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In this guide, I’m going to outline step-by-step how to use a transparent mirror to make a Mirror Photo Booth.

After reading this guide, you’ll be able to design your frame, choose the perfect display, and add IR touch technology. I’ve recorded the project so you can see it in action:

A mirror photo booth combines a mirror, display, software, and camera to take pictures through the mirror and share them instantly on Facebook, Instagram, and via text. For people that run a photo booth business or love to host parties, this is a MUST HAVE! Speaking from personal experience, I’ve used it to bring excitement by taking amazing selfies, creating keepsakes, and unforgettable moments with my friends and family.

I’ve gotten a ton of questions about how to make them, and now I’m excited to share that information with you. Here’s the sequel showing every step I took to make it:

Mirror Photo Booth

Mirror Photo Booth Advantages

  • 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

Touch Technologies

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.

I recommend Greentouch as a supplier of the IR Touch Overlay:

 

*The Amazon links above are affiliate links.

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 Dielectric Mirror and Glass Smart 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.

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 and is hands down the best quality for photo booth projects.

The Display

If you are serious about creating a magic mirror photo booth complete with touch, you basically need to go with a TV or computer monitor. Forget about tablets and phones. The most popular set up I have seen throughout the web is the IR Touch Overlay (65″ Size) combined with a 43″ TV.

Flags
TV Monitor
Television

A tv will give you the most versatility in creating your photo booth.

Television Details

This is perfect all around because you can use a computer, Intel Compute Stick, Raspberry Pi, etc to power your software. In addition, the 16:9 ratio format is preferred because you can rotate it into portrait mode  so the screen will consume most of the mirror instead of a 4:3 box in the middle of the mirror.

PC Monitor
Monitor

A monitor allows you to hook up a full fledged PC so you can run the photo booth software.

Monitor Details

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 touch technologies.

Tablet Monitor
Tablet

A tablet allows you to take your photobooth anywhere and is very light weight.

Tablet Details

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.

Phone Monitor
Phone

Using a phone can be effective when starting out. The portable and light weight factor is nice.

Phone Details

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.

iPad Photo Booth

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! Although technically not a mirror, it does have a large display showing exactly what a mirror would. From my experience, it’s a great option on a tight budget. They are huge hits at parties as well.

Guide to building IPad Booth

If you need help with building your own IPad photo booth. We have this guide to help make it portable, super easy to set up, and battery powered with a tablet. We show how to put the light stand together as well as let you know the best software to use!

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.

Here are the top Magic Mirror Photo Booth software available. This list is based off what clients are telling me they use when they purchase the mirror component of their build.

Selecting a computer that works with your software is critical. I recommend picking out the software you love first and then get a computer that works with it.

Tips for Selecting a Computer

  • Go with an i7 Core Processor or better
  • 8GB RAM or more
  • Get a computer with a SSD drive for faster picture saving
  • Stay way from Mini PCs because they tend to overheat in Photo Booth cases

Camera

For full fledged Mirror Photo Booths, you will want a DSLR camera to put above or behind the mirror.

Top Cameras Used by Mirror Booth Masters

There are many good DSLRs on the market, I personally love Canon and in speaking with clients, this is what they are using.

The main factor you want to consider when purchasing a DSLR is how long the battery life is, as well as the camera lenses available. You may also consider the high ISO capabilities if you are not adding a ton of lighting yet in your setup. For the best picture result you will want lighting around your booth.

  1. Canon EOS 800D
  2. Canon EOS 1200D

Top DSLR Camera Lenses

You will want to set up your photo booth and consider how far away your people will be when they take the picture. If you want to be able to get a lot of people in one picture, you will want a wide angle lens. If you think that it will vary based on each photo booth situation you are in for an event, a zoom lens will save you money in the long run with its versatile nature.

Here are my top recommendations for lenses.

Zoom Lenses

  1. 17–55mm f2.8 – For Large Groups That Are Close Up (You can still get the whole group in the picture)
  2. 24–70mm f/2.8 – For Groups That Are Further Away from the Mirror

Other Lenses

You can still get high quality pictures with your photo booth with prime lenses. Just note that the zoom is fixed – which is fine! Once you have your back drop up and your mirror booth turned on, people know where to stand to get it right.

Printers

After your photo booth build is complete, you may need a printer if you do not have social share in your software, or you just want to go that extra mile for those who are not so into technology and want a physical copy.

Below are the top portable printers on the market (available on Amazon Prime) for mirror photo booths.

Top Printers for Mirror Photo Booth Businesses

  1. HiTi P525L Roll Photo Printer – $679.99
  2. DNP Event Photo Printer DS-RX1HS – $495.00

Top Printers for Personal Use (Windows 10)

  1. Canon SELPHY CP1300 – $109.95

Top Printers for Personal Use (Smartphone or Tablet)

  1. HP Sprocket – $129.95
  2. Fujifilm INSTAX SP-2 – $89.90
  3. Polaroid Zip Mobile – $91.69
  4. Kodak Mini 2 – $79.99
  5. Pickit M2- $133.99

Stand & Carry Case

A major part of the build for a mirror booth set up is the case. There are tons of variations on this. Some people use the case as their stand. Some have a separate case. As I do research on the most popular builds, I will include more information on that here.

Most people are building their own version of a “Flight Case” that fits their TV/Laptop/Etc inside and can mount the mirror and frame to it so it doubles as a stand.

