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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Taking photos of a child's birthday

This article was written for a blog all about Children's parties done ecologically!

Before the party, make sure the rechargeable batteries are ready, the cameras cards are empty and assign an additional one or two people to take lots of photos in case you get too busy.

What shots to take
The kinds of shots to get are guests arriving, group shots, cake shots, party games, kids just being kids, any and all human interactions, present opening, blowing out candles and don’t forget the small details of the day. Also watch the adults for their reactions. Kids love to see the images on the LCD, some will pull faces which can be fun and if you are not really well known to the kids it can be a great ice breaker. They will often try to out do each other.

Take along some bubbles for some fun images, use more depth of field to show the bubbles well or focus on a bubble and have the kids blurred in the background for an arty effect. Many little kids around 3 months to less than a year old respond well to peek-a-boo from behind the camera. Little kids in prams are a captive audience and if you get in close you sometimes can’t even tell they are in a pram!

Point of view
Changing your angle of view can make images more interesting, try to get down on the kids eye level for lots of the shots you take. Lay on the ground and look around, this can be a great angle with kids running near you. Get up high if there is a balcony or something to climb on safely, do anything you can to mix up your point of view; even standing on a chair can be good.

Technical tips
When taking photographs of a cake with candles alight raise your ISO and turn off the flash to capture the ambient light. When taking candids watching for the critical moment can be more effective than sports burst mode. Set your focus to follow the action as kids can move fast, sports mode can work for this.

Basic photography tips that always help
All the basics that can improve your photography still hold true. The best tips are to simplify your background. Get in close and fill the frame. For almost every portrait focus the camera on the eyes. Get to know the settings on your camera to get the most out of it and let the photojournalist in you come out to tell a story of the day with all the emotion and interaction you can get.

Most importantly remember to have fun and smile a lot!

I have been doing lots of shoots and have been too busy to blog, so more coming soon including couples shoots, surfers and babies.