If you have read my post about birthday photography services (check it out here if you missed it) you will be aware that it is a highly lucrative way to generate some extra cash with your camera, and there is a lot of money to be made if you hit it right. Birthday photography is something I have tried to push in my local area in the last few months, and it is a service I actively promote whenever and wherever I can.
Many people seem to think that you can get away taking sub-quality birthday party photographs and the parents of the birthday boy/girl will be satisfied and pay for them. You’ll have to trust me on this and believe me when I say this isn’t true. Parents demand high quality birthday photographs and won’t settle for any old rubbish. If you don’t meet the parent’s expectations and mess up the birthday photography you are likely to be bad mouthed by the parents, your reputation will take a nose dive and you will lose out on not just other birthday photography gigs but other portrait photography gigs too. Because of this it is crucial you aim to take the best quality birthday photos you can, which is going to use professional spec photography equipment.
Birthday photography equipment – Camera
"The Canon 6d is my camera of choice for birthday photography"
Arguably you can use any good quality camera for birthday photography, however I would always opt for an interchangeable lens camera because they are more versatile and more often than not have higher image quality than fixed lens cameras.
Birthday parties are held both indoors and outdoors, therefore a birthday photography camera should be good enough to deal with both situations. A camera that is good in low light is essential, and you should also consider a full fame sensor for this.
My birthday photography camera of choice is the Canon 6D. The Canon 6D is great in low light conditions, it has a full frame sensor and the image quality is superb. Compared to other full frame cameras the Canon 6D is small, light and not intimidating. This means I can run around the venue taking photos of people without lugging around a big camera, which ultimately makes my arms ache.
The auto focus of the Canon 6D isn’t as fast as that of my Canon 7D, and whilst there are times when I wish I had a faster auto focus I am happy to sacrifice the ultra-fast auto focus for the full frame and the superior low light performance. The auto focus of the Canon 6D is plenty fast enough in most situations, so I really am picking at straws with this point.
All things considered the Canon 6D is the best (Canon) camera for birthday photography and I wouldn’t use anything else.
Birthday photography equipment - Lenses
"Birthday photography lens - Canon 24 - 70 f2.8L" "Birthday photography lens - Canon 16 - 35 f4L IS"
There are two lenses I use for birthday photography, both of which are zooms, which considering around 90% of birthday photography comprises taking portrait photos may come as a surprise. Many photographers argue a fast prime lens is the best lens for capturing portraits, however I don’t share this opinion. Prime lenses do capture great portrait shots, I can’t deny that, but I only use zoom lenses for my birthday photography gigs.
Many photographers argue prime lenses have superior image quality. Okay, the image quality of prime lenses is a little better than that of zoom lenses, but when you’re dealing with photo prints there is no way you’re going to tell the difference. In reality, the parents aren’t going to care whether you use a zoom lens or a prime lens and they will be happy with the image quality of either lens. The reason I use zoom lenses for birthday photography gigs is because they are more versatile than prime lenses, and I can change the focal length and hence framing very quickly and adapt to fast moving kids that won’t sit still and wait for me to change the framing by moving closer or further away.
The lenses I use for birthday photography comprise a Canon 16 – 35 F4L IS and the Canon 24 – 70 F2.8L lens. Both of these lenses are L series lenses which means they are made from the best materials and use the best glass and optics available. The image quality of both of these lenses is awesome and easily on par with that of a prime lens.
I use the Canon 24 – 70 F2.8L lens for individual head and shoulder and full body shots. I use the Canon 16 – 35 F4L IS for wider individual shots, and also group shots. Check out “Review of the Canon 16 – 35 F4L IS” and “Review of the Canon 24 – 70 F2.8L” for full, open, honest and unbiased reviews on these awesome lenses.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.