If you are a parent, no one has to tell you twice that kids grow up too fast. Each time the birthday party rolls around, you celebrate the life you were given, while nostalgically looking back at the time that has flown by. When your little one is dressed to the nines with the birthday party tutu, bow tie and headband, and surrounded by a handful of little friends, how can you be certain that you capture the essence of who they are at that specific moment in time? These photography tips will help you capture winning pictures of your little one on that next birthday.
Watch for Expressions
Rather than focusing on the events, try to capture expressions. The glee on a child’s face at a birthday party is something you want to remember. This is far more valuable than the picture of each gift or posed pictures of the entire group.
Close-ups capture the magic of the birthday, and freeze your child at a point in time you will never be able to recapture. Consider taking a close side view of your child blowing out the candles or smashing into the cake for the first time. A shallow depth of field and focus on your child’s face will help draw attention where you want it. Use a 50 mm lens to get you in close without having to stand directly in front of the kids.
Bump up the ISO
If the party is indoors, bump up your ISO so you can capture the magic without relying on the flash, if you have enough light. However, to avoid grain, try to keep the ISO around 800 or less. This is particularly important among photography tips for first birthday parties, as the flash in the face of a baby makes a harsh, overexposed look almost every time.
Grab Some Candids
Candids are the images you are going to treasure. Instead of worrying about posing and positioning, take a lot of candids. Did your three-year-old niece grab a cupcake and start licking the frosting in the middle of “Happy Birthday?” Have your camera ready. Put your camera on a shutter speed of 1/125 or higher to capture the movement of the kids, and just snap away. You will be thrilled with many of the resulting images.
Have you grabbed any images you love from a birthday party? What are your favorite tips for photographing these important days?