Maintain your old Siemens Hipath system

Birthday Party Photo Tips ? How to Make Yours Truly Stand Out

How many of the birthday party pictures you've seen are kept just because they are of someone's birthday, not because it is inherently a terrific photograph?

When was the last time you heard anyone exclaim: "THIS IS REALLY A GREAT BIRTHDAY PHOTO?" Can you say? NEVER?

And yet, birthday parties are happening ALL THE TIME. You would think that "practice makes perfect," wouldn't you; but in this case... uh-uh, it apparently doesn't.

So, here we are, with another important birthday party looming on the horizon and not knowing how to improve on past "how hum" photographs. NOT THIS TIME! Follow the following 11 tips and you will need to start getting used to being asked to photograph OTHER PEOPLE'S birthday parties.

Can't-Miss Birthday Party Photo Tips

1) Prepare For the Party

Abraham Lincoln once remarked that if you're going to cut down a tree, spend 90% of your time sharpening the axe. Preparation makes any activity go better. And for birthday parties, you don't want to have to wait until next year to make up for lack of preparation, do you?

So, what should you prepare for?

KNOW THE LOCATION. Whether the party takes place in a home, party room, or amusement park; realize that each location has its own photographic "blueprint." Based on the location's blueprint, prepare beforehand for the correct digital camera settings for white balance, metering mode, and exposure compensation.

2) Know Your Obstacles

What is going to be in your way at the birthday party (excluding your drunken brother-in-law)? Are there any fixed columns, hanging plants or lights that need to be planned around? For example, if there is a fixed object right where the optimal photos should be taken from, consider setting up the main table someplace else. It's much easier to figure this out before the event than getting to the party and realizing that you need to "move the room a bit to the left."

3) The Main Table

If using rectangular tables, take the birthday party pictures FACING THE WIDE END OF THE RECTANGLE. When doing this, use the wide angle setting on your camera. If you shoot any birthday photos from the narrow end, use as large an F-stop number as possible (optimally F-22 or higher). However, even if you do, some of the guests will probably still be out of focus (hence, the "shoot from the wide end" suggestion).

4) Flash Decisions

Don't automatically assume you should use the camera's flash all the time. If your camera has a "hot shoe" (this and many other useful terms are defined at If it does, consider using a bounce flash or a diffuser.

As a real eye-opener, find out how high your ISO setting can go and see if the resulting photos are not too "noisy" (digital noise = film grain)

5) Better Safe than Sorry

Take multiple shots of the critical photographs. Consider flash/no flash; different metering modes, and different F-stops. Also, regardless of what you say or do, people will blink. And, by the way, don't count on spotting small problems on the tiny camera LCD screen (even on full magnification).

6) The Background

What does the background look like? If it's neutral - use it. If it's ugly, maximize your depth of field (smallest possible F-stop) to blur the background. If you don't write this one down, I can guarantee that you won't remember it for more than 10 seconds once you start taking photos. Also, be aware of shadows that fall prominently on your background (hence the suggestions to consider using bounce flash and no flash with a high ISO setting).

7) The LCD Display

AVOID USING THE DISPLAY TO CHECK ANYTHING OTHER THAN IF YOU CUT OFF ANYONE'S HEAD. LCD displays should NOT be used to confirm contrast, color, exposure, or any other critical factors. This is why the computer is needed to evaluate test shots prior to the party. If you are very experienced, you can tell certain things from the histogram, but to be safe - take test shots and examine the results on a computer (or, ideally a printer) way before the actual date of the party.

8) Equipment

Have fully-charged batteries, memory cards, chargers, external flash, lens accessories, and tripod ready.

9) Construct a Birthday Party Pictures List

Jot down MUST HAVE pictures, as well as the ones you would like to capture, if possible. And, what's the good of putting together a list unless you remember to take it to the party AND TO REFER TO IT.

10) Candids

If you're putting together a list, may I suggest including "Candids" on it. Very often the best birthday party photos will be candids. Since most birthday photos are generally posed, candids take on a special uniqueness.

Candid birthday party photos of sleeping children should always be a top priority. Why? On a purely emotional note, they are always cute, will typically produce a smile for the viewer, and sometimes even get a laugh.

