Kids grow up before our very eyes and all we will have left are the memories. This year I decided to hire a photographer for my son’s 4th Birthday party so that I could actually capture all those little moments. Since I would be busy acting as a “Super Hostess” and managing my two boys, I knew that I would not have time to take any pictures myself. And even though I had friends who graciously offered to take pictures, I knew that they wouldn’t be “professional”, nor would they be able to take exactly the pictures I wanted.

Super Party Planning Tip: Make sure that the photographer you hire has experience as a “Kid’s” party photographer. Working with kids, especially in a birthday party setting is not the same as working in a studio or at an adult party.

In my search for a great party photographer, I looked through various online portfolios and searched the web with no real success. Then I started asking my friends for recommendations. The photographer I chose, Ashley Mak, came highly recommended from two different trusted friends, so I decided to give him a try for Zayden’s Playful Elves party.

Super Party Planning Tip: Make sure you have a list of all the key shots you want your photographer to take at your event. Don’t expect the photographer to read your mind.

A week prior to the party, I informed Ashley of the pictures that I would want to capture. I provided him with a list of my “must have” pictures. One of the main things on my list were family pictures. Year after year I always tell myself we need more family pictures! Yet for some reason we can never seem to get any (especially when we are all dressed up). Ashley made it a point to make sure we got down great family shots. He actually hunted us all down at the party – which was no easy task. He told us where to stand and how to pose. I am really glad he did! I love the pictures!!

Super Party Planning Tip: Introduce or point out all the people you want included in pictures (siblings, grandparents, relatives, close friends) to the photographer as soon as the party starts.

Two of  Zayden’s favorite teachers from his preschool also came to the party. Ashley made sure to take a good picture of them together. This is something he will remember forever.

Super Party Planning Tip: Make sure to provide the photographer with a “Schedule of the Events” for the party with the approximate times. This way your photographer will know where and when to be for all the key picture moments.

I was eager to see my pictures from the party and let me tell you it was worth the wait. The pictures were absolutely amazing! Ashley Mak captured all the shots I wanted. Just see for yourself.

In this picture he captured my son Zayden feeding his little brother a piece of birthday cake.

Here is a great shot from the Limbo game? How low can you go?

Here is a shot of Zayden’s classmates literally having a “ball” at the party.

One of my favorite group of pictures is of this father/daughter moment. Isn’t this just the sweetest thing?

Super Party Planning Tip: When hiring a photographer, make sure to ask in advance what the turn-around time will be for the pictures. Some photographers will just provide you all of the pictures the next day, but be forewarned – this means that the photographer did not do any touch up work on your pictures. You are just getting “as is” pictures.

In addition to birthday parties I found out the Ashely Mak also does family portraits. Last year he did all the family pictures for Featured Super Mom Amy. Even she would agree with me that Ashley Mak did an awesome job!

SuperMommy’s Overall Impression of Ashley Mak Photography: Ashley Mak was great to work with! I was very happy with how all pictures turned out. I thought that Ashley was very professional and knew what he was doing. It was apparent that he was a seasoned photographer who also had a lot of experience photographing kid’s birthday parties. You can tell just by talking to him that he is very proud of his work and tries his best to get amazing shots. At the party, I was too busy to notice, but weeks later when I watched the birthday videos I actually saw Ashley talking to the kids and making them laugh. I also noticed him adjusting my sons tie before he cut the cake. These are just little things, but they make a huge difference when you see the final pictures. I actually had friends ask me right after the party for Ashley’s info – I guess they liked what they saw (and probably because they know I do my research).  Yes, I would hire Ashley Mak Photography again for a kid’s birthday party (and maybe for next year’s family portraits).

Good luck and Happy Party Planning!

Super Note: Zayden’s 4th Birthday Party was at Playful Elves in West Coast Plaza. Party Blasters was in charge of the arranging / placement of all of the balloons at the party and the DIY picture frame station. Pastamania was the caterer for the event. Ashley Mak Photography was the party photographer. All other decorations and food were organized by SuperMommy.