Reasons to consider hiring a photographer for your child’s birthday party

In my years as a photographer, I have captured many special events for my clients. From corporate, high-brow events to the smallest and most intimate family get-togethers, I’ve seen first hand how helpful it can be to have a professional photographer during the event.

When I was young and just getting into photography, I would often bring my camera along to family functions. Nicknamed “paparazzi” by relatives, I spent much of my time behind the lens, capturing all of the moments, even those that felt mundane. There are stories of a young Isadora packing 4+ disposable cameras for school trips, or spending sick days endlessly filming very unexciting scenes around the house. Back then, photography was a little out of reach for a middle schooler – developing film was expensive, and nobody carried cameras around in their back pockets.

In the years since, advancements in technology and the affordability of professional photography equipment have made it possible for more and more people to pursue their passions behind the lens. The surge of amateur photographers, often referred to as “iPhone photographers,” has created a shift in the market for professionals.

These days, capturing the special moments of your family’s events is easier than ever. Cell phones actually do a decent job, and the technology just keeps getting better. But there’s an added cost to parents who want to take pictures themselves at these parties – their presence.

Time and again, I have seen how hard it is to host a party. When you’re throwing a corporate event or a wedding, you have vendors set up for specific tasks. Food needs to be set up? Ask the caterer. Patrons are having a hard time finding parking? Call the coordinator. So what happens when someone needs help during a family reunion or birthday party? Who steps in? That’s right – it’s just you, the parent, the host.

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Aside from the obvious differences in social pressures and finances for parties versus weddings, there is a noticeable lack of support when you’re throwing your child a party for their birthday. It’s all on you to provide food, drinks, coordinate with guests, assist with directions or questions that might come your way, all while still juggling a crowd of parents and kids who need help with things throughout the event.

And what about photos of yourself with your child? You can pretty much forget about that happening during a busy event. Yet, those are some of the most treasured memories of most of these special occasions.

As a young adult, present at my sister’s special events and parties, I noticed that between providing for the adults and dealing with the inevitable breakdowns that happen when you have 10-15 kids in one space, nobody was actually ever taking any photos. Sure, you’d capture the moment your child blows out the candles if you’re lucky, but you certainly aren’t going to be thinking about catching the sweet moment between two cousins who are finally sharing a toy, or the pure unbridled happiness of kids enjoying the bouncey-house that you just dropped a pretty penny on.

That is because you’re busy tending to everything and nothing all at once.

These parties are often a blur, and before you know it, it’s over. Your child is another year older. The boxes of pizza waiting by the recycling and smears of cake on kids’ faces are the only real indication that it ever happened. As the kids start to crash from the sugar and families clean up to head home, it hits you – did you get a photo of the baby with grandpa? How about a photo of your child opening their handmade gift from a creative aunt? No, in fact, you got photos of next to nothing important from the day, because you were understandably busy.

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That’s where I come in. As a young person at my sister’s special events, I was the only person who was not a child nor a parent. It is always fun taking pictures of kids – they are not self-conscious, though sometimes rather shy. They experience the day with a joyful presence that we, as adults, could only hope to achieve. I always enjoyed taking photos and documenting the time, and especially when I was able to coax out sweet smiles from kids who initially had been shy and avoiding the camera.

Before long, parents started asking me to come to their special events and offer the same services. This was the beginning of the career in photography that has led me to where I am today, and I’m forever grateful for those first clients who trusted my vision on their special days.

Today I am a photographer who works within a broad spectrum of styles, venues, and events. Much of my work focuses on photojournalism for local print publications, or weddings, or headshots, but family photography and special event photography will always hold a special place in my heart.

So this year, when you’re planning your child’s milestone events, consider this: how will you remember this day? Will it be a few blurry pictures snapped with your phone? Maybe a friend will send you a few candids, if you’re lucky. Or maybe it might just live on as a memory.

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If you’ve gotten this far, and you find yourself considering hiring me for your next special event, know that I understand the importance of these momentous occasions and that I truly enjoy working family events. I love connecting with kids and capturing their true personality while they play or experience the celebrations.

Please contact me via the form at the bottom of this page or email me at isadorapennington@gmail.com to learn more about my rates, packages including prints or photo books, and to book an event today!

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