Today I am going to show you what you need to know and how to make a Magic Mirror Photo Booth.
After reading this guide, you will be able to make your own Magic Mirror Photo Booth.
Let’s get right into it. Before you start purchasing parts for your magic mirror photo booth, you will want to consider the following items.
- Item #1: Choose Your Touch Technology
- Item #2: Select the Mirror
- Item #3: The TV/Display
- Item #4: Computer & Software
- Bonus Item #5: Printer
Once you have your parts picked out, there are three ways to build this which depends solely on which touch technology you are using.
- Touch Foil Build #1
- IR Touch Overlay Build #2 (camera outside of mirror)
- IR Touch Overlay Build #3 (camera behind mirror)
What is a Mirror Photo Booth?
A magic mirror photo booth combines a semi-transparent mirror, display, camera and software to allow you to take pictures through the mirror and share them on social media instantly. For people that love to host parties, this is a MUST HAVE to bring new life and excitement with guests by taking amazing selfies, creating keepsakes, and unforgettable moments.
Why Make a Photo Booth?
- Bring genuine fun and excitement
- Create your own business
- Up your social media game
- Take better selfies
- Go viral on all platforms
- Customize photos to match event
- Rent it out for extra income
- Party props bring out the silly
- Make it personal
- Use it also as a smart mirror
There are two main types of touch technologies: an IR Touch Overlay and Touch Foil. From my experience, finding an affordable IR Touch Overlay is much easier than chancing it on a Touch Foil. There simply is just not enough information out there yet for the touch foil on which ones work with mirrors.
Straight up, I trust the IR Touch Overlays on Amazon, but I am not sure about the touch foils. Leave a comment if you have any information to contribute on this.
The Perfect Mirror
Yes, there are four mirror types you may be considering when you make a Magic Mirror Photo Booth.
I am here to tell you that there are only two good choices: the Glass Smart Mirror and Dielectric Mirror.
Forget about the Glass Two Way Mirror & Acrylic Two Way Mirror. The glass is way too dark to see anything through the mirror, and the acrylic scratches easily which basically means you would need to replace or buff out the scratches after each gig. No thank you!
The Glass Smart Mirror is your classic standard – it is the fan favorite – it will be the closest match to a Standard Mirror. It is highly reflective! You also get amazing display quality through the mirror. Beware: the 1/8″ thickness has more of a warm tone through the mirror. Go with the 1/4″ thickness for better picture quality through the mirror.
If you think you’ll be using your photo booth outside or in commercial lighting environments, the Dielectric Mirror has a lower reflection so it will not overpower the display in these conditions. It also looks the best in 1/8″ thickness.
This is perfect all around because you can use a computer, Intel Compute Stick, Raspberry Pi, etc to power your software. In addition, it is the easiest to find an IR Touch Overlay that is compatible with the screen size – no need to look around endlessly for a touch frame.
Monitors are great if you have one lying around and you just need something to get you started. The disadvantage of using a monitor is that the screen brightness can be pretty low which can affect the overall look of the software in the end. It can work fine with both technologies, but it would be difficult to find an overlay to match the same size monitor, so you will want to do Build #1 or #3 (Not #2).
While it is portable, you will need a Bluetooth clicker or voice control to use the tablet through the mirror. The whole point of a photo booth is the social interaction and your friends/clients/photoboothers need to be able to share their picture through the software. If that function is missing, it will not work out well as a business model or renting this out for events.
Everyone has a smart phone these days and they are now jam packed with free and paid photo booth apps. Below there is a detailed guide on the pros and cons of the top software. However, since it won’t work through the mirror without voice control or a remote, I recommend not using this for a magic mirror photo booth project.
If you are just starting out with a tablet or phone, I recommend getting a Ring Light and Tablet Clamp to get your DIY Photo Booth up and running! Sure, it won’t have a mirror… but that is ok! They are huge hits at parties as well.
Computer & Software
The finishing touch to any mirror photo booth is making it fun and interactive. This means you need some fun software and a fast computer.
When you find the software you love, check out the specifications required to run it – it is the worst when you get great software and then it LAGS… that is the fastest way for people to leave your photo booth a negative review.