Birthday Photography: 22 Tips

Birthday Photography

Birthday photography is a very complex type of shooting, requiring a lot of patience and good communication skills. How to take good birthday photos and what settings to choose? Why should you use a flash? How to edit a birthday party photo? I will share my tips and tricks in this post.

22 Birthday Photography Tips & Ideas

I have studied the most frequent questions about birthday photography and I am ready to share the answers. These tips will greatly simplify your birthday party shooting process and help achieve stunning results.

1. Create a Festive Atmosphere

festive atmosphere birthday photo

The most important thing on any holiday is the atmosphere. You can create it by throwing a theme party. For example, it could be a Disney theme. You need to choose themed costumes for the children (put on the ears of Mickey Mouse and a shoulder cape) or make decorations in the style of Disney Princess Jasmine.

The pirate theme is a good one as well. You can come up with a lot of funny costumes (a hat and eye patch), and it will not be difficult for you to arrange decorations. Hang separate photos of pirates and posters with ships.

Besides, you can make a large poster with the image of the ship on the sea background and success is guaranteed. Check out some sea theme costumes A&J DESIGN Boys Ocean Pajamas for your pirate party!

If you are going to take a birthday party photo on your own, become a part of this atmosphere. If it is another person, tell him/her what theme and style your party will have. Pick up a costume in advance so the photographer will not stand out much.

2. Use a Tripod for Large Groups

tripod for birthday photography View Prices

For any person, a birthday is a special occasion when the nearest and dearest along with the most desired guests gather. As a birthday party photographer, you need to start taking pictures from the moment of the first meeting near the house, as the waiting is over and the emotions of joy will be magnificent.

Next, you should not miss the moment of giving gifts as this is the most joyful moment for the child. You also need to take a picture of all the guests together when they have arrived.

3. Photograph All Guests at the Table

birthday photography with guests

After the meeting of all friends and guests, everyone goes to the festive table. It shines with different colors of beautiful dishes and an unusual table setting (every time it is a different one). Here you need to capture the moments when the guests have just sat down at the table but have not touched all this beauty.

But don’t drag out with these happy birthday party images for a long time, because it will not be polite. Guests may think that you are not allowing them to eat.

4. Take Many Birthday Photos

photo at the birthday party

Birthday photoshoot photographers know that usually it’s not possible to keep everyone together for a long time on any holiday. Children run away to play, adults begin to go about their business, and the whole company scatters around.

Therefore, you need to take as many photos as possible. People will not expect that they are being photographed, and you will get the most hilarious and unusual pictures.

5. Change Places and Poses

birthday photography poses

If you do not change places and positions for shooting, then you will have boring images on the same background and from one angle. You should constantly move around and take photos from different positions.

Try asking guests to exchange parts of their costumes or outerwear. This birthday photography idea will add humor and relieve the atmosphere.

6. Take Separate Photos

birthday photography

Children can rarely be brought together at a party so you need to take individual photos. If you want to capture them together, try to do it during the games. Take birthday cake images or shoot children with soft toys. However, you need to take a joint photo. For example, you can capture the moment when all the children blow out the candles on the cake.

7. Take Picture with a Cake

birthday photography with the cake

A birthday cake is the most long-awaited part of any birthday party. The facial expressions of a birthday person must be captured as it is always a surprise for him/her what a cake will be like. When shooting birthday parties, you need to take pics of the cake separately with the birthday person and other guests and the moment of blowing out the candles.

Set a shutter speed of 1/100th of a second. To take multiple shots and get sharp images, you should select a continuous shooting mode.

8. Take Pictures During Children's Competitions

birthday photography during the contest

To capture children in unusual poses and situations, you need to photograph them during contests. If the birthday photoshoot takes place in the summer, give them water guns, divide them into teams. In winter, playing snowballs will do the trick. A child who is concentrated and interested in victory can give emotions and facial expressions that cannot be repeated.

Observe the interactions of the children carefully and be ready to capture the best moments. Pay attention to the lighting. If the party takes place at home, then the lighting can be not bright enough. In this case, use the f/2.8-f/4 aperture and raise the ISO up to 400 to get high-quality images. You can also experiment with composition and framing.

9. Knee Down to the Floor

birthday photography from the floor

As adults, we often forget that children are lower in height than we are. You are most likely to photograph children from a high perspective, standing upright or on top. Try to go down during the game, hold the camera nearby and capture the moment from such a perspective.

When you take pictures from a low angle, children are not aware of it and behave more naturally. This is one of the most winning positions for the children birthday photography since, at close range, the process is not as obvious as when you hang from above.

10. Take Photo at the Beginning and at the End

birthday photography at the beginning of the party

Joint photos at the beginning and end of the party are among the best birthday photography ideas. Then, when you compose these photos into an album, there will be a huge difference between what is in the beginning and what is in the end. You would see how energetic the guests were, and how tired but happy they looked in the end.

11. Photograph During Movement

birthday photography during the dance

Trying to catch bright shots, you need to move constantly and wait for a suitable moment. Ask the children to dance and take a photo. You can turn on their favorite songs and shoot while they are dancing.

To get great pictures, you need to choose the right equipment and settings. Use a telephoto zoom lens of 24-70mm to implement this photography birthday idea. Set the ISO of 100-800 and select AV (Aperture Priority) mode. To get a blurry background, use a wide aperture of f/2.8-f/10. You will also need a flash to freeze the action.

To quietly focus on participants and blur distractions, you should set the aperture to f/4 to and use a reasonable shutter speed of 1/15 second to maintain sharpness. Remember that if you are indoors, set ISO 400 or higher and shutter speed should be fast enough.

