It's time to plan your party

You’ve got the cake, decorations, games, food and party favors all set up. Your birthday party for your kid is just about ready. Except for one thing - how am I going to remember all of this? A photographer of course! Not every birthday party has a budget for one and I’m here to tell you that’s totally okay. You have it in you to take or delegate some amazing memories all with the help of your smart phone. Here are some pro tips on how to get the best party photos, from an event photographer.

Photograph all the decorations 

Every little detail you’ve spent sourcing should be part of the documentation. As a photographer, my first few images are always going to be of the decor, cake, food and the way the entire space is set up before the guests arrive. Get in close for the details like themed napkins and table toppers and then move back, turn your phone horizontally and take a wide photo of everything. 

Get some candid photos of the guests

You might be tempted to ask people to look towards you and say “cheese” but you’ll get so many more honest expressions if you sneak around and snap photos when guests aren’t looking directly at you. Listen out for laughter, watch people converse and don’t shy away from photographing unhappy kids too. It’s all part of the atmosphere. One of my favorite photos is of family and friends interacting and wishing the birthday kiddo so stand back and watch your baby accept their praise.

Kids having fun make for delightful memories

You might have set up a bouncy castle or hired an ice cream truck. You might have created some party games too or hoisted a pinata. Maybe the kids are running around playing tag or a game they made up. Get down to their level (like squat down to the ground) and take a few photos of them. It’s also lovely to just focus on motion like their legs being off the ground while they are running. Try to avoid zooming in with your fingers. Just get close instead. 

Take closeups of all the little kids’ faces

This is one of my favorite things to do at a birthday party. It gives me a reminder of who was at the party and I also have something nice to send to their parents as a thank you for coming. Use portrait mode if your phone has the setting. Make funny faces, tell some jokes and get the kid in front of you smiling.

Set up the cake spot for the best cake shot 

You probably have a table set up for where you’ll be signing to your kid. Make sure there is nothing distracting on the table - remove all cups, napkins or the cake box. You just need a cake and a knife. Get all the kids from the party around the cake with your birthday child in the center. Squat down and take a photo at the kids’ eye levels. It’s always so interesting how the kids have an excited expression over the prospect of eating cake. Once you’re done singing, hand over your phone to a trusted friend and ask them to take a few family photos. 

Everett family photographer: a birthday party photo of a kids standing around a cake
Everett event photographer: a man carries a toddler at her birthday party
Everett family photographer: a toddler sits on the table among his birthday party decor