Flight Case Resources

Real Photo Booth Build Combinations


  • Laptop core i7 and 8 Gb RAM
  • Camera: CANON EOS 1200 D (T5)
  • Printer: I work with DNP RX1

  • Laptop: Surface Pro 4
  • Camera: CANON EOS 1400 D
  • Printer: I work with DNP RS RX1

  • Intel Compute Stick CS325
  • Darkroom Software

Step-by-Step Tutorial

I’m going to take you through step by step on how to build a functioning Mirror Photo Booth that we built as a demonstration.

Parts List

Optional Additions:

  • Battery Pack
  • Sand Blaster
  • LED Lights
  • Portable printer/ 3-D Printer
  • Stand to hold up your photo booth

Follow along with our time-lapses of the full build!

Step 1: Measure the IR Touch

Once you have your IR Touch, measure it and build your frame with those measurements.  Your IR Touch is going to fit right into your Frame. After you have measured your IR Touch, take a piece of your frame and place it beside your IR Touch. Take that measurement, this will be the length you will need to cut for your frame. Cut your frame to size, using table clamps to keep the shape while the glue dries.

Step 2: Get your glass ready

Now, you will need the glass. Order/cut your glass to the size of your IR Touch. Layer this into your IR Touch to ensure the best fit. Add corner brackets to the corner of your frame. To stop your IR Touch cords from getting damaged, cut a small corner in your glass where the cords would go.

Step 3: Sand Blast

Sand Blast your mirror if desired. This is what gets the frosted effect around the edge of your glass. To do this, simply use masking tape where you do not want to sand blast. Here is a recent video that teaches you how to Sand Blast Step by Step!

Step 4: Black out the back of the mirror

After you have sand blasted your mirror, black out the back of your mirror. Since you can see through the mirror, this improves the reflection quality. We recommend that you use black vinyl rather than black Felt. Vinyl has a clear adhesive, as the felt does not. The black felt is patchy when it comes to the quality. To do this, take the material and place it over the entire mirror, take the measurement of your device and your camera lens and cut that out of the material. This is where your camera and device will be placed. You can also use black Spray Paint (Rust-Oleum Painters Touch, 2X Ultra Coover Paint + Primer), you may have to do a few layers to get the same effect as the material. When doing this step, be sure that the glass is out of the frame!

Step 5: Creating a way to attach the tablet to the mirror

For this step, you’re going to have to get creative. You will need to attach your device to the mirror so it stays on while the photo booth is in use. The way we did this, was by creating a small board out of cardboard and Velcro. You can simply just use Velcro, and attach that to your device as well as the back of the mirror. You can take it off, and put it back on as you please.

Step 6: Add LED Lights

This step is optional, depending if you want your Photo Booth to have the LED Lights. Simply place your strip of LED Lights around the edge of the frame. This will just add character and jazz to your project! A LED Light strip has adhesive on the backside, we recommend that you go with the clear adhesive for a seamless application. They typically come with a black adhesive, which will appear on your project. If you plan on using a portable printer, attach this to your project! Or you can simply save them and send them!

Step 7: Download the Software

The final step to achieving your Magic Mirror Photo Booth is simple, just download the software app! The app that we are using is the Darkroom Booth 3! Its a great app, it walks your through all of the steps, making your project a little bit easier! All though the app is not free, it may with your best interest if you are using this for a special event. Everything in the settings is customizable. You can create your own event, and play around with the settings to get the perfect match for your event.

Customize the settings for animated booth:

To get the animated Mirror Booth that we have on our Darkroom Booth 3, download the app and start or continue your trial. Once you have done that, on the left side, click on ‘Sample Mirror Booth Event- V’. Once you get there, on the top, go to the output then the device controls. You will need to change the attract mode. This just sets the loop and while the booth is not in use, gives you information. You can change this to a video that you would prefer for your clients to see while they are in front of it or even looking at it. To do this, delete the default video and replace it with your own by clicking ‘Add Video’. Be sure that the boxes ‘Loop Video’, ‘Maintain Aspect Ratio’, and ‘Playback using full screen’ are all checked and hit okay!

Now, change the ‘Before Photo’. This setting is the before photo that you will see before you start. You do not need to click the boxes like you did with the Attract Mode. You will also need to change the Countdown settings as well. For this, use the same video for all of your countdowns. During this set up, check your outcome by clicking the Start Booth to see your progress.

Here is a video that goes through all the settings for the animated booth:

Put it to use!

You have made it the very end of your DIY Magic Mirror Photo Booth! Now it is time to put it to use! If you have any questions about your project, we’d love to hear from you!

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gessell
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gessell

hi, where is the actual guide to how to do this?

Konstantin
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Konstantin

Hi!
Thank you for this usefull post!
But why is this smart mirror costs as if if it was made of gold?

Maya
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Maya

which app would be the best to have on an iPad as the social media point to send pics to FB, Insta, emails and phones – while also collecting the date?

Lamond
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Lamond

Thoughts on how to create a 3D video recorder booth . Content to be used in VR

David
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David

If the camera is in a black box/shroud, which one (glass smart mirror or dielectric mirror) is able to completely hide the camera?

Evan
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Evan

May I ask what is the best pricing you think it would cost to build my own mirror boot? Just the mirror itself. I already have the camera, computer, printer, and software.

Marina Fahim
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Marina Fahim

Hello, I don’t understand how u integrate the camera in the booth. Is it behind the mirror? Does this effect the quality of pictures?
And is it higher than the LCD and touch screen overlay?
Thanks