Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Party Time

San Francisco Bay Area, May 2010
One thing about the Bay Area, the weather is pretty reliable. We've had a wet May this year, but normally, after April 15, you don't get any rain until late September or early October. That fact has given families the confidence to plan birthday parties in the many different city parks around where we live. Our friends, Mitch and Xinghua invited us to celebrate their daughter's first birthday at a park in Campbell. While we were part of a large group, we were one of about 10 different parties going on at the same time.

Last weekend, we were invited to a graduation party held in honor of our friend, Chris. This party was held at his sister, Becky's place in a community that was recently built in one of the farming towns that dot the I-5 south of Sacramento. The house has beautiful landscaping that the extended families helped design and build along with an attractive pool that was full of kids after dinner. One of the girls has such charisma that she became the subject of my favorite photo of the week.

Maybe I should have called this entry, a tale of two parties!

John D. Morgan Park: every large tree held a similar scene. Each party also had its decorated gift table. Families were well prepared with barbecues, folding tables, plates, napkins, cutlery and games for the kids. This is one of the parties that I walked past on my way to seeing our group.

To the right, closer to our party spot, Jeff with his boy. I like how the shadows from the poles work with the position of Jeff, his boy and two kids from the neighboring party to give an enhanced feeling of perspective.

Becky's house. Pretty landscaping and a fun swimming pool. The "Tiki' deck cover was a riot and there were permanent tiki torches placed throughout the garden for nighttime viewing.

To the right: Becky's daughter stole the scene. While she was not actively demanding any more attention than the other kids, from my point of view, her appearance and personality commanded it. As Jeanine Basinger writes in her book, The Star Machine, this girl appears to have that little something extra that you can't teach or train. She certainly did compared to the other kids that day.

As for the photo itself: I like how the sun on her back highlights her arms and how she had raised the ball above the shadow cast by the house. She wasn't posing for me, her smile is natural and genuine. I was lucky with this shot.

Copyright © 2010 David G. Kelly

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