3 Great Tips on Photographing your Child’s Birthday Party
It’s birthday time for your little one. You have spent countless hours planning all the details. You spent more money on the cake than you did on their first stroller. It’s such an exciting day! Here are a few tips to help you document your little one’s birthday party.
The following images are from my youngest daughter’s First Birthday party. I used my Canon 5D classic with my 50mm 1.4 and utilized natural light.
All about the Details
I truly love detail shots! Is that bowl of Skittles really that interesting? Yes it is. You are documenting the party and all details are great. You will love looking at them years later.
First let me admit that this was my 4th child’s 1st Birthday Party. I basically planned it the night before, but thanks to Hobby Lobby & my local party store, we pulled it off. I love cake pictures! Whether it’s homemade or bought at the local bakery, get a picture of the cake.
I love to pull back and get an image of the entire scene. We have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen, so it makes for a great backdrop for parties.
I framed the image where just the wall was in my shot. I didn’t want to get any other distractions in the image. For instance, if I had pulled back even more (image on left), you would have seen my living room.
Also, you can see I have two lights hanging down. They are typically over our kitchen table. Be sure to turn the lights off if you can. If I had left those lights on, it would have caused a very bright and distracting light in my image. Not only that, it would have cast a very warm/orange light. I have a big window in my kitchen so that is giving me plenty of natural light in these images.
The theme for the party was all planned around my daughter’s birthday outfit. It’s bright green so I wanted to incorporate lots of color. As you can see, we didn’t do much, but be sure to stage some shots for a picture. I love all the colors.
See, I told you a bowl of Skittle are important. I love those colors!
Find the Light
As I mentioned before, I have a big window in my kitchen. In the next image, you will be able to see how the light falls to the right of my little birthday girl.
Here is another shot of her with her cake as we are about to sing to her.
Nothing wrong with this at all, but I really wanted more even light on her face. It is just a personal preference for me. I don’t care for shadows on the face.
So I moved her high chair around so she was facing the light from the window.
So there we go. Pretty even window light on my sweet baby as she enjoys her birthday cake.
Get In the Pictures (And your guests too)
As the mom and photographer, a lot of times you are left out of the pictures. Be sure to get at least one shot of you. I shoot in Manual Mode on my camera, but I set up the shot for my husband who took the picture for me.
I love having this picture of my little birthday girl and me. I hope even more that she will cherish this moment of us together even more as she grows up and has her own children and first birthdays.
I love the following image of my dad with her checking out her party decorations.
The last image is of my other three kids and two nephews. I honestly had forgotten I had this picture of them. I am so glad to have this picture of them together!
I had them all face the window for that pretty light!
So here is a recap of the tips:
- Details. Details. Be sure to get a shot of the cake, the tablescape, and all the cute favors you made.
- Find the Light. If you can, turn off all the lights in the room where you are set up. Use as much window light as you can. Don’t be afraid to move things around to utilize the best light.
- Get In the Picture. Don’t forget to hand the camera to someone else so you can have at least one shot of you at the party. Don’t forget to take pictures of grandparents and other guests.
Your child’s birthday parties can be so overwhelming! My cell phone got left in the freezer during my oldest child’s first birthday party. It was there all weekend. True story. But do not get so lost in planning and setting up that you forget to take pictures. You can do so much more than I did in these images, but if you remember at least some basics, you will have some great pictures to cherish forever!
Patrice M Foster says
Photo of your child birthday how so lovely memories you will share a life time. Thanks you.
These are gorgeous pictures! My daughter’s second birthday is coming up soon, so I’ll have to test out my newfound party photography skills (thanks to you!) in a few months!
This is the cutest first birthday shoot ever. Excellent tips and I love how adorable the party theme is.
Patrice M Foster says
Lovely Celebration! Suzanne Carey.
Heather Shirley Heinlein says
great tips! These will come in handy with my 2 nephews 🙂
Kallee Howard Twiner says
I always like to get a picture of the cake, so I can remember it. Sometimes I put a lot of work into it and I don’t want it to be forgotten :). Great tip also in being sure to get a picture of yourself. I am always behind the camera too, so this is important!