Taking awesome social media pictures at your kid’s birthday party is easy when you use these clever tips for fun and high-quality photos.

Once upon a time, the photos that people took made their way into photo albums and frames to be showcased throughout the house. Today, however, people take photos with the intention of showcasing them on social media. Thanks to the smartphone, it is easier than ever to take hundreds of photos of any given occasion, and then to post said photos online for all of your followers to oh and aw over. However, because it is so easy to post images, social media users have become pickier about which pictures they interact with. In the early days of social media, it was acceptable to post grainy candid shots; today, however, people only interact with photos that are of high quality, and that look candid, but that were, in fact, staged.

With that in mind, when you plan a birthday party, you likely do so with the intent of taking social media worthy images. Every last detail—from the birthday DIY cake kit to the birthday banner—were selected with visions of social media fame floating in your mind. So how do you go about taking images that all your friends will not just “Like,” but that they will “Love”? These tips will help you take images even the pros will find amazing.

Take Advantage Of The Natural Light

The best light for photos is natural light, so if you have it, use it! When taking photos, try to stage them in front of large windows or other spots of the home that have great natural light. However, while sunlight is great, direct sunlight can make subjects look harsh—not to mention, it will make them squint. Shaded light is best when taking photos of party-goers, while direct light works for photos of gifts, cakes and decorations.

Don’t Be Afraid To Use Your Phone’s Features

The flash on your phone can significantly reduce the quality of an otherwise great shot, as it makes everything appear “harsher” than what it is in reality. Fortunately, smartphones come equipped with a low-light technology that is great for taking photos when there is no natural light present. This feature, when used correctly, helps you to focus on a specific aspect of the party and automatically adjusts for proper lighting. From birthday cakes to party guests, this great feature can really help to make all aspects of your party stand out!

Think Outside The Box

Sometimes, photos that are less obvious receive more interaction on social media than those that say it all. For instance, if you buy a birthday DIY cake kit, pictures of the “before” may be more interesting that pictures of the “after,” as they tell the story of what went into planning the birthday party. Additionally, photos of a half-eaten cake tell your followers that the party was a success and that your DIY efforts paid off.

Using Props To Spice Things Up

Props add a unique characteristic to photos, but can sometimes be “too much” if the item seems out of place from the rest of the picture. A prop should help tell a story of what is going on in the moment. Balloons and party whistles make superb props as they add to the fun and overall theme of a birthday party.

Social media worthy images princess cake

What Social Media Platform Are You Taking Images For?

Depending on what social media platform you are taking pictures for, you may want to adjust how you take the picture. For newsfeed posts and cover photos, take in consideration the “rule of thirds”, which is where the kids would either be on the left or the right of the picture. If you are using Instagram, where pictures are smaller and centered, then have the kids and action be in the middle of the photo.

Planning a birthday party takes a lot of time and effort. Not only do you want your party guests to have a good time, but also, you want photos that capture that fun and that you can reminisce over for years to come. While the birthday DIY cake kit may be good for a single day, the pictures of it will be good forever.