Photography Information

Birthday Party Photo Tips - How to Make Yours Truly Stand Out


How many of the birthday party pictures you've seen are kept just because they are of someone's birthday, not because it is inherently a terrific photograph?

When was the last time you heard anyone exclaim: "THIS IS REALLY A GREAT BIRTHDAY PHOTO?" Can you say? NEVER?

And yet, birthday parties are happening ALL THE TIME. You would think that "practice makes perfect," wouldn't you; but in this case... uh-uh, it apparently doesn't.

So, here we are, with another important birthday party looming on the horizon and not knowing how to improve on past "how hum" photographs. NOT THIS TIME! Follow the following 11 tips and you will need to start getting used to being asked to photograph OTHER PEOPLE'S birthday parties.

Can't-Miss Birthday Party Photo Tips

1) Prepare For the Party

Abraham Lincoln once remarked that if you're going to cut down a tree, spend 90% of your time sharpening the axe. Preparation makes any activity go better. And for birthday parties, you don't want to have to wait until next year to make up for lack of preparation, do you?

So, what should you prepare for?

KNOW THE LOCATION. Whether the party takes place in a home, party room, or amusement park; realize that each location has its own photographic "blueprint." Based on the location's blueprint, prepare beforehand for the correct digital camera settings for white balance, metering mode, and exposure compensation.

2) Know Your Obstacles

What is going to be in your way at the birthday party (excluding your drunken brother-in-law)? Are there any fixed columns, hanging plants or lights that need to be planned around? For example, if there is a fixed object right where the optimal photos should be taken from, consider setting up the main table someplace else. It's much easier to figure this out before the event than getting to the party and realizing that you need to "move the room a bit to the left."

3) The Main Table

If using rectangular tables, take the birthday party pictures FACING THE WIDE END OF THE RECTANGLE. When doing this, use the wide angle setting on your camera. If you shoot any birthday photos from the narrow end, use as large an F-stop number as possible (optimally F-22 or higher). However, even if you do, some of the guests will probably still be out of focus (hence, the "shoot from the wide end" suggestion).

4) Flash Decisions

Don't automatically assume you should use the camera's flash all the time. If your camera has a "hot shoe" (this and many other useful terms are defined at http://www.best-family-photography-tips.com/compare-digital-camera-features.html). If it does, consider using a bounce flash or a diffuser.

As a real eye-opener, find out how high your ISO setting can go and see if the resulting photos are not too "noisy" (digital noise = film grain)

5) Better Safe than Sorry

Take multiple shots of the critical photographs. Consider flash/no flash; different metering modes, and different F-stops. Also, regardless of what you say or do, people will blink. And, by the way, don't count on spotting small problems on the tiny camera LCD screen (even on full magnification).

6) The Background

What does the background look like? If it's neutral - use it. If it's ugly, maximize your depth of field (smallest possible F-stop) to blur the background. If you don't write this one down, I can guarantee that you won't remember it for more than 10 seconds once you start taking photos. Also, be aware of shadows that fall prominently on your background (hence the suggestions to consider using bounce flash and no flash with a high ISO setting).

7) The LCD Display

AVOID USING THE DISPLAY TO CHECK ANYTHING OTHER THAN IF YOU CUT OFF ANYONE'S HEAD. LCD displays should NOT be used to confirm contrast, color, exposure, or any other critical factors. This is why the computer is needed to evaluate test shots prior to the party. If you are very experienced, you can tell certain things from the histogram, but to be safe - take test shots and examine the results on a computer (or, ideally a printer) way before the actual date of the party.

8) Equipment

Have fully-charged batteries, memory cards, chargers, external flash, lens accessories, and tripod ready.

9) Construct a Birthday Party Pictures List

Jot down MUST HAVE pictures, as well as the ones you would like to capture, if possible. And, what's the good of putting together a list unless you remember to take it to the party AND TO REFER TO IT.

10) Candids

If you're putting together a list, may I suggest including "Candids" on it. Very often the best birthday party photos will be candids. Since most birthday photos are generally posed, candids take on a special uniqueness.

