Sandy Cheeks: Building Sand Castles


On Sunday July 19, 2015, I had an assignment for The Bellingham Herald to photograph the 32nd Annual Birch Bay Sandcastle Competition Here are a few of my favorites

For more images, check out my gallery 32nd Annual Birch Bay Sandcastle Competition

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Playing in Mud:

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald -  Macy Tjoelker, 3. plays in the mud as her mother Malorie Tjoelker of Lynden and others work on the “holiday Shore Mermaid” sandsculpture during the second day of the 32nd annual Birch Bay Sandsculpture Competition along the beach in Birch Bay, Wash., on Sunday afternoon July 19, 2015. Thousands of people watched as over 70 sandsculptures were built over the two day event.*** This is the first year as a two day event. I was told by Birch Bay Chamber president Jeff Carrington that it will continue to be a two day event.

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald – Macy Tjoelker, 3. plays in the mud others work on the “Holiday Shore Mermaid” sand sculpture. The sculpture took First Place in the Master’s Division.

It’s in the Details:

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald -  Mikey works on "Sandy" during the second day of the 32nd annual Birch Bay Sandsculpture Competition along the beach in Birch Bay, Wash., on Sunday afternoon July 19, 2015. Mikey and friend Tammy Michna teamed up to carve a sand woman. Thousands of people watched as over 70  sand sculptures are built over the two day event.

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald – Mikey works on “Sandy” during the second day of the 32nd annual Birch Bay Sandsculpture Competition.

Watch Dog:

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald -  Jazzy watches as Mikey (no last name given) works on his sandsculpture “Sandy” during the second day of the 32nd annual Birch Bay Sandsculpture Competition along the beach in Birch Bay, Wash., on Sunday afternoon July 19, 2015. Thousands of people watched as over a 70 sandsculptures were built over the two day event.

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald – Jazzy watches as Mikey as he works on his sand sculpture “Sandy.”

The Guardian:

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald -  The Kent family (l to r) dad Mike, daughter Lisa, and mom Rose, work on their sculpture

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald – The Kent family (l to r) dad Mike, daughter Lisa, and mom Rose, work on their sculpture “The Guardian.” Their hard work paid off as their sculpture won 2nd Place in the Master’s Division.

Batman’s Toes:

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald -  Elle Moore, left, works on Batman's toes while her sister Livvy Moore works on Superman of their sandsculpture

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald – Elle Moore, left, works on Batman’s toes while her sister Livvy Moore works on Superman of their sand sculpture “Superman vs. Batman.” The sculpture is in honor of the upcoming movie. Their sculpture won 3rd place in the Master’s Division.

Incoming Tide:

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald -  Beach goers watch contestants during the second day of the 32nd annual Birch Bay Sandsculpture Competition along the beach in Birch Bay, Wash., on Sunday afternoon July 19, 2015. Thousands of people watched as over a 100 sandsculptures are built over the two day event.

© Paul Conrad/Bellingham Herald – The tide slowly encroaches as beach goers watch contestants sculpt sand during the second day of the 32nd annual Birch Bay Sandsculpture Competition.

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Paul “pablo” Conrad

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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance editorial photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.

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3 comments

    1. Thank you Dina!!! Glad you like them!!

      I was looking or something with a child as all the others were being built by adults. I ran into this girl helping her mom built a mermaid sculpture.

      For the second one, I wanted a detail shot and found this.

      Thanks again for the kind words Dina.

      Liked by 1 person

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