Purpose - the reason why something is done or used: the aim or intention of something
1) Set realistic expectations for yourself. Are you capturing an important day in your family’s life or trying to get your party published in a magazine? Weeks, maybe even months ago, you set out to plan the perfect party and I’m sure you found great inspiration from beautifully photographer parties. Keep in mind that many of those may have been staged to sell a product. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these inspiring parties. Just keep in mind that you are hosting a REAL party; there’s going to be uncooperative children, questionable lighting, and lots and lots of movement. If you set your expectations to capture the feel of your party, rather than just the details, you will be much happier with your results. The details are important too, so we’ll cover that in week 2.
2) Decide what’s most important to you. Do you want eighteen photos of the food table, or a photo of the three generations that will be present? Pre-plan what your must have shots are. If you’ve written a list of photographs you want to have after the party, you’re more likely to remember to take them during the party, or ask someone to take them. Don’t be afraid to have a checklist handy and ask a trusted family member or friend (preferably someone who won’t be chasing down 3 kids of their own) to help you make sure the photos are taken.
3) What will you do with the photos after the party? If you spend a little time deciding what the fate of your photos will be, you’re likely to capture the party more as a whole. I am a scrapbooker Project Life scrapbooker. When I think about what I’ll want to include in my spread for the party, I capture more meaningful moments. Maybe you create a digital book for the guest of honor as a keepsake, or you have an ongoing party portfolio. With clear intention of the purpose of the photos, you already have a predetermined goal in mind.
4) "Hey Pops, I really want a picture of you and little Jimmy." If you really want to get a shot of the birthday boy with his Dad and Grandpa, tell the dad and grandpa! Ask them to remind you if you forget. Chances are they will. This goes back to your checklist. Now instead of it being in your head, you have it written on a list and have said it out loud. These are all subtle triggers to remind you to take action.
5) Be present! Get in some of those shots too. Hand over the camera (take a deep breath control freaks, this is a big step!) I am 100% guilty of NOT doing this. When I look back at my daughter’s third birthday party, I am in one, ONE, photo, and it’s not even with her! Grrr! I could spit it makes me so mad. I only have myself to blame. I never handed the camera over. I was too freaked out about controlling the photos that were captured that I forgot to BE in the photos.
Your turn! Share you best tips for photographing your party with purpose!