Candid birthday party photos of sleeping children should always be a top priority. Why? On a purely emotional note, they are always cute, will typically produce a smile for the viewer, and sometimes even get a laugh.

11) Surplus Time

If it's your child's birthday party, they will never look better than they do JUST BEFORE THE PARTY STARTS. If possible, locate a spot where natural light is entering a window and POSE them and the cake for some big smiling photos. (The younger the child, the less chance for smiles, so don't go crazy.)

And, by the way, there will be plenty of opportunity later to take some birthday party pictures with cake and ice cream dribbling out of their mouth.

To see sample photos and additional tips, check out http://www.best-family-photography-tips.com/birthday-party-pictures.html.

Article courtesy of http://www.best-family-photography-tips.com, where you can see numerous sample pictures & photography tips on many subjects and events.

Copyright 2005 Robert Bezman. All rights reserved.

Robert Bezman is a professional photographer and owner of Custom Photographic Expressions. Robert has created http://www.best-family-photography-tips.com to help the digital photography users create better photographs. Robert has a blog at http://www.best-family-photography-tips.com/family-photography-news.html


MORE RESOURCES:
On Rules in Photography  PetaPixel

I very often have this strong negative reaction when a newsletter arrives in my inbox or I see an online article where the heading reads: “5 rules to follow when ...


Entries sought for photography show  Siskiyou Daily News

The deadline for entries is March 7. The juror for the show is Roman Loranc, an internationally known fine-art and conservation photographer.


'Pokémon GO' Is Now 'Pokémon Snap': AR Photography Mode Has Finally Launched  Forbes

True photo mode has finally arrived in Pokemon GO at last. It's like Pokemon Snap brought to real life.


Basic Real Estate Photography Tips for the Beginning Photographer  Fstoppers

Real estate photography is a reliable staple as a source of income for many photographers. The commercial applications of quality real estate imagery are ...


18 Spectacular Photographs recognized at the AIA Los Angeles Photography Awards  ArchDaily

The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter has announced the winners of their 2019 Architectural Photography Awards. The 18 images, awarded ...


Ricoh’s GRIII street photography compact goes on sale next month for $899  The Verge

Ricoh has announced pricing and release details for the GRIII. The long-awaited street photography-focused camera will go on sale next month for $899.95.


Landscape Photography is NOT a Competition  PetaPixel

A little more than 10 years ago, I had a realization that would one day change my life forever. During an evening stroll in the local woods with my camera in hand ...


Currents: Don Tredinnick, nature photographer  Minneapolis Star Tribune

Today: Don Tredinnick of Frozen Hiker Photography. He does photo hikes at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington, and teaches classes ...


New photography exhibit on display at Mountain Gateway Museum  McDowell News

A new traveling exhibit of historic photographs is now on display at the Mountain Gateway Museum in Old Fort.


Stunning Lunar Photography Uses 50,000 Photos for One Image  My Modern Met

Astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy captured stunning lunar photography. Although presented as a single image of the moon, it's actually 50000 photos in one!


San Antonio Museum of Art Brings 20th-Century Photography Into Focus with ‘Capturing the Moment’  San Antonio Current

Nodding with its title to iconic French lensman and Magnum Photos founding member Henri Cartier-Bresson and his principle of harnessing “the decisive ...


Are You Guilty of Formulaic Photography?  Fstoppers

My landscape photography relies on a formula. As a photographer attempting to create images with artistic vision, this realization frightens me. This article ...


Photographer stalls printing of book to get images of Indiana Dunes, America's newest national park  Chicago Tribune

Photographer QT Luong stopped the presses, literally, and put publishing of the coffee table book on hold until he could visit the nation's newest park.


Survival International launches 2019 tribal photography competition  Survival International

Survival International is proud to announce its renowned annual photography competition, welcoming entries from both amateur and professional ...


