How to capture the moment at children’s parties

It’s one of those milestone days which you really want to capture, but children’s birthday parties include some situations which can be really challenging to photograph. Do you ever snap your way through hundreds of photos to find the results are a little underwhelming or, worse, unusable because they’re just too blurry?


Whether you’re using a phone, a point and shoot camera or a high end DSLR, guest blogger Sophia, from Sophia Travis Photography, shares her top tips to help you capture the celebration to remember for years to come.


1) Move your feet


You might feel as if hosting a children’s birthday party includes enough running around, but one of the best ways of improving your photos is to get moving.


Often photos feel a little boring because they’re taken from the perspective we already have all the time – the eye level of an adult looking down.


Get down to their level


Stop playing it safe and get involved with the action, whether it’s by crawling down low to get to the same eye level as the children and telling their story, or climbing up high to show everyone from above busily enjoying the celebration.


2) Seek out emotion


When you’re taking photos of people, it’s their emotion and personality which makes the photo really unique and engaging. Plus, it’s what you’re going to love when you look back on the photo in years to come.


Think ahead to capture natural reactions, which are precious in years to come


When I’m photographing, I’m constantly looking out for those special moments, whether it’s by being one step ahead of the game, for example by making sure I’m in a place where people are likely to be getting up to funny or interesting things. I usually find setting up camp near the food table (especially an out of bounds cake) results in some great emotional reactions from little ones.


‘When are we cutting the cake?’


3) Frame your photos (not on the wall)


Children’s parties are usually filled with decorative and beautiful items to ‘frame’ your photos with. If there’s a gorgeous bit of bunting, a pretty tree branch or a great selection of costumes which are about to be used for a game, use these at the edge of your photo for some decoration and to add to the ‘story’ of your photo.


capture the moment at childrens parties nature birthday


4) Look for the light


One of the most challenging bits of a party to photograph, especially when you’re using a phone or point and shoot camera, is the birthday cake. Here are a few tips to help prevent blurry photos:


* Keep steady: You need to keep your camera as steady as possible, so try to find a table or ledge to rest it on when you take the photo to prevent your hands from moving


* Be creative: Make the lack of light a feature of the photo, for example, but waiting until the subject’s face is lit by the candles on the cake, or move so that their shape forms a silhouette in front of a lit up doorway


* Choose the lightest point: If you have time, tap the screen on the lightest part of the image to ensure this is in focus and the exposure is set for this area.


Using an app like Snapseed to edit your photo afterwards can also greatly improve lower light photos.


It’s ok if some elements of your photograph are darker, so use the lightest parts to tell the story.


5) Have fun!


After all, birthday parties are all about having fun, and photographing them should be too!


About Sophia Travis Photography


I’m Sophia, a photographer who loves capturing families on their beautiful (and sometimes messy) adventures as they explore the world together. You can find out more about me and see more photography at or on Instagram @sophiatravisphotography or facebook @sophiatravisphoto. Come by and say hello and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about photography ?