone has pointed out AutoPrint as a similar printing solution for Windows users. If you are using this, please let me know how well it works.


Setting up a photo booth for a Valentine’s Day party? Here are some useful tips.


New series at DoItFromScratch on building your own photo booth using Sparkbooth. Looking forward to seeing this project progress!


Check out this great Valentine’s idea using Sparkbooth over at Mommy Mishmash.