Behind the Scene - Birthday Photoshoot

Birthday Photoshoot

When one of the pigs' birthday is coming up of course I have to do a party photoshoot. The past years I stick to a mainly simple setting: confetti, party hat and a birthday candle. Keep on reading for some tips on how to make your own birthday image and some behind the scenes. 

EXIF: Nikon D750 | iso 320 | 1/500 | f2.2 | 85mm

Party piggy time! Of course sweet Wies has to have a birthday photoshoot. It's a bittersweet photoshoot, because it is her first birthday photo alone. Her friend Pien passed away last year in August. They have been together since they were baby piggies. So it kind of makes me sad to photograph her alone in this setting. 


Again, this is an easy setup. You don't need a lot of props and if you've done birthday photos in the past - like me! - you might have some things around that you can already use. 

You will need:

📷 Backdrop. For a party photoshoot I like to use bright colours. I went for a yellow-pink theme. 
📷 Confetti. My experience is that large, shimmery confetti will work best.
📷 Party hat. You can easily make one yourself from some firm paper with a cute print on it. 

📷 Reflective screen to light up the shadow side. I placed mine on the right on the opposite of my light source (windows). You can also use a white sheet or some aluminium foil.
📷 A birthday candle
📷 A carrot, donut, macaron to stick the candle in. Be creative!

Recycle your props

I tend to recycle as much as possible. So I put the confetti back in a plastic container to reuse another time. And I store the party hats I made over 5 years ago safely in a box for the next photoshoot. 


For the critical eyes: yes that donut is also recycled. I bought a pack of 5 donuts over 3 years ago to use as photoshoot props and put them in the freezer. I did write down very largely on the plastic bag that they're props and not for consumption.


After doing a few photoshoots with food I thought it was a waste to keep throwing things out or ''having'' to eat a lot of sugary things at once. Freezing things like donuts or macarons works perfectly. Just don't try to eat them 3 years later and it should be fine.


Something I have noticed it with party photos: less is more. I used to build a giant setting with a lot going on. Looking back on prevous party photos, I personally like the ones with less props the best. Don't try to fit too much into one frame - this is something with photography in general. You need to keep the viewer in mind. You want to lead the focus of your viewer to your subject and not away from your subject. With flying confetti and colourful hats your photo will be busy enough. 



When you are working with confetti make sure your camera stays in the same spot and to set your shutterspeed on at least 1/500 or above. Take a ton of photos of falling confetti so you can layer them on top of each other in Photoshop. I only did two rounds of falling confetti and I regret it very much. In post processing I had to clone a lot of confetti to fill the entire frame. I also took this photo on a cloudy day, so the light changed a lot. So it took me a lot of extra time to match the confetti photos to my base image with Wies. 


Party hat
I always make sure that my guinea pigs can shake off props like glasses and hats. I don't want them to panic or feel distressed when they want something off their head. So, this means you have to be very quick with taking your photo, because the party hat will likely fall off very soon.

This is how I do it: I wait for a moment my guinea pig sits relatively still or in the right position. Then I focus with my camera and keep one hand on the shutter release button. With my other hand I place the hat on top of my piggies head and I quickly snap a ton of photos. Most of the time I have one or two photos that are cute and in focus. If you have someone around who can help you; ask them. It will make your photoshoot so much easier. 


I cannot stress this enough: never use fire nearby your pet of children. When you take your pet out of the set up, you can light the candle. Snap some photos and photoshop them into your image in post processing. Never ever ever use fire when your pet is in the set up. That is very dangerous. 


EXIF: Nikon D750 | iso 320 | 1/500 | f2.2 | 85mm

EXIF: Nikon D750 | iso 320 | 1/500 | f2.2 | 85mm

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Guinea Pig Photography Guide - Digital Download

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You will receive this digital download as a .pdf file via email. When you receive the notification 'your order has been shipped' I have send you the .pdf via email. 

Guinea Pig Photography Guide - Digital Download

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