Xindi’s Cinco: An Epic Birthday Party


This past Saturday I photographed my friend Milagro’s niece Xindi’s birthday party to celebrate turning 5. It was fun.

La Vaquera Pequita

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - A party goer sports a sombrero during Xindi's birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – A party goer sports a sombrero during Xindi’s birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

The kids running around screaming, the Bouncy Castle, the taco truck, the birthday cupcakes, the presents. All of it was fun.

Zooming Around –

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - © Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Kids zoom around on a wagon during Xindi's birthday party Xindi's birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Kids zoom around on a wagon during Xindi’s birthday party.

During my time covering news for newspapers, I found that going to a park or wherever kids would play and photographing them to be great therapy. It gave me balance.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Kids try their luck playing ring toss during Xindi's birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Kids try their luck playing ring toss during Xindi’s birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

From photographing a woman while she anguished over the loss of her apartment from a fire, to photographing children as they play was soul lifting. It adds a positive to the negative.

Pausing for a Photo

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - A boy pauses for a photo during Xindi's birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – A boy pauses for a photo during Xindi’s birthday party.

Landscapes are the same way. The peace and quiet, the time to set up and compose a shot, the solitude, all work to give me the time to remember what’s good in the world.

In the Castle

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Kids bounce in the Bouncy Castle during Xindi's birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Kids bounce in the Bouncy Castle during Xindi’s birthday party.

Birthday Girl Taking a Slide

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - The guest of honor Xindi takes a slide during her birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – The guest of honor Xindi takes a slide during her birthday party.

I arrived early to get  lay of the area and plan some shots. There was a “selfie booth” where the party goers could take photos of themselves wearing sombreros and then instagram them using the hashtag #xindicinco. there was a bouncy castle for the younger kids. Yes, I was tempted to climb in using the excuse “Just doing My job.”

Climbing In

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - The guest of honor Xindi climbs into the Bouncy Castle during her birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – The guest of honor Xindi climbs into the Bouncy Castle during her birthday party.

The difference between shooting a birthday party and breaking news? None really. They both need you to be fast on your feet, fast with the camera, fast with your creativity, and agile. To get good photos of kids, you have to become a kid yourself.

Queen of the Castle

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Xindi and a friend bounce the day away during her birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Xindi and a friend bounce the day away during her birthday party.

I really wanted to climb in and photograph the kids in their natural element. But, alas, I couldn’t. I feared being attacked by the kids. And I fear that more than the front lines in a war zone.

Candy Candy Everywhere

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Xindi's birthday party for Milagro Speaks on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Kids hit away at the piñata during Xindi’s birthday party.

For gear, I mostly used my D300s with my 17-35 f/2.8 attached. No fill flash as it was overcast sky. The light was beautiful

Rushing in To Get Sum

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Kids race to grab all they can after breaking the piñata at Xindi's birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Kids race to grab all they can after breaking the piñata at Xindi’s birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

A taco truck from El Tapatio in Bellingham, Wash., showed up. Xindi and her friends took aim at a piñata, spilling candy everywhere.

Saying goodbye to the Last 4 Years

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Xindi blows out her birthday cake during her party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Xindi blows out her birthday cake during her party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

And of course the cake and presents. The “cake” was actually vanilla and chocolate cupcakes.

Opening Her Gifts

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography - Xindi shows off a drawing by one of her friends that she received as a gift during her birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

© Paul Conrad/ Pablo Conrad Photography – Xindi shows off a drawing by one of her friends that she received as a gift during her birthday party on Saturday afternoon May 3, 2014.

Yep. Shooting birthday parties are fun.

Do you know anyone needing an event photographer in the Bellingham/Whatcom County area? If so, give me a call at (206) 450-8632 or use my Contact Form to discuss pricing plans and options.

Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.

Also, feel free to share and reblog, link to, and add your site in the comment section.

Paul “pablo” Conrad

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