How to Seize Your Special Moments

Birthdays – no matter how old you grow, you never grow out of them! My Dad will turn 66 this year, and me and Mom still buy him a birthday present and make him a nice birthday lunch, and we still go out for dinner and cut a birthday cake, complete with singing ‘Happy Birthday To You’! Yes we do it, and you know what? It feels great. Boo the people who think you cannot or should not celebrate your birthday just because you are now old. It is nice to say “It’s my life”; but none of us ever really live for ourselves. We don’t do everything we do only for ourselves – even the smallest of selfish deeds has a hint of selflessness, if only you look deep enough. But your birthday is YOUR birthday. It is the one single day in your life when everybody wants to talk to you, everybody wants to be with you. It is indeed a special occasion, and it comes around only once a year. So why not click a few pictures and create memories on your special day?
A birthday is the perfect kind of occasion that begs you to click pictures. But it is of no use if you are going to click boring pictures where everybody is simply looking at the camera and smiling mechanically. Photography is about capturing emotions, sentiments, feelings and moments. How do you do that? I am here to tell you exactly that! Read on…

Birthday Party Photography Tips
Children love playing. They are completely devoid of inhibitions and when they are having fun, they are having FUN! They are going to jump, run, play, dance, eat, and OMG! Did that little boy just kiss your girl on her cheeks? LOL. Kids really do all the things that birthday parties are made of. So make sure you are ready with your camera to click as many pictures as you can! You can get some really cute snaps when they are playing games. Their faces are going to be livid with expressions, so make sure you capture those moments. If it is a birthday party with a theme, like say Super-heroes theme for a boy, or Princess theme for a girl, then have something like a spaceship, or a moon crescent cut-out in the garden, or against a plain wall in your house and have the kids pose in front of it to click pictures. (Don’t put up a big dinosaur if the theme is Jurassic Park – the kids might just get scared!)

… for a Teenager’s Birthday Party
So I am guessing your parents are not going to be around for the entire party right? Use the opportunity! I am sure you have arranged for that cute guy from your class to come over as well, and you must be dying to click pictures with him, right? Make your friends partners in crime, and make sure to get yourself clicked with that guy. If you are going to head outdoors, like to the mall, or for a movie, take your camera along with you. Most cell phones have a camera these days, and a good camera too. So you can even choose to click pictures on your cell phone. Make sure you click pictures with everybody – you and your friends, your friends without you, you and cute guy, you and best friend with your respective cute guys, group pictures, couple pictures, all sorts of combinations. You can even print these pictures and use them in the future, like on a Valentine card maybe…? (Wink Wink!)

… for a 21-Year Old’s Birthday Party
Turning 21 spells out lots of things for different people – and one of them is a-l-c-o-h-o-l! You are legally, officially, and (thank God!) finally old enough to get your spirits high! Make sure you click yourself with your first drink in hand, even if it is only wine. If you want some funny or wacky pictures, you could maybe act drunk and click pictures with lots of empty alcohol bottles around! Cheesy? Cheap? So what? It’s fun to do stupid things once in a while! Now, 21 could also spell g-a-m-b-l-i-n-g for many of you! So if you are going to hit the local casinos, or better still if you are going to make a trip to Vegas, go click! You first spin at the roulette table, your first hand of Blackjack, even the first time you hit the Jackpot machine is all indeed special, no matter whether your win or lose. Ensure you capture these moments.

… for a 50-Year Old’s Birthday Party
Celebrate being a birthday-‘boy’ or birthday-‘girl’ again! At 50 I am guessing you are probably married have one or maybe two kids, a nice house and all that jazz. But I am also guessing you have a very hectic job, full of responsibility, a busy life, and no time to just sit down and relax. Why not take the opportunity of your birthday to do something different? You have worked hard to earn the life you are living, now it’s time to do something for yourself. Get a make-over. Go on a shopping spree. Spend the afternoon with your gal-pals instead of with the laundry! And click pictures doing all these things. They are things you have not done in a long time, isn’t it? Go out on a dinner date with your partner. Or take your partner out if he/she has turned 50!

… for the 60+ Birthday Person
Reminiscence… I guess that is going to be the single most over-powering emotion in your mind as you turn 60, isn’t it? Take the opportunity to reconnect with old friends. Social networking websites have made it a lot easy to find almost anybody. Also take the time out to celebrate with your family. Your kids, perhaps your grandchildren as well. Celebrating turning 60 is the perfect kind of occasion to organize a big family reunion. Call everybody – even that cousin you fought with and haven’t been speaking to since you were 30. Bury the hatchet, embrace each other, and smile at the camera! Click a huge family picture with everybody in it; and when I say everybody, I mean everybody, including your dog and cat!

Some General Tips
➽ Make sure you click at least two individual pictures – one portrait photograph, and one head-to-toe. Wear your best clothes, turn on your charm, and flash your best smile, for it is your day and you are the star!

➽ Click at least one picture with your Mom and Dad. You may do it after the guests have left or before they arrive, if you feel it is too geeky or out-of-fashion or whatever. But do click one. You will cherish these memories in the later years.
➽ Make sure to click at least one picture with all your friends! Let it be a real group picture, with EVERYONE who came in it. Do not miss out on anybody.

➽ Try and click these ‘planned’ pictures early on in the party, if it is a house party. Your guests may all leave at different times, so if you leave these picture for the end they may not all be there. Everybody is going to be tired by the end of it, so why look haggard in your own birthday party pictures?
➽ Yes, you need to click a few planned pictures, but that does not mean every picture should have people looking at the camera and smiling. capture some candid moments as well – somebody eating a big piece of cake, somebody having dozed off after the meal, somebody exchanging numbers, and OMG! Did your brother just kiss your best friend on her cheek thinking nobody’s watching? Well, he can think again – for you already caught it on camera!
➽ If it is an indoor party, hire a photographer if you can. If that is going beyond your budget, have one family member dedicated to only taking pictures. There are going to be lots of moments to take pictures, you don’t want the divided attention of the photographer!

Man invented the arts, so each one of us has got an artistic side to us. It is only a matter of identifying it. Even if you are not into photography, there is a little bit of photography in all of us. Don’t we understand when our picture doesn’t come out right? If we can understand that, we should be able to figure out how to take a good picture ourselves; it is not that hard. Hope you enjoy your birthday party and click lots of pictures!