On May 14th, 2010, I became a mom. Our oldest son came into this world as the first (great) grandson on both sides of our family and the first of the next generation in our friends group. There is no doubt he is abundantly loved. In his short life he has lived in 3 countries and traveled to 7 others. He is clever, compassionate, kind, extroverted, and he has a great sense of humor.
Inspired by Lindy-Ann’s post about capturing kids parties, I thought it would be fun to feature his SEVEN birthday parties.
Every year, we (him included) choose a theme for his birthday and we go for it, I mean all in. This year we are treading on new territory with our first drop-off party (eek) and his theme of choice: disco water party, ha!
First, Second, & Third birthdays – Virginia, USA
For the first three years we were stateside and I was blessed to be able to throw these fantastic parties with the help of my girls. My friend Joy is an amazing cake artist and a my girl Melissa really knows how to execute a plan! Each year the theme was consistent throughout the party: invite, cake, and activities. It made the parties delicious, colorful, and fun!
Conditions – Outdoor at a park with a pavilion – both shade and full sun
Prep – These early parties taught me to pack camera, extra batteries, and SD cards the night before all events and shoots.
Lesson learned – Each year something would go wrong, but I learned (still learning) that, if I roll with it, it might turn out better than I planned. Also, high Shutter Speeds are crucial when capturing kids!
The Hungry Caterpillar
Cars (the movie)
Fourth & Fifth birthday – Kuwait
Our Kuwait village really stepped up to make these two parties really special, including baking cakes and cupcakes, as I am not a baker.
Conditions – May in Kuwait is hot! Both parties were indoors at our flat. In addition to natural light from the windows and artificial lights, an angled flash was needed at times.
Prep – Opened all the curtains and had extra batteries on hand. The backdrop was positioned out of the way of the flow of the party and opposite a window to get as much natural light as possible.
Lesson learned – Work with your space and conditions as best you can with a flash and high ISO and then adjust lighting in post production as needed.
Planes (the movie)
The Lego Movie
Sixth birthday – Virginia, USA
It was such a treat to celebrate stateside again! Our venue changed from our favorite park to Joy’s house in hopes of pool party. Those were dashed when we woke up to temperatures in the low 60s. We made the most of it though and had a fantastic time with the space for the pinata, scavenger hunt, and Jedi training!
Conditions – Outdoors, windy, and sunny
Prep – Back up batteries and SD card.
Lesson learned – Duct tape doesn’t always work, especially with fabric backdrops, try hot glue guns or staple guns and clamps for fabric backdrops. Again, be ready for anything, especially the weather.
Seventh birthday – Tel Aviv, Israel
Our first drop-off party was a success! We may have been exhausted afterward, but the birthday boy said it was an “awesome party” and the decorations were “lovely.” Worth it!
Conditions – Outdoors in harsh midday lighting
Prep – formatted SD card
Lesson learned – Pulling the images together I realized that my biggest lesson learned is that with only the two of us we weren’t able to get a family shot this time. A tripod at the ready would have been helpful or of course a selfie would work too, ha!
Disco Water –
In the end, it is fun to see how much we both have grown over the years. My precious baby really is a big kid now and I’m happy to say my skills have evolved. I can’t wait to see what EIGHT looks like for us!
We’d love to hear from you, please share your most memorable birthday party themes in the comments!
PS – I had to share my favorite shots of Lindy-Ann from the Lego party. Everything is indeed AWESOME!