Today’s post is by the lovely Angela from Belle Images
So you have a brilliant birthday bash coming up, (like the Crafty Mummy) and you want to make sure your photos are memorable, and really capture the day?
Here are some pointers to help make sure you don’t miss a moment:
1. Preparation is key
I know, I know, it’s all been said before, but there’s nothing worse than having to fiddle with settings, or worse – a flat battery – just as the candles are being blown out.
So make sure to:
- Charge the batteries
- Will you need a flash? If so, set red-eye reduction on your camera. Stand further back from your subject and zoom in to diffuse the flash light, (avoiding that caught-in-the-headlights look!) If you have a speedlight, use a diffuser or set it to bounce light off the ceiling.
- Will you need a tripod? If the location has poor lighting, you may need a tripod to reduce camera shake
- Think about the lens you will use (if you have a DSLR). Either a zoom, or a wide-angle lens (eg 50mm) will do the job nicely!
- Think about the location – consider the background (remove clutter), and the lighting (avoid harsh light – very unflattering and makes people squint!)
- Work out your “must-have” shots in advance, eg the cake-cutting, present unwrapping, etc
- Adjust your white balance to suit the situation – if you’re using a flash, choose the “flash” setting. Many cameras have a “candle” setting too!
- If using a DSLR, choose a high ISO (400-800) for low-light situations, and choose a shutter-speed to avoid blur, usually 1/250 sec and higher
2. The Detail Shots
Give yourself time to take some photos of the decorations and set-up before the guests arrive. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste – make sure to record it all!
Photos of the cake are a must – especially before the party starts! Fill the frame until it is overflowing! Use some creative angles. Make sure you get close-ups of the details.
When the candles are lit, turn off your flash to be able to capture the glow of the candles and the atmosphere. Also, take off any filters on the end of your lens, so that you don’t get candle reflections on your subject’s face, like this…
Birthdays are full of colour! Make sure to capture it in your photos – the more colour the better!
5. Candid and Posed shots
Candid shots are great, but try to avoid photos of people putting cake in their mouths! (A relative at my wedding took a photo of me putting food in my mouth at every course… Ugh!) Candid shots are great for capturing a child playing with their new toy, kids running around together, etc. Be sneaky, unobtrusive….a camera ninja!
Asking people to pose for you can often be more effective. Get them to stand close together to capture the fun and frivolity!
Get some photos with the guest of honour and their friends. You could also try to get a whole group shot – set up the tripod and the timer on your camera so that you can be in it too!
I hope this has given you some ideas for your next birthday bash….and don’t forget to be in some of the photos yourself too!
Thank you so much, Angela! Perhaps I’ll just invite you to all my parties in the future – with your camera, of course!
Angela did in fact take some gorgeous photos of my family recently so check out her blog to see us. You can also find her on Facebook and if you live in the Toowoomba area, I would highly recommend you book a shoot during the school holidays.
Some great tips there! I asked Saffron Craig if I could take her photo at the recent craft fair and she graciously agreed. Wouldn’t you know it – my batteries chose that moment to go flat! I had new ones handy but it was still embarrassing!