I drove up to the Patel household to find AVI spelled out in giant gold balloons on the home’s front lawn. On March 25, I was tasked to photograph an event that I had yet to photograph: a one year old’s birthday party. I entered the house to find bodies running around with final preparations for Avi Patel’s birthday party. I was previously at Anil and Punja Patel’s home a few weeks ago, but it looked so different with the decoration themed sets up. Avi’s party was sleepover themed and different rooms were decorated to represent as such. The room right across from the entrance held two teepees for the children to play in, and glowing clouds made out of lanterns and cotton fluff hung from the ceiling.
A few steps from the entrance was a large table, and on top stood two cakes - one for guests to eat and one for Avi to smash - cupcakes, and champagne. The cake to resemble a dreamland. Star balloons filled the wall behind the cake, and a themed table cloth was the final touch. Punja put up each balloon herself!
Down the hall was the kitchen and living room. 2 Dine 4 catered the event with an omelet and hash brown station as well as breakfast type appetizers: mini pancakes, quiche, fruit, etc. In the living room, the Patels set up a craft station for the children to decorate pillow cases, and Abrakadoodle came for an hour to facilitate the craft. Two marquee tables were set up in the living room with two glass jugs sitting on top. One had Patel and the other, Avi, etched into the glass. A large piece of fabric with constellations printed on it hung down the far wall to act as a photobooth area, or at least that’s what I used it for. A bar was also set up for the guests to make their own drinks.
The extended family all arrived to celebrate baby Avi. I did my best to remember names, but I mostly remembered titles: cousin, grandmother, grandfather, etc. For four hours I roamed about the house capturing the moments of the party: from baby Avi being passed around between family members to the kids playing in the teepees. Not going to lie, my hand started cramping up a little from holding the camera for so long. Towards the end of the night Avi attempted to do a cake smash. I say attempted because he wasn’t really having it, but he did get his hands in the icing, some. I watched as champagne was passed around and toasts were made in honor of Avi. An hour later after everyone had his and her share of cake, an ice cream truck pulled up to the front of the house. Guests could go up and take a novelty ice cream treat for an evening snack. This is when I took my leave. I said good night to the Patels and happy birthday to baby Avi.