Kids parties are a terrific opportunity to capture some excellent images – there’s lots of color and activity, everyone’s having a good time (hopefully), and most of them will ignore you so you can capture some great candid faces. So what are the best tips to keep in mind for a child’s birthday party photography?
Tired of those red-eyed, deer-in-the-headlights photos? You need to get your flash working right. If you have a swivel flash, point it at the ceiling or a wall (if they are light colored), or invest in a flash diffuser. As a last resort, tape a Kleenex or two over the flash. You’ll get nice bright, natural-looking photos without the red eye. Alternatively, you can avoid using flash altogether by boosting your ISO sensitivity, or by using night portrait mode or a reflector. The downside here is that your camera will use a longer shutter speed, which may not work with fidgeting kids – so you might be better off by trying to add in more light with lamps or strings of white lights.
Want to get a great image? Then you need to be in charge. Feel free to have people position where you want them to be (such as around the birthday boy/girl for cake presentation). Not all of your kid’s birthday party photos have to be ninja-style: sneaking up on people to capture them candidly – posed shots are fine too! However, you can definitely step back and capture kids interacting with each other, opening presents, eating cake, etc.
Bonus tip: Check out some group portrait suggestions (and Pinterest) for interesting group portrait ideas.
Once everyone is settled at the table for cake time, try to capture an individual portrait of each guest. This will ensure that your child has a photo of each friend who attended – and you can offer the guest’s parents a copy if they would like, or use an online ordering tool to upload the photos so everyone can order a copy of the prints they would like.
If you are having a family-oriented birthday party, get photos of the adults too! While the kids are busy burning off their post-dessert sugar high you can have the adults pose for a family portrait. Get out your tripod, set the timer, and join in as well – the parent of the birthday child should have their photo taken too! For larger family gatherings you can consider setting up a photo booth so everyone can have a turn in front of the camera.
Rather than leaving the photos to sit on your computer after the party is over (or making prints that sit in a drawer), consider ordering a photo book from sites like Mixbook or Snapfish. It will give you a chance to see your images in a nice format, and your child will have an excellent reminder of the fun they had on their big day.
What do you think is important for capturing great kid’s birthday party photos? Please share!