Once you reach a certain age, birthday parties lose a lot of the joy they once held. As adults, we tend to think sadly about the next birthday. But when you’re a kid, birthday parties are the best day EVER. Around our house, when one birthday is over, we start talking about next year’s. My daughter loves the details. The color of the icing on her Princess cake, the friends she’ll invite and how next year, her party must be longer than three hours. I usually nod in agreement and then make silent “I don’t think so,” looks at my husband.

But I’ll admit it, I love planning kid’s birthdays and when I met Heidi Kalpak, I was amazed at her beautiful birthday books. She takes a birthday theme and knocks it so far out of the park, the factory has to make a new ball. Ok, that analogy was kind of weird. But hopefully you get what I’m saying. Heidi is a pro when it comes to planning parties. And to prove it, we want to share her Pirate Party Photo Book. It’s amazing.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love book covers. They can pull you into a story better than any verbal introduction. And Heidi’s cover is lovely, elegant and creative.

I love how everyone is in Pirate-themed garb for the party. Except Daddy! But we’ll give him a pass because Heidi and the rest of her crew look amazing. Also, I love the Picaboo pirate backgrounds and the fun embellishments. dfdfadsads

In this spread, you’ll start to see Heidi’s ability to include a lot of elements on a page without making it look too busy. And there are a couple of reasons for this. She picked a Picaboo background that kept the theme but had a lot of open space. Her grid-like layout of photos with matching borders helps make the separate pieces look cohesive. And lastly, the brown flower embellishment layered on top of two images help tie the photos together. Layering is a great technique to adding elements but not losing focus. For more info on layering embellishments, read this post.

It looks like Heidi had a professional photographer. But if you don’t have one, take some tips from some of Heidi’s images. Shoot all the food close-up. Switch up your angles and crop your images in different ways to make a plate of food look more interesting than a plate of food. For more fun photo tips and tutorials, check out our photography tutorial library.

For party books, it’s fun to capture everyone who attended. To do this, Heidi created photo boxes and added one guest per each box. This is a great way to include all the guests without taking up too many pages.

I love how Heidi added fun Picaboo backgrounds and Pirate-themed text to some of the pages. This is a fun way to keep the theme going and change the pace of the story.

Photo-shaped wells are available in hearts, stars and circles and Heidi is a pro at using photo-shaped wells to add texture and dimension to her photo book projects. Plus, I love the added pearl embellishments as a frame in the second example. This is really fun and perfect for a Pirate party!Lastly, Heidi ends the book with a loving note her daughter. This sweet letter will surely be treasured by her daughter for years to come. And this sort of touch that will make this photo book a prized possession in the house.

Isn’t this a great birthday party theme? Want to see more fun kids books? Check out 9 Birthday Party Books for Kids.

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