11) Surplus Time

If it's your child's birthday party, they will never look better than they do JUST BEFORE THE PARTY STARTS. If possible, locate a spot where natural light is entering a window and POSE them and the cake for some big smiling photos. (The younger the child, the less chance for smiles, so don't go crazy.)

And, by the way, there will be plenty of opportunity later to take some birthday party pictures with cake and ice cream dribbling out of their mouth.

To see sample photos and additional tips, check out

Article courtesy of, where you can see numerous sample pictures & photography tips on many subjects and events.

Copyright 2005 Robert Bezman. All rights reserved.

Robert Bezman is a professional photographer and owner of Custom Photographic Expressions. Robert has created to help the digital photography users create better photographs. Robert has a blog at

In The News:

Warning: simplexml_load_file() [function.simplexml-load-file]: parser error : Document is empty in /home/infob/public_html/includes/rss.php on line 2

Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/infob/public_html/includes/rss.php on line 9

Erfahrungen mit Pallhuber Wein
Agen Bola SBOBET Terpercaya

Travel in comfort and at your leisure with CT Airlink Limousine & Car Service for top quality private transportation and exceptional customer service. We operate Sedans, SUVs & Vans for CT Car Services to covering all Connecticut airports including Car Service from CT to Newark Airport , Mohegan Casino Uncasville CT, Foxwoods Casino Mashantucket CT, Manhattan Cruise Terminal NYC, Brooklyn Cruise Terminal NYC and Bayonne Cruise Terminal NJ. CT Airlink hire licensed and friendly chauffeurs who have in-depth knowledge of the Areas.

The Well-Dressed Photographer - Winter

Some of the best images can be captured during the... Read More

Traveling to Europe with Your Digital Camera?

The Vacation Season is fast approaching and naturally you will... Read More

10 Steps to Buying a Digital Camera You Must Know

You are anxious to purchase your new digital camera! You... Read More

Make More of Your Photos

We all want to make the most of our wedding... Read More

Sepia Toned Prints from Your Colour or Black and White Photos ? 5 Minute Digital Fix

Quite often I will have clients bring in old photographs... Read More

The Well-Dressed Photographer - Summer

Outdoor photographers shoot year round. That includes the hot summer.... Read More

How to Buy the Right Digital Camera

When buying a digital camera there are many things you... Read More

10 MORE Ways to Make Money with Your Digital Cameras

1. Pet photos - advertise a Pet Photography business where... Read More

Crooked Horizons in Your Photos? ? Here is a Five Minute Digital Fix

Remember the good old photography days?Film camera in hand, you... Read More

Applications of Underwater Video Cameras

There's so much you can do with an underwater video... Read More

Digital Image Files ? Megapixels, Megabytes, or DPI?

When I promised readers that I was going to do... Read More

Video Camcorder Formats and Media

There are way too many tape, disk and stick formats... Read More

Using Film Speed Effectively (Black & White Film Thoughts)

It's hard to find sometimes but it's making a resurgence,... Read More

Why 1.5 Megapixels is Enough

Dots Per Inch is a useful measure of relative resolution.... Read More

Photography - Things to Consider Before Buying a Camera

Before you are able to take the kind of photos... Read More

Safari Wildlife Photography Top Four Tips

I've been practising wildlife photography on safari for over twenty... Read More

Where Do Great Ideas Come From?

At a Photo Club meeting I attended recently, the President... Read More

Nude Art Photography

Nude photography is the genre of art photography, whose subject... Read More

Tips for Better Vacation Photos

Photos are a great way to share your travel experiences... Read More

Canon Digital Camera - from Humble Beginnings to World Class Company

Started in a single-room by three Japanese men in the... Read More

Photography 101 Part 3

ContentEven if you feel that you already know what kind... Read More

Becoming A Digital Artist On A Budget

So, you want to become a digital artist but paying... Read More

Camcorder Techniques: How To Make Home Movies Your Family And Friends Will Be Excited To Watch

Pre-Production:It's all got to start somewhere, so before you even... Read More

Underwater Photography: The Wonders Under the Sea

The world of photography is an amazing one. It's been... Read More

How To Make A Time-Lapse Video With Your Digital Video Camera

Getting the most out of your digital video camera can... Read More