High Tea & “New” Cameras

High Tea & “New” Cameras

Last Saturday, my sister had a tea party to celebrate her fourteenth birthday. I was so glad to be able to come and enjoy all of the fun, what with the fancy food, beautiful weather, and pretty dresses.

The party was to be held at my grandma’s quiet, peaceful house, an opposite of our own house at times. As I mentioned in this post, she’s actually getting ready to sell it, so the house doesn’t have a lot of furniture in it right now, but we didn’t mind due to the wonderful weather. I was super excited the week leading up to the party about the photography side of this, and wrote my approach to the portraits (i.e. ideas for posing, locations, etc.) on a couple of notebook paper sheets, only to forget them the day of. πŸ˜› It wasn’t until the day before that I remembered something my grandma had told me when she was here a few weeks ago: there was a really expensive and nice video camera somewhere in her house that she had purchased for her homeschool reading company (the best of the best, in my humble opinion πŸ˜‰ ) but never used. She wanted me to learn how to use it so we could possibly refilm some of the videos in her curriculum. I’d only actually seen the camera once, but I knew it was big, and had a really nice lens. In the back of my mind, I knew it would probably take pictures just like it took videos. So, I set out to find the camera and figure out how to use it a little for the party photos.

Eyewitnesses will say that I was more than a little excited to find the camera after a long search, which involved a damp, cold basement and dusty pantries. But then there was the struggle of learning how to turn it on. Now, don’t get me wrong, I had brought our regular, wonderful camera that I was more than happy to use. But the prospect of trying out a new device was pretty overpowering and so most of the day’s photos were on the video camera once I figured out how to turn it on (which I did, after finding a charger cord).

Things I’ve learned about the camera and about photography in general through this experience:

  • every camera has pros and cons. Our regular high end point-and-shoot is capable of taking the same kinds of photos that the video camera did, but it takes more time and practice to accomplish it. The video camera takes beautiful photos (as you’ll soon learn), but sometimes will fail to capture the details like our normal camera does, because it’s just not made solely for photos.
  • I don’t know everything about cameras, photography, or technology. It’s as simple as that! It took me a decent fifteen minutes to figure out how to make the viewfinder work. After finding the (very obvious) “pull” letters on top of it, I was all set. My skills in finding the obvious proved themselves rather insufficient.
  • You can never be too careful with an expensive (or even inexpensive) camera. I’m sorry. I give my friends a hard time about wearing their neckbands and wristbands and whatnot because I’ve been severely traumatized by dropping a much beloved camera. It never worked again, and thank goodness I was shown mercy from my parents, who easily could’ve shown a lot more anger than they did. It’s still a pretty high honor to know that they trust me with another camera! And with this new video camera, I was seriously scared to even hold it because I knew how deep the trouble would be should I drop it and *shudders* break it. But I eventually did (duh) and I’m learning to live up to the privilege of even using the camera in the first place.

Anyways. Enough rambling and on to the party photos!


This is the new camera, through a very dirty mirror. πŸ˜‰


The table, set for high tea.


I love how this photo of the lilies turned out. Fun fact: lilies are my favorite flower!


The birthday girl! There’s a semi funny story behind this shot. I had one shot of Sarah’s forehead and down, and then another shot of her chin and up. I wanted a full face and shoulders shot, so I layered the two over each other. You can’t tell where one starts and the other ends. I’ve now begun to consider myself something of a plastic surgeon. πŸ˜‰


My little brothers and sisters hung around the party a bit, too. Kenan’s eyes in this picture are so precious!


Petra! Yep, she was at the party, much to my delight! I loved shooting with her and will feature a few of her photos here as well. πŸ™‚ I love how this shot is backlit, yet it captures the soft light shining on her face. I love yellow, sunshiny days.


Miss Grace. I love this picture of her! She has such a sweet spirit and loves to sing praises to Jesus. She’s also an extraordinary writer and has a great sense of humor. I love knowing Grace!


Alice! I’ve known Alice for . . . wow, going on three years now? She has grown up so much (and so have I!) and I have loved every minute of knowing her. She has a heart that lives to please God and she’s so gentle in her mannerisms, not proud or angry ever. Thanks for coming to the party, Alice!


Ahhhhhh Elijah!!! He’s almost 2 now! He doesn’t like strangers – at all – and would give the girls this awful pouting look . . .


. . . like this!! I laugh so hard every time I see this photo – full photo credit to Petra.


My reflection through Petra’s camera lens.


The whole group! Left to right: Abbie, Grace, Ally, Sarah, Ella, Alice, and Makiah. This picture does not include me and Petra ‘cuz we were preoccupied lol.


Miss Makiah. She made me laugh so many times on Saturday, because she has a true spirit of JOY. I love being around this little blessing and hearing her perspective on the world. This photo represents perfectly her beautiful personality. πŸ™‚


Ally! I am so glad she could make it to the party, even though it was a long drive for her! Her sweet smile and joyful spirit really uplifted me at the party, and I know Sarah has been really impacted by her friendship. πŸ™‚ Photo creds Petra!


Ella! One of our dear friends from cross country, sister to Petra and Makiah. I love how this picture grabbed a sunshiny smile and the light curls framing her face. She is so sweet and thoughtful. One time, she wrote me the most beautiful note and I about cried. My sisters are eyewitnesses to this. I loved having her unselfish spirit around at this party. πŸ™‚


Miss Abigail. She’s my 9-going-on-19-year-old sister who keeps me on my toes in the best way. I see so much of myself in her, and often that can be aggravating, but I look at her and I also see a personality different from my own with potential to bloom and grow in different ways than I have/will. This beautiful girl has a beautiful heart and I pray she’ll continue to seek God as she grows more so. Photo creds Petra!


Another shot by Petra (duh). I like how this one turned out and I love my fancy earrings dearly. πŸ™‚


Sisters! (does anyone else think of the White Christmas song when they read that?!) I love Sarah so much and can’t believe she’s already 14 and I’m almost ready to drive! Through every season, we’ve been together and we’ve been best friends. That doesn’t mean we always like each other. But we’re here for each other. And “God help the [person] who comes between me and my sister!” Photo creds Petra!

All in all, it was a great party. We couldn’t have asked for better weather, a better place to host, or better guests. πŸ™‚ Thanks, everyone who came, and thanks, Petra, for letting me share some of your good shots πŸ˜‰