Taking better birthday pictures

image of a birthday boy   Yesterday one of my Grandson’s had a birthday and we had a party for him at  Chuck E Cheese.   Trying to get good birthday pictures there is not an easy task.   Too much stimulation has junior running crazy which doesn’t help get a good shot, and then add cake and pizza to the mix and there is no way he will sit still for a photo.

Times like this is when it is really important to know how to use your camera, this is not the time to be experimenting with settings or you will miss the shot.   If you are unsure how to use any other setting comfortably, put the camera on automatic and let it do it’s thing.  It is fairly well lit there but with the constant movement of the kids the images were blurry unless the flash was on.   I have an external flash for my camera so I am able to still get some good lighting.   Use the on camera  flash and if the light is too harsh and concentrated in just one spot you can add some fill flash when you process the photos to add a little more even light.

This party was all about the kids playing and having fun at Chuck E Cheese, there wasn’t much focus on a cake or presents.   The cake was cupcakes and presents were opened at home.   The pictures I took were of the kids having fun and the only way I could do this was follow them around and watch them play, I zoomed in on them as much as possible to get rid of the very busy room around us and got some great shots by getting down on their level (which my knees did not thank me for) I took a ton of pics (remember this is digital and you can delete) so I could capture the expressions on their face.

image of boy playing game

image of boy playing air hockey game

Don’t forget to notice the reactions of the adults and others at the party,  like newborn baby sister who is asleep in spite of all the noise, just clinging to her mom’s necklace for dear life.

image of a baby clutching a necklace

There was no way I was going to be able to pose him for any special shots, I tried to get him to sit and pose for me but even when I got him to sit still for a minute he was looking away.   If there are special shots that you want to have the best way is to do it is to stage them before the party and all the craziness starts.   If you want a picture of him standing beside Chuck E Cheese (if he isn’t scared to death of him) you should probably try to do that before all his friends arrive.   A staged shot at home is usually the best way to get that perfect cake photo you want as well.   The staged shots are great for getting the look you want but the reality in the moment shots are usually far from perfect (sigh!) but they are fun.  I had to give up with my vision for a cute shot of him sitting in this huge monster truck because he didn’t want to cooperate.   I don’t usually expect an award winning shot out of birthday pictures just ones the kids enjoy looking at.


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