The office of Lord Mayor is unquestionably busy but like with all things in life, you need to stop every now and again to enjoy the finer moments. Nuala’s son, Finn had his first birthday a couple weeks back so of course he had to have a birthday party!
The mayoral parlour gets used for all sorts of things. It’s used to host meetings, accommodate members of the public and VIPs but on this occasion it would be used for Finn’s birthday party.
Like the other posts so far on this blog I wouldn’t be using any speedlights. Due to the children roaming around the main parlour room I didn’t want them grabbing onto the stands and pulling the lights down. Thankfully the light coming into the room through the windows was good enough for what I would need.
Children, especially when they’re young move fast and trying to take pictures of them is really tricky. I found myself sitting on the floor quite a bit during the birthday party; several of the children were around Finn’s age so they weren’t walking yet. I find that when working with children it’s best to photograph them at their level rather than standing above them shooting downwards.
In order to keep moving subjects in focus I find it’s best to use AF-C, autofocus continuous. When AF-C is selected the camera continues to track whatever is in the middle of the view finder. For moving objects, focus is maintained and you’ve a much better chance in getting the shot you need. The trade off for my particular system is that when you’re shooting in AF-C instead of AF-A or AF-S it’s harder to compose the shot as you’ve got to move the focus area around with a button instead of moving the camera.
Due to the large sensor size and larger RAW files I can often crop into an image if I don’t get the composition right first time. Whilst this does mean image size will be sacrificed when it comes to print as most of the images are being used for web it doesn’t matter too much.
Asides from shooting down low and using continuous autofocus the only other thing I would recommend to you if you are shooting a kids birthday party is to just let it happen and don’t stop taking pictures. Children tend not to deal well with being told what to do so it’s better to leave them be rather that going for posed images. I find after a short period of time they pay no attention to me and get back to playing meaning more relaxed and happy photos.
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