A birthday celebration only happens once a year, but what I love about photography is that photos have the unique ability to help people relive party memories any day. To capture the best birthday pictures (and memories) that you’ll smile and laugh about 20 years from now, try these birthday photo tips.
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Use photos as decorations
Pull out photos taken from previous birthday parties or moments captured throughout the year, and use them as part of your party decorations. It’s a great way to honor your child and add a personal element to the festivities. Keep the photos in an expanding book that you can add to each year. It will be something everyone can enjoy perusing, including your child when he or she goes out on a first date!
Capture the calm before the party storm
When setting up a birthday party, have fun and play around with all of the elements that make up the party. There is no right or wrong way to decorate, so be creative. Look in magazines or online for inspiration. Once you’re all set, document the details of the decorations that you’ve worked hard to create. For example, a close-up of the cake you baked (or bought—nobody’s judging!), the pretty wrapped packages and the party games and favors.
Invest in a camera strap
A camera strap allows you to keep your camera around your neck and powered on so no time is wasted fumbling around or searching for the camera. Being prepared with the camera on hand can help you capture authentic, in-the-moment photos.
Position yourself in various places throughout the room. A simple change in location could provide better lighting, a background that makes your subject pop or an angle that allows you to see facial expressions better.
Look for the little moments
Pay attention to the details and what is going on in the room. Capture the icing that fell on your kid’s foot that the dog is licking up or snap a photo of the girl trying to scoop up a big piece of cake on her little fork. Snap a photo of kids laughing together or the reaction of the child who gave the gift to the birthday celebrant.
Be discreet or provide a distraction
Kids are very aware of the camera, whether they love it or shy away from it. To capture the true personality of a child, try to be discreet with your camera; catch them when they aren’t looking. Or provide photo props, like party balloons or a flashcard featuring the age of the birthday boy or girl, that help kids forget about the camera.
The goal is to capture true expressions and help everyone create fun memories. And remember, you can share the photos with party attendees after the party via a photo thank-you note or an online album shared with the other parents.