Cornered: The Stunning Street Photography of Chris Dorley-Brown - February 21, 2019  SF Weekly

When art-goers see Chris Dorley-Brown's series of East London street scenes called “The Corners,” they often ask if Dorley-Brown staged the images.


Attention real estate: Why has your photography not improved yet?  Inman.com

Real estate agents should know it takes more than just a good phone camera to take great listing photos — yet, in some cases, it's nearly impossible to tell the ...


Photographers capture 'those little moments' at a bar or bat mitzvah  Cleveland Jewish News

Johnathan Koslen | Owner | New Image Photography | Chagrin Falls. Bar Mitzvah photography. New Image Photography. What is the most important thing to get ...


Galerie Gmurzynska to Mount Karl Lagerfeld Photography Survey in Zurich -  ARTnews

Following the news of Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld's death on Tuesday, Galerie Gmurzynska has announced a surprise homage to one of the ...


Photography In The National Parks: Negative Space and Color Space  National Parks Traveler

Believe it or not, space has a lot to do with photography. No, not outer space. Negative space and color space both have a huge effect on your national park ...


Dispute over photography in Broadacres esplanade erupts in viral video  Chron

A dispute over photography in the popular esplanades located in Broadacres flared anew recently in a viral video posted on Facebook. In a message and video ...


National Geographic Traveller Photography competition finalists  The Independent

The finalists for the National Geographic Traveller Photography competition have been announced.


Ricoh GR III hands-on: Samples from street photography’s new star  SlashGear

Ricoh knew it had a hit on its hands when it previewed the Ricoh GR III back at Photokina 2018. Even without a full spec list, lacking a price, and with nobody.


Sony partnership with Light aims to take smartphone photography to new heights  Digital Trends

Camera firm Light has partnered with Sony to develop new reference designs for multi-image sensor solutions for smartphones with four or more cameras.


What Are the Worst Photography Fads of the Past and the Present?  Fstoppers

As with any creative medium, there are blips of unfortunate comedy. Photography has had more than its fair share, and let's be honest, many of us have tried ...


SHG senior hopes to empower others with her photography  The State Journal-Register

Editor's note: This is the second in a series of stories about local teen artists.Liz Donelan's photography career began with rocks.“As a kid, I would always ask to ...


Photo of the Super Snow Moon by Mandy Fiock Photography!  frontporchnewstexas.com

February's full moon, known as a Super Snow Moon, is the brightest of 2019. The Old Farmer's Almanac explains the word “super” is used to designate when the ...


Antique photograph collection on display at Joplin library  Joplin Globe

A collection of antique photographs that includes portraits of historical figures such as George and Martha Washington as well as photos from the Civil War are ...


'Shape of Light' Shines in the Space Where Photographic Art Bleeds into Wider Art  PopMatters

There's a wealth of work on display in Shape of Light, from the Tate Modern's exhibit, perhaps one of the finest general collections of abstract photographs ...


Ardmore approves new lighting for library, new aerial photography  Daily Ardmoreite

Two items approved during Tuesday night's Board of Commissioners meeting will have the city of Ardmore looking upward.The first of these approvals will allow ...


Briefing a Photographer: How to Write a Photography Brief  PetaPixel

Briefing a photographer can be challenging, especially if you haven't hired one in the past. A good brief provides all the key information about your project that a ...


Ten Truths About Wedding Photography  Fstoppers

Whether you're an established wedding photographer or aspiring to be, here are some truths about wedding photography that will make you say "yep" or "I had ...


Karl Lagerfeld's Best Fashion Photography and Editorials in Harper's BAZAAR  HarpersBAZAAR.com

As the fashion world mourns the loss of Karl Lagerfeld, we're taking a look back at his impact on the industry as well as the pages of Harper's BAZAAR.


Nearly One Year After His Release From a Bangladeshi Jail, Photographer and Activist Shahidul Alam Will Get His First US Retrospective  artnet News

Shahidul Alam: Truth to Power” will open at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York on November 8th, nearly one year after his release.


