I received a short-notice request to photograph the 70th birthday of a lovely lady who had arranged her own party with a Mad Hatter theme. The parents all just wanted to enjoy the afternoon without having the hassle of having their phones out the whole time trying to capture the day. Here is how the party unfolded.
The venue for the Birthday party was the Galmpton Village Institute. This building is spotlessly clean, very well maintained, and is nice and warm!
I start off getting the detail shots while it is quiet. As people arrive I start photographing the smiles, the laughter, the emotion. Birthday parties are often broken down into different games so I photograph all the different parts as they unfold.
I was there for two hours and I delivered just under 200 photos. Here are some examples:
I often get asked how many photos you will receive. There is only one answer, which is:
“The more smiles there are, the more photos I’ll deliver”
I don’t like handing over photos that have no emotion nor story. This party had a lot of smiles so they had almost 100 photos per hour.
Two adults didn’t want their photos taken and they didn’t want photos of their children taken. This does happen from time to time and is often a worry for the person who is hiring me to take photos. I use very expensive lenses on my cameras. They blur the background in a very pleasing way. The added benefit is that if the ‘non-photography’ people are in the shot, they are blurred out enough for it to not be an issue.
I can pretty much guarantee that a venue will have a lighting issue. As more and more places switch to LED lighting, the more the problems of those LED lights will increase.
Modern light bulbs and tubes aren’t always on, they ‘pulse’ the light. Our eyes cannot see it but cameras pick it up. If I were a natural-light-only photographer, I would have been in trouble in many venues. Thankfully the safest answer is to use your own lighting to overpower the problem.
I always bring my own lighting. In this case, all I did was add an on-camera flash to both my cameras. That was enough to bypass the flickering issue caused by the lighting in this venue.
The trick with lighting, especially on-camera flashes, is overpowering the lighting BUT, to not make it look like you’ve used flash at all. If you look at the photos above, you’ll notice it really does look very natural and looks like I hadn’t used flash. Every photo above had used an on-camera flash to light the scene.
This is why you pay me more than you would someone who can’t use light in a pleasing way.
Do you need a Birthday Party Photographer? Please get in touch! I charge £65 per hour and that includes the time for the digital retouching after the event. Photos can be delivered via Wetransfer or Google Drive (also on a USB stick at an extra cost).
Camera Equipment Used
- 2 x Sony A9
- 85mm F1.4 GM
- 24mm F1.4GM
- 2 x Godox v1