Kate Griffin Photography // London Family Documentary Photographer » Celebrating family life in London and across the UK

let’s go fly a kite // birthday party inspiration

I love to read blogs, browse magazines and watch the world go by sat outside a cafe, sipping something cold. Preferably fizzy. Ideally cherry coke. For me, it’s so important to soak up everything I see, I read, I overhear. It keeps my imagination healthy. It helps make the day dreaming fun.

Sometimes it is even more fun to just create something for yourself, flex that mind muscle and then share it. I love the thought that someone will see something I’ve been a part of, something I’ve collaborated on and be inspired to try something themselves. Big or small. Solo or as part of a bigger team.

But it’s no mean feat to go from idea to actual, so there was no one better to work with than Ellie Kelly from Buttons Children’s Parties. Remember her? Friendly. Lovely smile. You met her here.

We hatched a plan over cake.

We hammered out the finer details over a plate of cheesy chips.

That’s a sugar rush for ideas, backed up by some solid carb intake for the hard work to see it through. And it was hard work. But hopefully you agree the results make it worthwhile.

A simple idea: to imagine a fantastic birthday party, to see what that would look like if we could make it come true. We wanted to create something a little different, as a challenge to ourselves, and to show you what could be possible for the birthday party you might be planning.

Ellie loved the idea of a kite-flying theme. I thought that a beautiful beach was the perfect place to fly that kite and to photograph our imaginary, fantasy party made real.

And so we did just that. We made it real.

Fantasy parties on beaches are fab. Craft tents with pinwheel workshops are great. Glorious, hazy sunsets are just that – glorious.

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But let’s peek behind the finished photographs for a second. Because, to be honest, what happened next was hilarious. Not at the time. Well funny in that nervous laughter type of way.

We’d timed it just right to get the very best of the golden light at the end of the day. The craft tent was up and I’d just started taking the photographs, once everything was in place. Or sort of in place. When the wind decided to die down. Ellie was making one of many, many trips back to the car to starting setting up the party tea table.

And just like that, the weather turned.

In an instant.

Far out to sea, we heard a big ship toot a fog horn. We looked at each other nervously. Laughed. Then Ellie went up into 6th gear to get everything out. By the time she had come back from the car with our fabulous birthday cake, we were surrounded by thick, Victorian fog. It rolled in from the sea and swallowed us up. Our perfect beach sunset was gone, and we were left in the last light of the day, feverishly working to make sure we captured the incredible work that people had put into creating a brilliant kite-themed party spread.

A spread of kite-shaped biscuits, jelly topped with whipped-cream clouds, cupcakes, sweets and a pink party drink, topped off with a 3-tiered flying kite cake. It looked dangerously delicious.

Except now that beautiful haze was gone. The light went a charming shade of grey and the sun fully gave up in the sky.

But we didn’t let it stop us. I quickly captured what I could of the party tea, and Ellie got busy taking the craft tent down behind me.

Even without the hazy sunset of childhood daydreams, that party tea looked pretty damn good.

We got it. We saw our fantasy birthday party on the beach come to life.

We got to take it down in the pitch black.

Well I got the easy job – standing guard. That Ellie Kelly, she went back and forth to the car, each time carry armloads of heaviness, in the deep, dark black. No street lamps anywhere near by. No moonlight. Just night-time fog. How she managed it without injury, I will never know. But she did.

And now we’ve started dreaming up ideas again. We are thinking about something fun. Something very British. Something olympian.

But near a car park. Without the fog.

We owe a huge thanks to the very talented ladies who helped the kite theme come to life:

Feature birthday cake by Jody Inwood-Pells at Idyllic Moments
Fabulous birthday party spread by Eva Sparshott at Little Bites

If you want to create a fabulous birthday party for the special little people in your family, speak to Ellie. She will make it come true.

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