12. Take Close-Up Birthday Photographs

close-up birthday photography

Getting closer is perhaps the most important point (assuming that you have everything you need for such photos). As a rule, children are happy and smiling at such moments. But you can also capture other emotions: nerves and shyness, laughter, or even faces of children when they all drink something simultaneously. You should set the shutter speed at 1/160th of a second to take sharp pictures. If you shoot birthday photography in low light, choose higher ISO.

13. Use a Flash

birthday photography with flash and without

Natural light should be used as much as possible, but sometimes you need a flash. It can come in handy to fill in shadows when the objects are highlighted. A flash can also be useful for dark houses that just don't get enough natural light (or if it's night time).

When using the flash, be sure to diffuse the light as much as possible to avoid harsh shadows and bright spots. You can attach a diffuser to the flash itself, and it is always recommended to bounce off the ceiling or wall behind you. While many photographers prefer shooting in the light they have, a flash can offer various creative options, and sometimes you need it to get beautiful happy birthday images. If you plan on taking events photos frequently, invest in a reliable Godox TT685F 2.4G flash.

14. Edit Your Birthday Photos

birthday photo editing birthday photo editing
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Pay more attention to editing your birthday party photos. Crop, enhance colors and shoot in black and white. Don’t be afraid to use different programs and features of your smartphone to enhance photos.

You can benefit from filters if they look natural and harmonious in the context of the scene. Besides, you can delegate birthday party photo editing to professionals, such as FixThePhoto.

15. Photograph Animators

birthday photography with the animators

Invite an animator to a birthday photoshoot. Ask him/her to take several different costumes. You will be surprised how differently children react to the clown and Captain Jack Sparrow. You can invite several animators simultaneously.

16. Always Hold the Camera in Your Hands

funny birthday photography

As you know, in the brightest moments there is never a camera at hand. Therefore, birthday party photographers always carry the camera on a strap. You can capture the most necessary moments: spilling a drink on a dress, an argument between children or sudden hugs.

17. Always Be Fun and Energetic

birthday photo

When you are on the same wavelength with children, they begin to reveal themselves more to show all their best sides. Get on your knees while playing with them and introduce yourself as a child who wants to play with them. Come up with a new game for them, they really love it.

18. Don’t Trust Your Camera to Other People

broken camera at birthday party

Since the camera is not a cheap pleasure, it is better not to give it to another person. Although everyone wants to be in the role of a birthday party photographer, you don’t need to share this role. If the camera breaks, a further photoshoot won’t be possible.

19. Participate in Competitions

birthday photography during the game

Turn birthday photography into a game. Children often turn away and don’t let you take good pictures. A great way to cope with this situation is by offering them to play unusual hide and seek together. Ask the child to squint and then find the eyes of mom or dad. Another option is playing tag. Choose the one who will catch up and shoot this moment.

20. Family Birthday Photo

family birthday photography

Pay attention to separate photographs of the family. Take joint photos with both parents and grandparents. Time goes by, so take these photos at every birthday. These birthday party images for adults and children will be a nice memory for a long time.

21. Don’t Be Too Persistent

birthday photography during the contest

It is better not to make children pose. In most cases, such a birthday party photo looks tense and fake. Take pictures of children in their natural state and get lively pictures. Children are big dreamers, so you need to convey these feelings.

22. Adjust Your Camera in Advance

camera settings for birthday photography

Select the desired settings for your camera before the celebration starts. The ISO value should be no less than 400-800. Since you will have to photograph moving children, you should make sure that the images are clear and sharp. To do this, set the shutter speed to at least 1/125th of a second. Otherwise, you will regret that you have taken a good photo, but it looks blurry.

If you are shooting on a sunny day outdoors, event photography tutorial recommends using the minimum ISO of 100 or lower (if your camera supports it). The aperture (f) must be closed, so choose a large value. Thus, you can’t damage the optics in the sun and the rays will not overexpose the frame. I recommend setting an aperture value from 10.

If you take pictures outdoors on a cloudy day, use an ISO of 100 or higher. You get less light, which means you have to increase the sensitivity of the camera. Aperture must be open. If you are shooting a portrait, the aperture can be opened at 2.8 or 3.5 (if your lens supports it).

Freebies for Birthday Photography

If you are a birthday party photographer, you probably know about the importance of image editing. Different software allow you to make your pictures even better and brighter. Thanks to ready-made plugins, you can turn your photos into real masterpieces in just a few minutes. Here are a few image editing freebies that will surely come in handy.


freebies for birthday photography freebies for birthday photography

Are you looking for the perfect option for outdoor birthday photography? Then select this filter as it will add high contrast, red tone and rich colors. It will be a great choice for portraits and birthday photos.


freebies for birthday photography freebies for birthday photography

This matte filter is great for close-ups. So you can easily focus on the natural beauty of the face thanks to a unique set of options and customizable tools. As a result, you will get a brilliant picture with an emphasis on every pleasant detail. The main advantage of this preset is the addition of soft light to enhanced images. It is an irreplaceable filter for birthday photography.

Snow Flare

freebies for birthday photography freebies for birthday photography

A beautiful winter portrait will look very cool in a birthday album but it is not always possible to photograph in snowy weather. Luckily, this free Ps action will fix this problem. It adds a bit of white glare, reminding of falling snow.

Pure White Balance

freebies for birthday photography freebies for birthday photography

This set has presets for creating a fabulous atmosphere in your frames. They add warm, antique shades that seem like sunbeams have kissed photographs. With this classic set at your disposal, you can turn any photo into a real masterpiece. This set will make just magical happy birthday party images.


freebies for birthday photography freebies for birthday photography

This set is indispensable if you are doing baby birthday photography. It will add soft tones to the delicate skin and will make the photos unforgettable.

Tata Rossi

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