How to Take Good Photos at your Kid’s Birthday Party

If you’re taking photos for a kid’s birthday party, it’s important to capture this special occasion in the best possible way. For tips on how to take good birthday pictures so you’ve got some great snaps to look back at, read on.

Drawing on my initial training in photography, I’ve put together a few tips to help you get the best out of your kid’s birthday party photos. Time to get snapping!


It might seem obvious, but it can be easily overlooked – make sure your camera is in good working order, fully charged and that you have spare batteries and plenty of space for new pictures on your memory card. If you are taking pictures indoors, set the iso setting on your camera to 400, even if you need to use the flash.

Before the party starts

Get your children ready before your guests arrive so you can take some photos of them before everything gets too hectic. Unless it is a fancy dress party and the children are dressed-up, consider dressing them in simple, plain clothing and avoid having bold patterns – your photos will look more timeless this way.

I find you often get better pictures in natural light, so get the children outside when possible. If the party table is ready and the decorations are up, you could take a picture of your kids at the table with their party hats on. They will be excited and should co-operate.

Birthday CakeRemember to take a picture of the birthday cake

Especially if you’ve made your own cake, remember to photograph it before there’s none left. If you can, it’s best to avoid using a flash as it will bleach the details.  Put your cake in natural light (but not in direct sunshine), next to a window or in a conservatory.  Place on a nice plain surface, a wooden floor or table would be perfect.

How to take natural cheerful birthday pictures

Avoid “cheesy looks” and get a few candid shots by having the children play with birthday balloons or blowing bubbles. Party hats and blowers will help put everyone in the right mood too.

To get small very children to laugh and look in the right direction, shake keys and rattles or play peekaboo. With older children, unsavoury kids jokes (i.e. Who has smelly feet? Does Mummy stink?…), whoopee cushions or a fart machine will usually have everyone giggling.

A few ideas that will help you take memorable pictures:

  • Have all the kids jump or lift their arms in the air together while you take the picture
  • Get the children in a tight circle with their arms over each other’s shoulders and heads touching – lay on the floor in the middle of the circle and take your picture from underneath
  • Do the same the other way around: have the kids lay on the floor in a circle with their heads touching and take the picture from above
  • Ask the children to make a chain holding hands and get them to all lift their arms up shouting “cheese” at the same time

During the party

Action pictures can be difficult to take, so try and take most of your pictures while the children are sitting relatively still. Pass the parcel or while the children are having their party tea or watching an entertainer are all moments where you can capture them with genuine expressions (no horrid fake grins). You can zoom in and get some portrait shots or if the children are sat in a tight group, take a picture of them together.

The other great picture opportunity is the cake – ask a friend to take the cake in so you capture the excitement on camera. Group the guests on either side of the birthday child. The excitement of blowing the candles always lends to taking good pictures. If the room is dark, you will need to use the flash here. To add to the party atmosphere, get some of the children to hold Illoom illuminated balloons.

Remember to share your best pictures with the other children’s parents. Your party pictures will make original thank you cards too.

Birthday party balloons and decorations

Colourful birthday party decorations will not only help create the right atmosphere for celebrations, they will also make a great background for your birthday party photos. To easily create your own party decorations, browse our range of party balloons and disposable helium canisters.

Good Luck!

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