The celebration and its smiles deserve to be recorded.

In Italian it’s “Buon Compleanno.” The Dutch say: “Fijne verjaardag.” The Indonesian celebration is welcomed with “Selamat Ulang tahun!”

Birthday celebrations are a universal experience even if there’s variety in the languages we use to welcome them. But the images of those birthday festivities never need translation: The cake, the candles, the party hats, the confetti, the music all transcend language. For children, those images are often brimming with games and toys. For adults, the images usually include dancing and perhaps a short ceremony.

Whether the occasion is a first birthday or a 100th birthday, the celebration and its smiles deserve to be recorded.

By hiring a professional photographer to make sure these birthday moments are captured, you give yourself the opportunity to be a guest at your own celebration, whether you are organizing it for someone else or feeling inspired to mark yet another successful trip you have made around the sun.

Placid Media carefully navigates the action at all such celebrations, capturing the moments while maintaining an especially safe social distance during these pandemic times. We know how to seek out the kinds of images that shout “joy” and “celebrate” when marking a birthday at any age—and we are experts at delivering them to you.

Birthday Cake with candle

Cake smash, a new tradition that provides laughter and incredible photogenic possibilities 

Children’s parties are natural for photography because youthful joy and spontaneity almost always translate into natural ease in front of the camera lens. Take the party to a park, a swimming pool, or beach, and don’t forget the balloons or confetti to add an extra eyeful of color, motion, and whimsy. The children themselves generally provide enough action, however, to keep the party moving and the pace is usually nonstop. A professional photographer knows just the right way to keep up with this rate of breathless joy. It takes fast reflexes and a fast shutter!

One of the more popular (although admittedly messy) actions lately has been the cake smash, a new tradition that provides laughter and incredible photogenic possibilities at the expense of the traditional birthday dessert. The chaotic mess of cake and icing provides a very hands-on experience for birthday babies or toddlers who take delight in diving into their birthday confection as the camera shutter clicks (and mom and dad run to fetch a washcloth.) Only a birthday baby can upstage their own cake and do it so well. Surely, that’s a moment worth savoring with pictures.

Try for the drama of low-light photography to create a dramatic candle-lighting to showcase the cake.

If you choose to leave your cake intact (and most people do), the cake remains one of the main focal points at any party. People of all ages still prefer slicing it for sharing instead of washing it off a giddy youngster’s hands and face. For older children’s parties, if the party is held indoors, try for the drama of low-light photography to create a dramatic candle-lighting to showcase the cake. Outdoors, display the cake beautifully, surrounded by balloons in the shape of numerals signifying the person’s age. Make the cake-cutting something extra ceremonial with a silly hat, some banners, or—if you don’t want to go for laughs, try something a little more elegant like a crown of flowers worn atop the honoree’s head. Whatever you choose to do, give the photographer something colorful and eye-catching to capture.

Outdoor birthday barbecue,

If the party is an outdoor birthday barbecue, celebrate the chef’s efforts with some action shots of the meal being prepared. And who doesn’t love close-up photos of the food itself?

In the midst of all the birthday goings-on should you stop the action and try for posed photos and formal portraits? Why not? “Formal” doesn’t mean boring; these kinds of photographs just require a little more planning and perhaps a bit of accessorizing. For adults (and even teens), the partygoers can be photographed in a group with everyone holding a giant letter of the alphabet spelling the person’s name. You can get the same effect with giant cardboard cut-outs that cast a shadow onto the lawn spelling out a birthday message.

Capture the exuberant cheer at the end.

If the party has a theme, whether it’s sports, music or something else, everyone can take a break from the action to pose in their coordinated outfits, uniforms, or costumes. If live music is being played (maybe even by some of the guests) closeups of the performers with their instruments is a welcome way to remember the happy sounds of the day. 

Maybe the birthday party includes a soccer game or a line dance. Remember that even if the birthday cake is considered the star of the show (and it always is), these other kinds of activities are unquestionably the co-stars. Capture the victory of a winning score at a birthday party ball game. Capture the exuberant cheer at the end. Or if there’s music inspiring someone to try out some new dance moves, these are excellent photo opportunities to capture the action on the dance floor.

Share the joys and challenges of living together on Long Island.

Birthdays are, however, most often all about family. Photographs from Placid Media reflect the happiness of being able to share another 365 days with those who share the joys and challenges of living together on Long Island.

Ultimately, that’s the real icing on the cake.