The Photo Booth Solutions Blog

You may already know that Sketch Booth is a cost effective software alternative to TapSnap™ and PhotoMingle™. What you may not know, is how easy it is to purchase readily available equipment to build your own version of these popular systems at a fraction of the cost, and without franchise or event fees. 

Equipment needed to create your own TapSnap™ and PhotoMingle™ with Sketch Booth

  • Touchscreen Monitor
    The biggest appeal of a Sketch Booth is being able to draw on a large touchscreen monitor and drag & drop virtual props and stickers onto photos to decorate them. 42” touchscreens are going to cost around $2000 new. ELO, Planar, NextWindow are all good choices.
    The ELO 4201L is a popular choice.
    But if you are looking to save some money, you can usually find some good deals on 42” touchscreens on eBay. Here's a few models to look for:
    HP LD 4200TM - $900
    Philips BDL4230ET - $943
  • PhotoMingle™ uses a 46” monitor.  Those will cost a bit more, but here's a few affoardable choices on eBay:
    Elo Touch Systems 4600L - $1445
    Samsung CY-TM46 - $999 (Touchscreen overlay.  Just add it to a 46” monitor)
  • Monitor Stand
    Now that you have the monitor, you'll need a stand to put it on. If you Google for monitor stands, you are bound to end up at Displays2Go. If you can ignore the visual assault that is their SEO strategy, you are bound to find a stand that fits your style.
    Here's one that looks very similar to the PhotoMingle™ style.
    This stand is modular and breaks down into a carrying bag.
    Both of these stands are under $500
  • Printer
    A dye sub printer is a must for quality prints. Imaging Spectrum has a very thorough comparison chart of all of the dye sub printer out there. 
    Sinfonia CS2 is under $800.
    HiTi P510S used by TapSnap™ is around $850
  • Camera
    Sketch Booth will work with a Canon DSLR or an HD webcam.
    For the DSLR, a Canon T3i is fine. This is what TapSnap™ uses. You can pick one of those up on Amazon for $500 or even used on Craigslist for $400
    For the webcam, a Logitech C920 is currently the best choice for under $100
  • Camera Mount
    There's lots of camera mounts to chose from, and none are particularly expensive. This clamp is just one of the many out there.
  • PC
    There are way too many possibilities when it comes to PCs to make a recommendation on a particular make/model. The PC doesn't have to be top of the line, but it's not a good idea to skimp either. I usually suggest a pretty decent machine like an i3 or i5 processor with 4GB RAM. It will run on less, but it will definitely perform smoother on a faster machine. Something with those specs should be in the $500 - $1000 range.
  • Software
    The Sketch Booth software can be purchased with either 1 or 2 machine licenses. A single license is $2,000. The 1st year of updates are included in the price and are optionally $500/yr after that.

Sketch Booth Costs:

One Sketch Booth Unit Two Sketch Booth Units
Monitor $1000 - $2000
Stand $300 - $ 500
Printer $800 - $1000
Camera + Mount $400 - $ 500
PC $500 - $1000
Software $2000
Total $5000 - $7000
Monitor x2 $2000 - $2000
Stand x2 $ 600 -  $1000
Printer x2 $1600 - $2000
Camera+Mount x2 $ 800 -  $1000
PC x2 $1000 - $2000
Software $4000
Total $10,000 - $12,000

TapSnap™ Comparison:

One TapSnap™ Unit* Two TapSnap™ Units*
Franchise Fee $15,000
Equipment $15,000
Royalty Fee 7%
Call Center 4%
Advertising Fund 3%
Montly Software Fee $25
Total $30,000 + 14%
of Earnings
Franchise Fee $15,000
Equipment $29,000
Royalty Fee 7%
Call Center 4%
Advertising Fund 3%
Montly Software Fee $25
Total $44,000 + 14%
of Earnings

PhotoMingle™ Comparison

One PhotoMingle™ Unit Two PhotoMingle™ Units
Equipment $17,000
Event Fee 15%
Montly Software Fee $25
Total $17,000 + 15%
of Earnings
Equipment $17,000
Event Fee 15%
Montly Software Fee $25
Total $34,000 + 15%
of Earnings

Total Cost of Ownership

A single TapSnap™ or PhotoMingle™ unit will cost between $17k and $30k.  You can easily build 3-4 Sketch Booths for that price.  And when you add in the other guys' 14%-15% event fees, the costs benefits of Sketch Booth skyrocket. Assuming 2 units were booked solid 2 weekends a year at $1400, you would be paying another $22,000 in fees, bringing the total cost of ownership close to $60,000 for the 1st year.  It's easy to save $50,000 by using your own equipment and Sketch Booth.

*Update - TapSnap has increased their franchise fee to $15k and now has a minimum of 2 units, making the minimum investment $44k + 14% of earnings.


Categories: Sketch Booth

BYO Booth has been updated to 2.0, and there are some HUGE new features to make your Instagram Print Station even more powerful.

Instagram Video

Instagram introduced video a few weeks back and BYO Booth will now download and display those videos right inside the slide show.  Check out how cool it looks when a composited photo comes to life:

Instagram Flip Books

  Displaying the videos is one thing, but how about printing them?  BYO Booth 2.0 can now print flip books from these videos!  Let your users shoot their own short videos with Instagram and print flip books from your Instaprinter station. You can print them on either 8.5"x11” or 4"x6” paper.

Custom Design Tools

  A very popular request has finally been filled.  You can now use custom fonts, change the size, position and rotation of all of the text on the 1x1 print template.  You can also use a transparent png so that the template will be overlayed on top of the photos to create more interesting effects and layouts.

  What about Vine?  What about Facebook Hashtags? - So far neither Vine videos or Facebook hashtags have been officially added to the APIs, so we’ll just have to wait.

Here’s the full change log:


  • Instagram Video support added
  • Flip Books for Instagram Video added
  • Ability to change fonts, size, color, rotation and positioning of user info added
  • Auto Start Mode added to bypass settings screen and start in unattended kiosk mode. Use F1 to get back to settings
  • Added ability to use templates with transparency. Enabling Transparency will overlay the template on the photo as opposed to under the photo to allow for more interesting layout effects.
  • Fixed auto print not working for watch folder photos when “Limit user prints” was enabled as well
  • /uxxx removed when emoji are in comments
  • Added ability to select printer in the Print Tab
  • Added check for empty Ads folder if Ads are enabled
  • Made sure Instructions screen doesn’t randomly appear in grid mode.
  • Logged in Instagram username will not be affected by limiting the user prints and will have unlimited prints.


Categories: BYO Booth News

PT Booth users can now use Photo Booth Connected to create social media kiosks.  PT Booth support has been added in v2.4.5, as well as some performance and stability improvements as well as an option to automatically close each photo after a user has uploaded.