How to take better party photos

Want to get great shots at a party without having to swallow a photo encyclopedia? Follow our 6 tips for taking better party photos

Let the countdown to Mollie Makes’ third birthday bash begin! We can’t wait to get out the party confetti and hanging up DIY photo backdrops for mega group selfies. Happening on 12 May 2014 – save the date.

From time to time we end up with a sequence of blurry photographs – and it’s usually the good pics that end up there. So we’re looking at ways to take better indoor photographs when there’s no natural light to count on and other things we can do for better party photos.

Party confetti photo

Image source: Max Wanger

Look for the light
The strength and direction of the light will make a big difference to your pictures. Don’t shoot subjects against a bright window because you’ll just get a silhouette. Instead, change your angle so that the window is to one side or your subjects are facing towards it. If you’re shooting under artificial lighting, look for table lamps or wall panels that can light up your subjects’ faces.

Party photographed at night

Image source: Kinfolk

Turn off the flash!
Flash produces a horrible, harsh light, and modern digital cameras are so good in low light that you probably don’t need it. If you turn off the flash you’ll capture the true atmosphere of the lighting. If your pictures are too dark and grainy, flash can help but see if your camera has a ‘slow flash’ mode. This will balance the flash better with the existing light.

Try a longer zoom setting
This means you’ll have to step a little further away to take the shot, but it gives your subjects’ faces a more natural perspective. It also makes it easier to cut out cluttered backgrounds. But check that your shots aren’t blurry longer zoom settings will increase the risk of camera shake.

Camera-on-the-table

Image source: 5ftinf

Brace yourself
Shooting in low light means the camera will use slower shutter speeds, and that’s where blur from camera shake can become a real problem. But you can get round this by bracing the camera against a door frame or resting it on the top of a table or the back of a chair. This can help you get sharp shots even in the darkest conditions.

Manfrotto

Pocket-sized support
Tripod maker Manfrotto sells a really smart little camera support that screws into the base of your camera and has three tiny fold-out flippers. When it’s folded up it takes up almost no room at all on the base of your camera, but in just a couple of seconds you can fold out the flippers to put your camera on a flat surface and even change its angle slightly.

Oh-Happy-Day

Image source: Oh Happy Day

Use the self-timer for a selfie
If you’re taking the pictures at a party, it means there are shots of everyone but you it’s like you were not there at all! So don’t forget to take some selfies. Set your camera to self-timer mode, prop it up on a bag or a coat, and pose with your friends for a group shot. You’ll have about ten seconds to get in position though some cameras let you change the delay.

Big thanks to our friends at N-Photo who shared their better party pics with us – you’re totally invited to our party!