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Photographer's Checklist for children's birthday parties

Updated: Jun 9, 2022

Children's parties are so exciting for the little ones: the guests, the decorations, the cake! For parents, although enjoyable, they are often synonymous with hard work, long debates about themes, and hours of planning.

Documenting that day can be a special way to remember the event. Birthdays only come once a year!

Not sure where to start? Here are my 5 must-haves for your child's birthday party:

1. Find each and every guest

Birthday parties are so busy; people come and go, and each one of them is special. At the outset, make a mental list of all the guests, if possible. By simply walking around and observing, you'll be able to capture special interactions amongst them. Don't forget to include the adults too!

2. All the fun and games

Parties are filled with fun and games: piñatas, musical chairs, crafts, pin the tail on the thing-a-ma-jig! If possible, find out in advance what the hosts have planned- when and where - and take a few practice shots ahead of time. When the moment comes, draw your attention to the emotion these games bring and how kids react to them.

3. Zero in on key moments

Get into those special moments that put the birthday boy or girl front and center; this day is about them after all! Make sure to capture candid moments from their perspective, and be prepared to move like a ninja for those different angles.

4. Remember the details

Much care and pride goes into the party prep work. Food, decorations, gifts are only a few examples. Look for interesting colours and shapes; they make for smashing photos. Be sure to capture these before they are torn asunder by the herd!

5. The party's coming to an end!

The games have been played, candles are blown, sweets devoured, gifts opened. All good things must come to an end. Keep your camera out for a few minutes more. You never know what you might spot! There may be some good scenes of post-party carnage, parents playing round-up with tykes, or the tired birthday kid in a moment of quiet reflection.

I hope you found this checklist helpful! It can be applied to many different types of small events.

Have a great time telling your stories.

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