Why You Should Hire a Photographer for the Birthday Party (and Tips If You're Going to DIY)

copyright carolyn egerszegiIt’s birthday party planning time.  Our oldest is turning 5.  His first few parties were backyard fiestas with family.  However, now that he’s in school, he wants to party with his friends.

So that means things get a little crazier for Mom and Dad.

While we may get it all right with decorations, loot bags, games, cake, food, and fun, there has been one important thing we’ve been forgetting: the photographer.

Sure, it’s not a wedding,  but those same reasons you hire a photographer for your wedding apply to your kids’ birthdays.

Carolyn Egerszegi runs Spilled Milk Photography, a mom-based business that takes pictures of kids and families at birthday parties.

“People spend hundreds of dollars renting bouncy castles and entertainment for birthday parties, but think professional photography is an unnecessary extravagance,” says Carolyn. “Personally, I think it’s one of the best times to have a professional photographer – it’s like a “wedding day” in your child’s life and is definitely worth documenting properly.”

I asked her for the top 3 reasons why you should hire a pro, and 3 things we should remember if we can’t hire a pro:

  • Because you should be in the photos. 1 of 6
    The most important reason for taking photos at your child's birthday party is to capture happy memories for them and a huge part of their happy memories is YOU, so hire a professional to get out from behind the camera and get into your child's photographic memories.
  • Because youll be too busy to take photos. 2 of 6
    Hosting a birthday party is a lot of work. After you've organized the food, played games, lit candles and delivered the cake, you'll finally remember to pick up your camera and document the day. But by then it's too late - you've missed all the wonderful details worth remembering. Hire a professional to ensure nothing is missed.
  • Because A Professional Has Experience 3 of 6
    If you want frame-worthy images from your child's birthday party, hire a professional who can deliver amazing results. A professional knows how to successfully document all of the important details and moments in any lighting situation. With all of the decorations, presents, activities, family, friends and happy kids, it's a very photogenic day and a great opportunity to have professional photos of a milestone celebration in their life.
  • Assign someone to be your photographer. (See #1 & #2 above!) 4 of 6
    Everybody has a shutterbug friend who is always searching for an opportunity to use their fancy new camera. Ask them to be your photographer for the day. If they love photography, they'll be flattered you asked and you'll be freed up to host the party, enjoy the celebration and actually be in the photos. Be sure to make receiving the photos easier: give them one of your memory cards to use in their camera so they can simply hand over the photos at the end of the day. If they want to keep the photos, give them a writeable CD so they can burn a disc for you. If you don't have a friend with a camera, give somebody yours and ask them to snap away!
  • Educate Yourself About Lighting 5 of 6
    The biggest key to good photography is good lighting, so spend a few minutes figuring out how to create the best lighting situations for your photos. If it's sunny, find some open shade to eliminate harsh shadows. If you're in a dark room and must use flash, stand back further and zoom in to reduce the "flashy" look of the flash and turn up the lighting in the room to avoid getting a "black hole" look to your photos. Google search "Point and Shoot Lighting Tips" to find some great ideas that will quickly improve your photography.
  • Don’t Forget The Details 6 of 6
    Oprah always says, "love is in the details" and when it comes to birthday party photography, she's right. Loads of photos of smiling faces and delighted children are the staple of a great birthday party album, but the details are what really tell the story of the day. Be sure to take photos of the presents, the cake, the balloons, the decor and the food to really complete the photographic memories of your child's birthday celebration.

All images Courtesy/Copyright Carolyn Egerszegi

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