Ryan Wakefield Church Marketing University

Ryan is the founder of Church Marketing University, where he helps churches all over the world get more visitors each week. He and his wife, Amy, and daughter, Katelyn, are a part of Summit Park Church in Kansas City, Missouri.  Ryan has many years of experie... read more

Church Photo Booth Guide

Churches are always looking for ways to create community and build bridges at any special event. One relatively simple approach we’ve had success with is doing a photo booth.

Here’s a step by step guide to getting you going in the right direction:

  1. Determine the type of photo booth you would like to use at your event. Here are some example ones we have done: Christmas, Tailgating, Mother’s Day, Father’s DaySisterhood, Baptism, Christmas Eve (links to other examples at the bottom of this article.)
  2. Recruit volunteers to help you throughout this process. This is a great way to utilize volunteer creatives, decorators, photographers, designers, and administrators.
  3. Promote that you are having a photo booth at your upcoming event. Families love opportunities to make memories. Some families will never be able to afford family photos.
  4. Set up your photo booth with background or green screen at the event. A green screen creates more work to add the background graphic to the photo, but it can also create more anticipation because the event attendees don’t know what the photo will end up looking like until they see it on your Facebook album.
  5. Go ahead and set up a Facebook album on your page. We normally title ours with the event name and the year. We use the event graphic for the first pic in the album. You can also take some fun photos of the team setting up the booth to kick start the album.
  6. In the description for the album, we put information about our church, a link to our website, and either a general invite to services or a specific invite to the next big thing that’s happening.
  7. Click on the timestamp of the album so that it opens the album on its own page. Use the URL from the album to create a bitly link for the album so people can easily get to it.
  8. Develop a handout telling people where they can find their picture using that bitly link.
  9. Create a way to collect contact info. A Text In Church keyword is our favorite way to do this. You can use a signup sheet. A tablet works great. (Let them type their information in.) You can also perforate the handout to use it as a way to collect people’s contact information. This is great to do while people are waiting in line for their photos. Let people know you will email them their picture.
  10. Take tons of pictures at the event and give the handout to each family that attends. Ideally, you have a church photographer with a professional camera and an additional volunteer that takes photos from the guests’ phone at the same time.
  11. Bonus: You can also have a host that takes photos with people’s mobile phones. Then encourage people to tag the church in the photo. This allows the church to connect with people on social and show them some love.
  12. After the event is over touch up the photos or add your graphic or background to the photos if you are using a green screen.
  13. Load all the photos to your Facebook album.
  14. Load the contacts into your database and segment them into a photo booth list or tag. Create a fun email and send it out to that list. Use the bitly link to drive traffic directly to the Facebook album. The sooner you can get this album up and the email sent out the better. It’s amazing to me how quickly people start tagging themselves and sharing the pics once we get them out there!
  15. Bonus: Add a photo album description to each individual photo. This takes a bit of work but it’s worth it because your description travels with your photo when people share it. We also put the church location on each photo.
  16. Post on your Facebook event and/or page when you have photos ready to be viewed.
  17. Upload the full quality edited photos to Dropbox or similar. Wait a couple of days. (You can also consider including the Dropbox Download link in the original photo album post on social. Or create a series of new posts announcing the full quality download option.)
  18. Send a second follow up email with a link to view and download the high-quality photos directly from Dropbox. You don’t need to send them a link to their specific photo, just a link to the album on Dropbox. Use this email to invite people back to church that next weekend.
  19. Use the contact information you gathered to develop deeper relationships with these people. When you have an upcoming event or a new series be sure to let them know about it.
  20. Bonus idea: Upload this list to your Facebook Business Manager and create a custom audience from it. You can now target these people with Facebook ads using that custom list.

Have you done a photo booth at your church? Put any additional ideas you have as well as a link to your photo album in the comments.

Want to go deeper?

Be sure to these Church Marketing University Courses: Social, Photography, Volunteers, Facebook Ads, Big Events, Video, Marketing Management.

Example Photo Booth Designs

Special thanks for our Guest Contributor, Cheri Pelic, from Friendship Church!