14 June 2012

10 Tips for Photographing Your Birthday Girl (or Boy)

Last Friday, my littlest one turned three!

Would you like to see what we did to celebrate? I thought it would be fun to give some tips on capturing those oh-so-special moments along the way ;) We didn't have a birthday party on her actual birthday (that will happen in a few weeks), so there are no party photos. Just photos taken by me with our family.

Tip #1: Keep it real. 

Only one person in this photo is smiling. Capture the mood as it happens. You might get a funny one!

Tip #2:  Say Cheese! 

Of course, I couldn't resist telling Zara to smile for the camera. She did! Sofia, on the other hand.....

Tip: 3: Photograph what you ate.

My husband Jamie made a special birthday breakfast. Crepes with strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce! Plus, tamago for lunch, pizza for dinner and ice-cream for dessert. Food is one way to celebrate a special occasion so be sure to document those special meals.

Tip #4: Use the decorations to frame the birthday girl. 

I used the tissue paper flowers I made and some of her presents on a tray to frame Zara. I even put the focus on the decorations. You'll love to remember these little details.

Tip #5: Don't forget to capture the siblings too.

I love Sofia's excitement when Zara's opening up  her first gift. She may even be more excited than the birthday girl!

Tip #6: Photograph a Skype session!

Jamie's parents weren't in town for her birthday, but they were there to watch her open her gifts....with the magic of Skype.

Tip #7:  Get a Good Close-up.

Zara really wanted to get a good whiff of the scratch-n-sniff stickers she got from her grandparents. Perfect opportunity to zoom in on her little face.

Tip #8: Go on location.

Jamie, Zara and I (Sofia was still at school) went to our favorite sushi place for lunch. It was Zara's choice! She wanted the "egg" sushi. Outside, there is a pretty fountain where I often take photos. Her birthday was no exception. This was my favorite of the dozens I took.

Tip #9: Hand the camera over and get in a photo or two.

Sometimes I'll haul out the tripod and use the self-timer, too. But that day, I gave the camera to Jamie.

Tip #10:  Set the stage.

Take some staged photos. Get the birthday girl dressed up (in her "3" shirt - which I made for her, a purple tutu, her favorite leggings and barefoot). Use some fun props. The crown was won for her by Sofia at Chuck E. Cheese that day. The chair is her favorite rocking chair. The tissue paper flowers are from the birthday decorations. And don't worry if it's not perfect! Check out those chocolate drips all over her shirt and feet! Those are the details that make it memorable.

But wait! There's more!

I have a few more tips to share!

BONUS TIP #1: Photograph 3  of something to show how old she is.

First, I had her hold up three fingers to show how old she is. Then I gave her three pennies to throw into the fountain. Both are charming ways to remember her new age. (In case her shirt didn't tip you off, that is!)

BONUS TIP #2: This goes without saying.....Take lots of photos!!

You never know when you'll capture that special moment. Keep your finger on the shutter button and click away! She only turns 3 once!

I hope you enjoyed my top ten list of tips for photographing your birthday girl (or boy)
We sure had a wonderful time celebrating Zara's birthday!

Food for thought: What are your favorite photos to take at birthdays? Please share in the comments.

As always, thanks for stopping by!
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Kelly said...

Great tips and such beautiful pics.I seem to always take present pics. My kids are so well trained - at Christmas they open one present and wait before I take a pic before they open the next one ;o)

Cathy Pascual said...

Hi Kelly!
Yes, present pics are great. At least they are in one spot and you can capture some great reaction shots! Wow! your kids are well-trained!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Lilith Eeckels said...

GREAT tips and your pics are gorgeous!

Cathy Pascual said...

Thanks Lilith!

Gretel Creations - handmade with love said...

Lovely post! I've only just started my blog and I'll make sure to implement your tips when my little one turns 2 next May! <3

Cathy Pascual said...

Thanks so much!
Happy early birthday to your little one!

Holly Knitlightly said...

This is so great!! I love the idea of posing with 3 of something to show that she is 3!! So cute! Happy birthday to her! :)

Cathy Pascual said...

Thanks Holly!
I have a photo of Sofia holding up three fingers too.

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