Using Mountain Lion - 10.8.4

I would like to setup a daily snapshot system using Automator:

  • use the PhotoBooth.app
  • set it to auto start with the countdown "1,2,3"
  • autosave the picture to a specified folder
  • close PhotoBooth.app

Looked around on the internet and didn't find anything on this topic.

Automator has take video snapshot but the size of the output photo is tiny "200x200"

This would be perfect if I knew how to increase the size of the output file.

2 Answers 2


You could use imagesnap in a Run Shell Script action.

Or run brew install imagesnap and sudo gem install terminal-notifier. Then save a script like this as ~/bin/cron-imagesnap:


terminal-notifier -title 'Taking a snapshot in 3 seconds' -message '' -group imagesnap
sleep 3
/usr/local/bin/imagesnap ~/Pictures/imagesnap-$(date +%y%m%d%H%M%S).png

Make the script executable with chmod +x ~/bin/cron-imagesnap. Then run EDITOR=nano crontab -e and add something like this:

59 23 * * * ~/bin/cron-imagesnap

MAILTO="" disables adding a message to /var/mail/$USER when a command has stdout or stderr output.

Edit: you could also use an AppleScript like this:

activate application "Photo Booth"
delay 5
tell application "System Events" to tell process "Photo Booth"
    click menu item "Take Photo" of menu 1 of menu bar item "File" of menu bar 1
end tell
delay 5
quit application "Photo Booth"
  • Pretty close. This seems to work. However, I was really hoping to use PhotoBooth.app. I have seen this in action before using PhotoBooth.app. I just can't seem to figure out how...
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 3, 2013 at 15:22
  • I edited the answer to add an AppleScript that just activates Photo Booth, takes a photo, and quits Photo Booth. You can run it from Automator by adding a Run AppleScript action.
    – Lri
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 8:33
  • Almost! However, it is not taking a photo for some reason.
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 15:20
  • Ok, had to add a delay 3 before "tell application..."
    – Michael
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 15:24
  • @MichaelIrey You're right, I edited the answer to add the delay.
    – Lri
    Commented Sep 4, 2013 at 15:30

Have you looked at this script?

Download 27: Take Picture v1.0

This action will cause the Photo Booth application to take a picture. Requires GUI scripting be activated.

  • I should of mentioned I tried that. The installer says the application can only run on a PowerPC.
    – Michael
    Commented Aug 30, 2013 at 17:04

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