It’s BBQ time! What could be a better opportunity to break out your camera, not only for photographing kids, but also to take some fun photos of of friends and family. Great food and a few toys can put kids in a great mood – which makes it easier for you to take candid and posed photos. Here are some ideas to help you with photographing kids at your next barbecue:
Kids’ (and Everyone Else) Photobooth
Let your kids let loose with some fun costumes and a photobooth; you can even recruit a volunteer for face painting or to help manage the camera. Encourage the adults to get involved as well. If you don’t have many costumes ask around and have some people donate or lend you a few things. Alternatively you can head to the local dollar store for some hats and boas.
Tip: You can have a self-serve photobooth by spending a few dollars on a trigger cable – all your guests have to do is click a button to take the photo.
Kids love water fights, sprinklers, or water balloons – it gives them a chance to let loose, and with a quick shutter speed you can capture all the action. Swimming pools or kiddie pools work great as well, but letting kids run around and play will give you terrific candid photos. Buy some water balloons too – they add a splash of color, or grab a slip and slide (maybe a few adults can join in too).
Remember that when you’re photographing kids that are moving quickly you’ll need a faster shutter speed.
Awesome Food, Messy Food
Burgers, hot dogs, fruit salad, and something sweet for dessert, BBQs always please the little ones. Keep your camera handy for photographing kids enjoying themselves. You can also take photos of your kids helping out; setting the table, bringing out snacks, or cleaning up afterwards. Grab a couple of “messy” foods too – especially if you have young kids (because messy photos are fun!).
Fun and Games
Break out some games for a fun time; croquet is a good one. You can also find a kid’s lawn bowling set, safe lawn darts, or old favourites like Pin the Tail on the Donkey or a three-legged race. If you have a few days of prep time you can have your kids create a piñata or plan out a treasure hunt.
Don’t forget how much kids love to take photos too! Grab a few disposable cameras, or see how many old camera phones or budget digital cameras you can borrow. Likely your friends have some back-up cameras they can lend you. For the big finale, hang a sheet and use a projector to have a slide show of all your kids creations, or hook up and photo printer and help them create a photo book of the event to remember it by.
The more you let your kids relax and enjoy themselves, the more candid photos you’ll receive in return. If you do want to have a “posed” photo session remember to keep it short – let them have fun at your summer BBQ, and then get ready to plan your next one!