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Taking pictures of kids at a birthday party can be both a fun and challenging experience. Recently, my wife and I threw a surprise birthday party for our son, Nicholas. I wanted to take pictures but not in the traditional “party picture” way. I set up a place in a more quiet and controlled room, where I could get the children’s undivided attention.

A white wall worked as the background, instead of crazy party central. A big window directly opposite was my only light source. The picture-taking process was made into an event just as much as “pin the tail on the donkey” or clubbing the piñata.

The challenge was to get the first one going, and then the rest would hopefully see how fun it was and join in. My son, who is quite used to posing for me, was first. When everyone saw how much fun it could be, they all wanted to pose. I took two shots of each partygoer; one close-up and one of every friend with my son. The children seemed to like posing in front of the wall, which had more of a professional-model, photo-shoot feeling than the normal snapshots to which they were accustomed.

Shooting digitally allowed me instant access to the pictures on my computer. By resizing the doubles picture, increasing the canvas size, and adding something with the type tool, like, “Thanks, Jake/Love, Nicholas,” we had personalized thank-you notes later sent to everyone who attended the party. An additional personalized close-up photo, printed as an 8-by-10, was also included.

Tips for Taking Successful Party Pictures

  • Get their attention.
  • Be entertaining.
  • Be silly.
  • Talk to them on their level. (This you may need to practice.)
  • Avoid distracting backgrounds. If shooting against a backdrop, the children know they need to stay put in one spot. Hopefully.
  • Get it done fast. Snap, snap, snap; you’ve taken the picture before they know what happened.

Don’t miss the party! Taking pictures is great fun, but don’t miss what is happening in real life. Those memories will last a lifetime.

Prepared by Take Great Pictures.com. For more tips visit www.takegreatpictures.com

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