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      12-03-2016, 05:54 PM   #1
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tips for shooting/video of 1st birthday party.

My buddies daughter is having her 1st birthday next week and he asked me to shoot it. He has seen my pictures and thinks I'm pretty good. I've never taken portraits or video. I have a Sony a6300 with 16-50 f3.5-5.6 and 55-210 f4.5-6.3. There are a lot of in camera adjustments that I can use(face recognition, smile profile, etc.). Any tips you experienced photogs can give are appreciated. I figured to shoot video for cake and song and photo the remainder. I think I get 29 min of video recording.
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      12-03-2016, 05:59 PM   #2
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Another note, this will be the first child party I've been to. I have no kids(that I know of...ha ha), and no siblings so it's completely new experience.
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      12-03-2016, 06:02 PM   #3
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      12-03-2016, 09:10 PM   #4
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Not a pro at it, but I do have kids and have thousands of photos and footage of them. If you are shooting video during the big moments, who will take the pics? Do yourself a favor and get/borrow a camcorder and stick it on a lightweight tripod or monopod, but dont leave it unattended with kids running around. Just use the one lens, 16-50 and focus on the pics/composition. I put more weight on the photos because its harder to share videos.

Depending on age of the kids, it would help to be able to engage with them to get that natural smile.

Also, if you dont know already, learn to use/bounce flash; your lenses are on the slow side for late afternoon/evening/indoor events.
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      12-03-2016, 10:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for your help. I was only going to do video for the cake/song. The birthday girl is 1 and I think the rest of the kids will be 5 to 11. I was figuring the 16-50 would be all I would use and the camera is known for great low light capabilities (for a mirror less). I never shoot this type of thing so it will be a challenge to get shots I'm pleased with. But I'm super critical of my own work. The family isn't as particular.

Last edited by 08njSTEP; 12-03-2016 at 10:57 PM.
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      12-04-2016, 04:16 AM   #6
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Pro tip: make sure you push the record button
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      12-04-2016, 06:26 AM   #7
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Don't shoot from above. As an adult you are 3-4 feet above the kids and most people just stand tall and shoot down. Find opportunities to photograph at their level which might mean getting down on your knees or even your belly if they are playing on the floor.

For photography, if you set the camera to shutter speed priority use a SS of about 1/100 to prevent too much shake and motion blur. The camera will do the rest.

As for shooting video, stability is critical unless you want a "blair witch" video.
Get a tripod and use slow camera moves....and have fun as shooting (as in photographing) kids is a lot of fun.
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      12-04-2016, 01:56 PM   #8
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Good tip on getting down to their level. I always use that when shooting cars and bikes. Makes a huge improvement. My camera has a flip up screen so I can take shots from ground level, literally. Unfortunately my tripod is 600mi away right now, so maybe I'll put the video idea to rest.
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      12-06-2016, 12:53 PM   #9
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If I can give you one tip, it's not to get too creative. Make sure the parents have the memories, as a first birthday party is a big deal. Encourage others to bring their cameras also. I did the same thing for my son's first birthday party, and it's lovely to see how others capture a birthday party.
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      12-06-2016, 07:03 PM   #10
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Yup, the reason I asked for input is it's the 1st. Big deal and they asked me because they like my shots, and it's my best buds girl. I'm hopeful that I catch at least 1 shot that captures her personality.
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      12-09-2016, 04:10 PM   #11
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Bring Lighting, flashes on or off camera will keep your shutter high. set up 2-3 in strategic places and bump up the shutter speed (if no HSS, then you probably still can get 200-250 SS on it which should be fine for kids).
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      12-17-2016, 09:10 PM   #12
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Here's the after action report:
Parents were thrilled with pics. Took around 100 shots. It was very challenging because that little girl can really scoot. A bunch of times I had her framed and before I could push the button she was gone. Could have taken another 100 pics of her back. Lighting was also a challenge because the Christmas tree was lit as well as a lot of sunlight coming into the space. Only had a couple pics under exposed. Still OK, just a little dark. I was able to catch all of her "faces" as well as 1 with her sticking her tongue out. Only 2 staged pics in the lot. Lots of people in a small room was also a challenge, as I didn't want to be too noticeable. I ended up with 1 really exceptional shot. Girl looked like an angel. Bright light from the side lit half her face and hair, while she was looking down and away with her arm up and Christmas tree behind her. Going to get it printed and blown up, framed and give it for Christmas. All around a success and a great learning experience for me. Thank you all for your suggestions. Keep on shooting.
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