Guy Webster, Master of the Album Cover Photograph, Dies at 79  The New York Times

Guy Webster was smoking pot with the Mamas & the Papas in the group's rented house in Los Angeles in 1966 when he had an idea about how to photograph ...


These 10 life hacks will turn your studio into a photographer's Batcave  DIYphotography

Having a photography studio is fun, but it is even more fun when you start applying simple and cheap solutions, plus common sense to make your shooting ...


Five Budget Travel Tips to Save on Long-Term Landscape Photography  Fstoppers

Let's go to New Zealand!” Ka-ching, that's a pretty chunk of change to shell out, but travel has become comparatively more affordable than ever before. If you are ...


Melbourne gains major new photography festival  Wallpaper*

The City of Melbourne's Lord Mayor Sally Capp today annouced details of PHOTO, a major new photohgraphy festival for Melbourne and Regional Victoria, ...


Tintype photographer takes Savannah portraits at Sulfur Studios  Savannah Morning News

An artist practicing a 200-year-old style of photography is this month's artist in residence at Sulfur Studios.Jemma Castiglione is the subject of the Bull Street ...


Stamford JCC gallery hosts photo show by Stamford photographer Labkoff  CTPost

The Stamford Jewish Community Center's Gallery @ the J will feature a selection of “Dusk to Dawn” photography by Stamford's award-winning photographer Dr.


Photography and music event to benefit Stewart Park revitalization efforts  Ithaca Journal

Donations from the tickets will go directly to Stewart Park revitalization efforts.


2 Concordians are longlisted for the 2019 New Generation Photography Award  Concordia University News

Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts grad students Matthew Brooks and Zinnia Naqvi — have made the longlist for the 2019 New Generation Photography Award.


Four Photography Traps You Should Avoid  Fstoppers

There are lots of mistakes (both subtle and obvious) that are easy to make in the course of pursuing photography as a hobby or as a career. This helpful video ...


Tips on Winter Photography  Fstoppers

Photographing during winter can give many different conditions. Some wet and foggy, some snowy and some even stormy and snowy. Here are some tips on ...


A Photographer Who Makes You Ask, ‘What Has Happened Here?’  The Indian Express

Erwin Olaf's photos have the gloss of fashion shots and a haunting undercurrent that makes you long for more context. As he turns 60, three museums will ...


Bring Some Magic Into Your Home With These Harry Potter Fine Art Photographs  Mental Floss

Even if you've seen the Harry Potter movies a thousand times, they invariably come to an end after 160 or so minutes, forcing you to leave Hogwarts and return ...


Adventure photographer to visit  Brattleboro Reformer

BELLOWS FALLS Adventure photographer to visit. New Hampshire native Elliott Mazzola's photographs from his adventures around the globe will be on display ...


You Will Fail as a Photographer  PetaPixel

In a world where everyone gets a trophy just for participating, I feel the need to point something out. You probably already know this, but l'm gonna say it anyway: ...


The Middle East Framed - regional photography for February 21, 2019  The National

A shooter from Oman takes part in a pratice session with an air pistol at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup at Dr. Karni Singh ...


Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition  Digital Trends

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with ...


Mary Farrell: My passion — and patience — for portrait photography  Winona Daily News

I have a couple of portraits that hang in my home, one of Georgia O'Keefe and the other of Paul Simon. Both of these portraits appeal to my sense of.


How You Can Become a Better Photographer by Working in Other Genres  Fstoppers

We're all always looking for ways to become better photographers. This great video talks about a method for improving your photography that you might not have ...


Meet the Creative Who Helped Shape the Outdoor-Action Photography, Storytelling, and Filmmaking Industry  Fstoppers

Canadian creative Jordan Manley is a master of capturing artistic, storytelling moments in the outdoors through both stills and motion. Find out some tools of the ...


Incredible nature photos from the Sony World Photography Awards  Quartz

The Sony World Photography Awards, a massive competition that honors the best images from more than 300,000 submissions, has announced its shortlist.


