My oldest child is turning 10 years old next week. TEN.
It’s surreal and I can hardly believe that I have been a mother this long. It’s been a remarkable journey and I wouldn’t change my life with my kids for anything in the world.
Each year when I set out to celebrate my kids, I try to make it something fun that they will remember. I also try to think about the photography element of it because photos are so important to me. They help me remember, and I hope it will help my children look back on their childhood with fond memories, or ‘oh-I-was-so-adorable’ moments. Or, perhaps it will be a ‘why-in-the-world-did-my-mom-dress-me-like-that” kind of deal.
Our regular weeks aren’t filled with activity, themes, and well executed play dates. I just don’t roll like that. We are simple. However, a few times a year I pull out my creativity and plan something fun, either for the kids or for the adults.
Here are some of the tips I have to offer you. These are the things I do for most of our kid’s birthdays.
Plan a fun but easy to execute birthday outfit
I usually go for a themed shirt and and adorable skirt. I have all girls, folks. It is what it is. One day, they may protest, but for now….
For my oldest daughters 5th birthday, I created the tulle skirt above. It requires a bit of elastic the size of her waist. And a bunch of tulle which you tie around the elastic waist. It’s so easy to execute. It takes time, but it adds some fun flair to a birthday outfit.
With the twins, I didn’t have as much time on my hands, and so, we did Elmo shirts, black tutu skirts (thank you Target!) and little red sparkles shoes. Because they are Christmas babies, the red shoes were an easy find.
If you have a crafty friend who loves you long time, have them construct DIY elements for a little more flair.
My very good, and dear friend was inspired to create these lady bug wings for my oldest girl’s ladybug birthday party. She worked really hard to bend metal hangers into the shape, then covered them with pink mesh and polk dots. She also created elastic straps covered in pink fabric.
If I recall, she was cursing at me when she brought them because they became far harder to put together than she thought.
She really loves my girl a lot.
How super adorable was this whole outfit for her photos?
I should note that by the end of the party, the wings were gone and so was the tulle skirt. That’s what happens when you plan relay races on a very hot day to go with your lady bug themed party.
Get close up
Zoom in on your child to capture the features that you love.
I adore Jordan’s dimples so much. The husband and I aren’t sure where she gets those from, but they are oh-so-cute.
When you zoom in, you also catch those unscripted moments of pure joy, which is priceless.
Shoot from Different Angles
When you shoot from a variety of angles, you gain a different perspective and create an expanded emotional experience. You see things you wouldn’t have seen before and it becomes somewhat artistic.
I love that this one was shot from standing up, while she was sitting. It captured her skirt and created an almost fairy-tale like picture. You can see her smile, and the waves in her hair. It’s just a lovely image to add to a birthday photo shoot.
There is nothing like sibling love and it’s especially sweet during birthdays and special occasions.
When you’re thinking about which photos to take, be sure to include the family that was there and allow the siblings to take part in the birthday fun.
For Jordan’s 5th birthday, the twins were still really little. I found little lady bug jumpers that went perfectly with Jordan’s ladybug theme. It made for a sweet photo.
I wore green to tie into Jordan’s theme for the lady bug party (and red for the twin’s elmo party) and made sure I got in front of the camera. Sure, you might be able to work your camera better than most, but it’s more important to get into the picture during birthdays rather than missing out on capturing some memories with you in them. The auto setting does just fine in these instances.
Join your little ones and blow out the candles as a family. You help out the littles while actively joining in on the festivities. Win-win!
This is one of my favorite photos of the twin’s second birthday because the whole family is working together to blow out the candles. Well..the twins were a little perplexed with what they should be doing, but we got the job done!
Photos and video are the two lasting things from a birthday celebration, it’s important to give them some thought ahead of time to ensure you capture the moments that remind you of the celebration.
What photos do you make sure to take at each birthday? What are your tips for great photos?