The Truth About Birthday Parties

It's inevitable that when Christine and I meet a new client for the first time, that we are drawn in by the story of how they met and the excitement of planning for their big day. However, not all of our photography sessions are for weddings; some are for baby, maternity and birthday shoots. Typically before a wedding shoot, we do a pre-scout and formulate a loose plan to capture the story of the day. The story is always what's important to us but sometimes it can be hidden in the subtext or the back story, hidden in the relationships that we set out to capture. For example a bride being happy on her wedding day is very evident but the back story is daddy's little girl has grown up and she will be moving to the next chapter in her life. This makes for some profound imagery.
 
On this particular evening we were invited to shoot a triple birthday party on Toronto's trendy King St. West. Our client was throwing a big beautiful black and white party for her three best friends, all of whom were over 40. She wanted us to capture all the special moments that would make up this special evening...and so we did. We shot the cake, the details, the group shoots and had a ton of fun while doing it! But the thing is something was missing...hmm.
 
I would be lying if i didn't consider my birthday a pretty darn special day, after all, before I was born there was no 'me.' There was no one to light up the room, there was no warm smiles and there was no chocolate mousse cake specially made with butter icing and topped with your my given name. So just the thought of us being here is very special and can cause us to reflect on just that thought. And so while the party was winding down, we took the birthday ladies aside and did a little special portrait session by the warmth of the fireplace and asked them to reflect on this special day. Here are some of the their portraits from that session along with some of their friends.

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Suspended Animation

Personal work is always fun especially when you have your best friend fly in for a visit and the conversation goes something thing like this;

Kevin: "Jay, how do you feel about gettin' a little wet?"

Jason: "Uhm, it's hot; sure why not!".

Kevin: "Great! OK, Dad get a bucket!"
 
Jason is a world class animator, he's very talented and never stops moving and his work takes him quite literally around the world. Last year he ventured from Vancouver to Melbourne to Sweden, Germany and England all before planting his feet in the sunny sandy beaches of Puerto Plata Dominican Republic so that he could go to surf school.  This guy works even when he is on vacation! So when I got the opportunity to get him in my sights I knew it was the perfect time to slow him down for just '1/8000th of second', long enough to capture a single frame of this vagabond animator and enjoy this suspended moment.

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6 fps...I think in frame 1 he looks scared!

6 fps...I think in frame 1 he looks scared!

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Into The Deep - An Underwater Self Portrait Session

I love creating my own self portraits. The best part about them, is looking back and thinking, "what was I thinking?!" The trick to making self portraits successful is to be creative and have fun while doing it; it also helps if you can hold breath for longer then 10 seconds! These were shot on my now defunct Fuji XP underwater camera - blah! The second one that I had that did not live up to its underwater capabilities and have now upgraded to the GoPro Stystem. These were shot last year at Beck's Lake in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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