Photography group present funds to childcare facililty  Kildare Nationalist

ATHY Photography Society (APS) chairperson Peadar Doogue recently presented €500 to Siofra Merrin (manager) and John Delaney, Chair of the Board of ...


5 Simple Apps for Landscape Photography  PetaPixel

Am I the only one that finds some of the most popular apps used for landscape photography a bit overwhelming? Don't get me wrong: these apps are ...


Maya is "the only darkroom timer you'll ever need"  DIYphotography

One of the biggest issues in the darkroom is keeping track of time. Whether it's for developing your rolls of film or exposing negatives onto paper in the enlarger, ...


Mary Gaudin photographs little-known Werry/Francis Houses by New Zealand modernist John Scott  Dezeen

The sunlit spaces of the Werry/Francis Houses in New Zealand, designed by late architect John Scott, are captured in these new images by Mary Gaudin.


Photography And The American West  KUER 90.1

How much can a photograph tell us about our past? Historian Martha Sandweiss says images like the one of the railroads meeting at Promontory Summit “can.


How to Be More Observant and Engaged as a Street Photographer  Artsy

Photographer Amy Touchette shares her tips for honing your eye, forming a rapport with your subjects, and creating daily photography habits.


Flash photography is fine, but please don't touch  Cosmos

Not all guidelines for divers are based on science, say Maarten De Brauwer, Benjamin Saunders and Tanika Shalders from Australia's Curtin University.


This trick will tell you which lens to buy next  DIYphotography

Buying a new lens is always an exciting event. But, with such a huge choice, you may be indecisive about the one in which you should invest your hard-earned ...


Award-Winning Photographer Lisa Saad Accused of Stealing Photos  PetaPixel

Lisa Saad is considered one of Australia's top photographers and has won numerous prestigious photo contests both in her country and internationally.


Photographer captured faces of the American South during Jim Crow  ABC News

A new book reveals the work of 19th century photographer Hugh Mangum.


Q&A: Marco Gualazzini, World Press Photo nominee  British Journal of Photography

“For me it has always been about the human side. The only way of reporting this drama is through stories of people,” says Marco Gualazzini, whose ...


These are the photos our 100 million Instagram followers liked most  National Geographic

We've posted nearly 20000 photos. These are the stories you connected with.


The Best Wildlife Photography TV Show Is Free on YouTube  Fstoppers

Alright, you can hate me for this since I've been keeping it to myself for a while now. But "Wild Photo Adventures," the PBS television series that follows wildlife ...


This Israeli photographer takes pictures the 19th century way  Haaretz

Edward Kaprov, an Israeli photographer, with two decades experience, has in recent years been taking pictures using the mid-19th century collodion wet plate ...


2019 Sony World Photography Awards Open and Youth Shortlists  My Modern Met

A look at the shortlist for the Open and Youth Competitions of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards, which will crown a winner in late February.


How 7 Travel Photographers Get Their Perfect Shot  Thrillist

The top cameras, mobile apps, and everything in between to up your travel photography game.


Don't fall into these four photography traps  DIYphotography

Your browser does not currently recognize any of the video formats available. Click here to visit our frequently asked questions about HTML5 video.


Photographer Lydia Panas Previews Her 'Sleeping Beauty' Exhibit on LV Arts Salon  WDIY

George Miller and Kate Scuffle welcome photographer Lydia Panas to discuss her new photography exhibit, 'Sleeping Beauty,' at Muhlenberg College's Martin.


She shot for Israel's secret services. But her photos can't be published  Haaretz

The headstone of Sarah Ayal, in Jerusalem's Har Hamenuhot cemetery, describes her as “woman with a noble soul, modest in her ways.” It also says she ...


Gallery: Smartphone photography comes of age in the 8th Mobile Photography Awards  New Atlas

In its 8th year, the Mobile Photography Awards has finally become more than a novelty photography competition. Celebrating the artistry that can be created ...


