And He Thought We Were Done With the Whole Surprise Thing

Last night we had our second installment of my grandfather's birthday party. It was a surprise open house, hosted at my uncle's house. I was hired (not technically, this is my family so of course I had to do it for free :)) as photographer, giving me a chance to take a stab at event photography. It went pretty well, taking candids and things; with a few blurry ones here and there that you can't do anything about.
First, we had to go early and help set up.
{note: most of these pictures are unedited except for any crumbs that I might have erased off of the little kids' faces}
look, an impromptu fisheye effect...

I can't really figure out what these ended up being for, considering that they were filled with dry beans. But they were cute.
This is the amazing fantastical cake that my aunt and uncle made. That's the logo of my grandfather's company (he just retired), entirely cut by hand out of fondant. They need to open a cake shop. Seriously.
The other aunts got these cute little floral arrangements with fake oranges. Love.
There was a bucket by the door for guests to put any cards in...
The other cake was my grandfather's passion - trumpet. He's amazing. He taught all of my aunts and uncles and my mom different instruments and they performed around the country for a time as a family band.
So of course, we had to have some good old jazz playing.
After the guests arrived, we started anxiously waiting for him to come. It would have been more of a surprise if all of the cars hadn't been right in front of the house and there hadn't been, you know, an entire bunch of balloons on the mailbox. But he was shocked...
Mostly because two of his sisters came in town for the party.
After singing happy birthday and beginning to eat, I headed into the backyard to converse and snap more shots. I found it awkward taking candids of relatives that I didn't even know and having them look at me like I was some new breed of threatening paparazzi.
This is my adorable cousin.
That's my other adorable cousin.

Some more adorable cousins (my mom has seven siblings, all of which have at least three kids. I have around thirty-six cousins. I am not kidding).
Cake. Nom.
You'd think out of the aforementioned thirty-six cousins, there would be more than one my age. But there isn't. Maggie is closest in age to me. She's hilarious. And extremely photogenic, as are all of the other cousins. Honestly, how did I miss that trait?

After a while, it got extremely hot and the little ones (no doubt tired of random long-lost relatives coming up to them and saying "ohmygoodness I haven't seen you in three years! Remember me?") stuck their feet in my uncle's pool.

They're all wacky.
Overall, it was a great party. I loved being the photographer. I find that you can sneak in and capture moments that no one else has opportunity to.
with a piece of cracker still in his teeth. I adore my cousins.
I'm still working on my manual settings, trying to figure out which ones are best for each shooting situation. But I'm getting the hang of it!


  1. awesome pictures! your cousins are so cute :)

  2. Great shots of your cousins! They all look so cute! ;)

  3. These are great! My mom has 7 siblings too, and all of them have at least three kids too! :) Lots of cousins are good! ;) I love that last picture. It's so cute!

  4. Love all the pictures! :) You did a great job!


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