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Photographing Your Child’s Birthday Party

Ok moms-this one’s for you: Photographing Your Child’s Birthday Party. Let me tell you how birthday parties play out at my house…especially first  birthdays. 🥳

✔️ 6 months out- I can’t believe she’s halfway to one! It’s going so fast. (Not even thinking about a party.)

✔️ 2 months out-Someone mentions she’s going to be 1 soon and I reflexively say, “Yeah, we’ll be planning a party before you know it.”  (We’ll probably just do something small.)

✔️ 1 month out-Ok, gotta start thinking about that party. We’re gonna keep it small, but I still want it to be cute. It’s our last first birthday, after all. 

✔️ 2 weeks out-OMG her birthday is like tomorrow. I’ve gotta get invites in the mail TODAY! (Start a Pinterest board for the theme.) On the way home from the post office, stop by our favorite bakery to order an extravagant cake. Because…well, the cake makes the party. 🎂

✔️ 1 week out-Go to Hobby Lobby with my Pinterest board in hand and buy everything. All the things. In my cart. Tell myself I can always return what I don’t use. 🛒 (I’ll never return it.)

✔️ 3 days out- Recruit a friend to help me put together intricate decorations while cursing myself for thinking it was a good idea.

✔️ 2 days out- Panic that I have SO much to do and still have to clean my house. (Start making lists. I love a list.)

✔️ 1 day out- Stay up too late hanging decorations and getting as much done as humanly possible while everyone is asleep.

✔️ The day of-  Scurry around getting everything just right, try to take a bunch of pictures before guests arrive, have so much fun with all the people we love, hug my ONE year old tight, wipe away tears as I rock her to sleep, and fall into bed totally exhausted and glad we pulled it off again. 💗

So after all that…you deserve some great pictures of your hard work. 

Here’s some tips for photographing your child’s birthday party: 

-Try to plan to be totally ready, cake out, at least 20 minutes before guests arrive so you can take time to photograph the setup before anyone has touched it.

photographing your child's birthday party

-Open all the blinds to let in that natural light.

-Stand back and grab a few big, wide shots from different angles to tell the story of your party. (If someone wasn’t there, could they get a good feel of the theme, the overall look from seeing your pictures?)

-Next, move closer and get tighter shots of each setup: cake table, favor table, games, etc. 

photographing your child's birthday party

-Now really move in and get those closeups that make all that hard work you put in shine. The story is really in the details.  Get a close up of just one of the cookies you made, just the cake topper, the favor bag tags, the sign on the door, the invitation. 

photographing your child's birthday party

-Once you’ve photographed all the decorations, food,etc., snap some photos of your crew in front of the setup: just the birthday girl/boy, siblings, grandparents, your family.

-If you get all of this out of the way before guests arrive, you’ll actually be able to relax and enjoy the party a little more knowing you don’t need to run around taking photos the whole time. 

-During the party, just try to snap some candids of the guests having fun so that you can look back on them and remember who was there. (I’m guilty of forgoing my “nice” camera for this and just using my phone to snap these pictures.)

-Get that camera back out for the cake smash, of course, and take lots and lots of photos from different angles. Better yet, hand the camera to someone else so you can actually be in the moment (and in the pictures). Don’t forget to ask someone to pull out their phone and video it for you. 

photographing your child's birthday party

That’s it! Good luck photographing your child’s birthday party! Hopefully following these tips will make your day run a little more smoothly and help you to relax and enjoy that party you worked so hard to pull together.

Yeah…maybe nobody is actually noticing those tiny. little. details. you thought were so important yesterday. But who cares? It was a labor of love. I get it, mama. I’m with ya. Plus you’ve got pictures to prove it. 

Until Next Time,

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