photographing your child's birthday party
      How to Photograph Your Child’s Birthday Party

      If you’re like me, you’ve been planning your little one’s birthday party for a while now. I love pulling together all the fun details that make a party special. And I just adore watching my little ones have fun on their special day. We just celebrated our second daughter’s first birthday. After photographing her party and my oldest’s 1st birthday party not too long ago, I thought I’d share the tips I use photograph my child’s birthday party,  while still getting to enjoy the fun.

      Photograph the Details in Advance

      example of how to photograph your child's birthday party

      No doubt you have spent a lot of time planning your baby’s first birthday party. The family photographer in my loves to capture all those adorable details that you have spent so much time on. And the best part is, you can take these photographs before your child’s birthday party begins! That way you can focus on taking great detail shots and when the party starts you can enjoy more time with your guests.

      So, what do you take pictures of? Every party is different. Think about the details that you have spent the most time planning and working on. Those are the details you want to capture. Some common details are:

      • photograph your child’s  first birthday party outfit. ( You can hang it on a hanger to take a cute and creative shot).
      • table settings
      • cute plate and napkins
      • memory box or other activity where guests write a note to the birthday girl
      • your baby’s monthly pictures hung up for guest to see Link to blog post of how to take monthly pictures
      • party favors
      • 1st birthday party decorations
      • the birthday cake
      • smash cake
      • present
      • the 1st birthday party invitation
      • the decorated high chair for the guest of honor

      Capture Candids

      children doing an art project at birthday party

      While a cute photograph of your child’s birthday party dress or the smash cake are details you want to remember, it’s the candid photos that help to tell the story of the day. They are the photographs you will treasure most as the years pass by. Capture your child laughing. The children playing a party game. Your baby excitedly hugging a new toy he just opened. Or grandma snuggling her grand baby when he is all partied out.

      Change your Perspective

      baby with cake smeared all over face
      This photograph really draws you in because her eyes lock with yours. This is created by getting low and on her eye level.

      The perspecitve, or angle, that you take a photograph at can really add interest. Think about it. We typically stand and snap a photo. So all of are images are from the same height. When you photograph your child’s birthday party, try bending down to get at eye level with your child as he takes a bite of birthday cake. Or hop up on a chair and shoot down on a group of children playing games. These different perspectives will make your photos come alive and add a lot of visual interest.

      Place Cake Smash by the Window

      baby's first birthday cake smash

      I know I’ve mentioned the importance of lighting in 6 Tips for Photographing Your Baby’s First Year. And it is worth mentioning again because it can really make or break a picture. And the cake smash always seems to be the pinnacle of a child’s 1st birthday party, so you don’t want to your opportunity to photograph it.

      When possible, place your child’s high chair near a window. Look for a window that has soft lighting streaming in rather than harsh full sun. If the window has a sheer curtain that can be pulled across it, that helps soften an harsh sunlight.  I often see the high chair placed directly infront of the window. Unfortunately this will leave you with a very bright background and the birthday boy’s face will be dark. Instead, position the high chair so that the light is falling onto the side of your child’s face for a beautifully lit picture.

      Hand Your Camera Off

      detail of baby's 1st birthday outfit

      Lastly, be sure to enjoy the party too! After you take some of your must have photographs, pass the camera off to a friend or relative. Ask them to take some pictures so you can mingle with the guest and love on your birthday babe. And be sure to ask them to capture some photographs with you in them. You will be thankful that you have those photographs some day.

      I hope these tips allow you to photograph your child’s birthday party while still enjoying your guest and all the fun. I’d love to see how your pictures turn out! Let me know or ask any questions in the comments.

      Camera: Nikon D800 and Apple iPhone

      If you would like more information about booking a custom child or family session with Kristen Fotta Photography, please click here for our contact page or feel free to call 330-289-3255 or email me at