Photobooths are popular at many types of social events, including weddings, birthday parties, and school dances. However, renting one can easily cost upwards of $1000, making them impractical for many events. So when a friend mentioned wanting one for her wedding, I jumped at the opportunity to build a low-cost DIY photobooth.
To make my photobooth cost-efficient, I decided to use a thermal receipt printer to print out black and white photo strips, which eliminates the need for an expensive photo printer and photo paper/ink. I also added Twitter integration so the photobooth can tweet out every photo strip it takes, and a QR code generator that prints a link to the corresponding Twitter post on each photo strip.
The BeagleBone Black single-board computer seemed like a perfect match to power this project, and I decided to script everything in Python to keep it simple. Gphoto2 provides the camera interface, CUPS handles the printing, and Python libraries take care of everything else.
Lets get into the details of how this thing works.