As we ease out of birthday season at my house, I still have this on my mind and thought it would be helpful to all you Moms out there in the thick of birthdays. There's a fine line of balance between documenting your child's birthday and enjoying the moment. I like to think I have a pretty good handle on things and swear by these five tips to photographing your child's birthday. Follow them below for my tried and true shot list.
1. Picture of the birthday kid!
I like to get this BEFORE the party. Usually standing in the decorated room or wherever we will be set up. It's good to get it before guests arrive, because as soon as they start seeing cousins and friends and presents it's game over!
2. All the details
Again, do this BEFORE guests arrive. If you're anything like me, you like to go a bit above and beyond, (some might even call it "extra") but it's all in the name of fun - for both you and the birthday kid. Ha. Snap a few close ups of the cake, decorations, party favors, food... whatever you've got out on display. Do this before your guests arrive because I can PROMISE you it won't look like that again. ha. Plus it's also a good time to check to make sure everything is in the intended spot.
3. a FEW shots of birthday kid opening presents
Emphasis on FEW! Because, let's be honest, as cute as it is to watch your child open up presents, no one (not even you) wants to look at 30 pictures of different wrapping jobs being ripped to shreds. I like to make sure I get the picture of the "big" gift from us, and then maybe a few of the ones from grandparents. After those have been taken, just enjoy the maniac you raised cycle through the presents stack like he's on Supermarket Sweep.
4. Birthday kid with birthday cake
The classic birthday shot to end all shots. Make sure you try and get your birthday kid smiling and looking at the general direction of the camera. My favorite shot to grab is them blowing out their candles.
5. Put the camera down!
After you've gotten the afore mentioned shots, put the camera away. Maybe grab a few candids of who all is in attendance (a great time to get this is when everyone is singing Happy Birthday to your child and is happy and focused on them.) But after all that, put it away and enjoy the party. Your kid is only this little for so long and this day is also about you, and how you pushed out that 8 lb butter ball who is all of the sudden a little boy and no longer a baby. Photographs are great to remember moments and time, but even more important than taking them, is being apart of the memories.