Top Wildlife Photographs Include Heartbreaking Polar Bear, Heartwarming Lions  EcoWatch

The Natural History Museum in London announced the winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year: LUMIX People's Choice Award. After counting 16000 ...


Photographer Chooses the Worst Weather for the Best Husky Photos (PHOTOS)  The Weather Channel

Frank Pantely, the human behind @Im_Gonna_Be_Frank, didn't create his Instagram to follow the ever-growing trend of pet Instagrams. “Honestly, it kind of fell ...


NASA celebrates Earth’s incredible natural beauty with free photo book  Digital Trends

NASA has published a new book featuring stunning imagery captured by its satellites. A hardback version is available for $53, but it can be downloaded to ...


24 photographers document 24 hours  BBC News

The latest set of 24 images from a group of photographers who document the first 24 hours of each year.


Interview: Jimmy Nelson, Photographer Who Explores Indigenous Cultures  My Modern Met

An interview with photographer Jimmy Nelson, who documents indigenous tribes around the world. We discuss his career, the 'Before They Pass Away' ...


Photographs of a bygone Chinatown  The Economist

MRS CHOW looks at the camera, her expression quietly powerful, her arms resting on a table. Her husband puts his arm around her shoulders and gazes at her; ...


Apple promotes photography with 'Shot on iPhone' contest, but is ripping off photographers  AppleInsider

Huge numbers of professional photographers use Apple gear, but even when they don't, why would they let Apple or any company use their images for free?


National Geographic photographer Carlton Ward speaking in Tampa  Creative Loafing Tampa

In advance of his National Geographic Live talk at the Straz, the wildlife photographer talked to CL.


This photographer documented Syria’s ancient monuments, unaware they would be ravaged by war  Washington Post

Photographer Kevin Bubriski visited Syria before the war.


15 incredible pictures from the National Geographer Traveller Photography Competition  Evening Standard

The way we consume travel photography has certainly changed over recent years. The introduction of Instagram means anyone with a high-quality smartphone ...


Star Wars updates: J.J. Abrams’ Episode IX tease, Mandalorian production wrap  FanSided

Star Wars fans are about to be overwhelmed with new *content* teases as Episode IX wrapped photography and The Mandalorian wrapped production.


Creative Dog Photography Ideas Transform Pup into a Cast of Characters  My Modern Met

Photographer Ursula Aitchison snaps funny pictures of her dog Hugo. With her creative dog photography ideas, she transforms the pup into a cast of characters.


Stunning entries to photography contest marking the 70th anniversary of the UK's National Parks  Daily Mail

The pictures were taken for a contest marking 70 years since the creation of the Campaign for National Parks and feature locations such as the Peak District and ...


When the Camera Was a Weapon of Imperialism. (And When It Still Is.)  The New York Times

In his final On Photography column, Teju Cole argues that images of human suffering often implicitly serves the powers that be.


Don't Let Social Media Ruin Your Photography  PetaPixel

Photography and Camera News, Reviews, and Inspiration.


What It's Like Attending a Best Buy Photography Workshop  PetaPixel

After I saw an ad on Facebook about an upcoming Best Buy photography workshop, I got the idea to attend it, and I thought other photographers would be ...


The Long Wait for a Chance to Photograph the Wolverine  PetaPixel

I recently wrapped up six days of personal photography in northern Finland (in “no man's land” on the Russian border) trying to photograph the wolverine in ...


Is Pat Clayton The Finest Fish Photographer In America?  Mountain Journal

During winter, when others are bundled in thermal layers and plying the slopes, Pat Clayton loves to ski but he makes his living by taking the polar bear plunge ...


Matt Smith Defends Playing Gay Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe  Pride.com

Despite conversations about representation and visibility for queer people in media, British actor Matt Smith has publicly defended his casting as gay ...


Apple unveils new in-store sessions covering photography, Garage Band, health and more  TechCrunch

Apple is launching 58 new Today at Apple sessions to beef up its in-store education offerings for people who want to explore Apple's products. The sessions ...


home | site map | Seashell Photography
© 2006