9 Tips on how to take great pictures during (magic) shows

9 Tips on how to take great pictures during (magic) shows

I get this questions from time to time: “Am I allowed to take photo/video during your show?”

Some parents explained that a lot of times magicians may not want videos taken because it may reveal their secrets. However, ever since I started performing, I feel this is rather illogical! I would want the parents to take photos and videos so they can keep the memories of their children celebrating their birthdays forever!

You are paying for the magician’s show, so you have the rights to the show!

So here are some tips on how to take great photos (using your handphone) which I have learned from the professionals over the years:

  1. Don’t just take photos and videos of only the magician; capture some reactions shots of the children as well. Mr Bottle’s Birthday Magic show has about 6 to 10 interactions per minute. In other words, the children may be laughing, screaming, pointing, participating and answering questions 6 to 10 times per minute. So you can get lots of reactions shots!
  2. Understand those reactions are and when your child is participating. Mr Bottle will email you the acts of the show when you enquire so you know when the birthday child is helping for the magic show.
  3. Obviously some are bigger and some are smaller. You want a big reaction like a child laughing wildly. Nowadays with digital camera, you can shoot away. That very big reaction shot may happen only fraction of a second so burst away and just delete photos which are less interesting. Just clear your handphone memory before the big day so you have ample space.
  4. Most professional will shoot videos in the landscape mode, unless your main aim is to upload on social media, I feel that it is better to shoot in this mode for future viewing on TV and computer.
  5. Do not position the magician or entertainer in front of the windows.(or light source) Most handphones will detect light,; reducing the brightness of the photo and hence the magician or anyone on stage, will be in shadow.
  6. Do not run behind the magician to take a photo! It is distracting, disrespectful and may even affect his show.
  7. Make full use of the functions of your handphone, like ‘portrait’ (depth) on your iphone to focus on certain reactions. (however unlike DSLR, the distance is rather restricted and focusing takes times.)
  8. Do not over-prepare your child for the party. There were quite a few times at the party which I saw them not enjoying themselves and behaving differently from other children. You want them to enjoy so dress them in their favourite comfortable clothes. Do not make them nervous by telling them how to react. Just let them have fun on their big day.
  9. Use a tripod or holder. Unless you have really steady hands, putting a tripod at a strategic location will produce that professional video you need. You can also watch the show via your screen. A lot of times, you may be busy entertaining your friends at the party and need run off to get the cake or attend to a late-comer, you can just leave the video recording.

If budget allows, get professional videographer and photographer to capture the moments because they are trained to do this. Look for photographers who are experienced in shooting events and parties because they know when and how to capture the live of the birthday party. They will also help edit the video to make a montage of your event because the raw footage may contain a lot of unnecessary parts.

Bonus tip

If you have a 2D cake, put a plate or something similar at one end so the photo captures the cake design!

Ask your party planner if they can recommend one because like magicians, there are just so many in the internet and anyone can say they are the world’s greatest photographers. Read the article on how to choose a good magician and apply it to photographers.

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