I love taking pictures, so it’s no surprise that photo booths are a must-have at my children’s birthday parties. I’ve learned a few things along the way, so I thought I would share some tips alongside images of my children’s recent parties.
Less Posing, More Playing
For my daughter’s second birthday, I created large cardboard characters with cut-out spaces for the heads. I expected the kids to stick their heads through the holes and stand patiently while I took their pictures. Very few children interacted with the cardboard panels, and I realized that it wasn’t very realistic to expect a bunch of preschoolers to stand still solely for the purpose of me taking their pictures. Since then, I’ve created a space for playing as much as photographing. At Jenna’s fourth birthday, for example, I set up a small table with a tea set and a few other props that the children could interact with while I (stealthily) snapped pictures. Incorporating costumes, toys and signage also goes a long way toward increasing the fun-factor.
Consider Your Location and Light
When it comes to photo booths, location is key. Light is the top factor I consider when choosing a location.
For my son’s Toy Story birthday party, I set up a backdrop facing the direction of the sun, with the intention of shooting my subjects with the light source directly behind me. This worked fairly well at the beginning of the party, when the sun was still pretty high. But as the sun fell later in the afternoon, it cast a strong shadow against the backdrop. It also caused guests to squint, which is never results in great photos.
Instead, I recommend a spot with some dappled light, such as near a tree. If your photo booth will be inside, look for a spot with lots of natural light, such as one facing the windows.
Make Use of the Photos
The photos are a great reminder of the fun your children have at their parties, but they can serve more practical purposes as well.
- Thank you cards. Have 4×6 photos printed and then glue them to folded cards to create personalized thank you notes.
- Party Favors. If you plan on having photo booths at most of your children’s parties, consider investing in an instant camera such as this one by Fuji. You can print pictures immediately and incorporate them into the party favors. Let children decorate frames during the party and then send them home with a personalized frame and photo.
- Photo Booth Strips. My children love looking at pictures of themselves, and the photo booth strip is a great way to illustrate the fun they had with their friends during the party. You can use a template like this one to format and print a series of photos into a fun memento that can be sent out with your thank you cards.
Post by Julee Dyer : Warm Hot Chocolate