Independence Day Party on the Lake

Photographers need to party, too. But that only means fewer photos, not no photos at all.

Since I pretty much take my camera just about everywhere, it’s only natural that I would bring it along to a Fourth of July party at a friend’s house on Lake Winnisquam. I relaxed and enjoyed the music, food, and friendly people most of the time, but there were a few opportunities for capturing some nice images.

Just down the shore from their house, a pair of bald eagles decided to make a home and raise a chick. My partner (and wonderful assistant), Doreen, and I went for a short kayak trip to get a closer look. We spotted the male standing tall in a tree, scouting the lake for a snack. Unfortunately, I don’t have a waterproof housing for my camera, so didn’t have it with me. Later, though, I went out on a powerboat hoping for another chance at a sighting, but with my camera this time. Papa eagle was nowhere to be seen, but the youngster was checking out the world from his nest high in a pine tree.┬áHe didn’t seem interested in posing all that much for me, but I did manage to get a few shots – not an easy thing to do from a boat bobbing on a choppy lake.

Even though the eaglet wasn’t up for a portrait session, I did find one relatively willing subject. A family at the party had a young boy who looked adorable in a straw hat and tropical print shirt. As a photographer, it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to get some nice images of a cute subject. With the permission of the parents and the boy, Naveen, we headed down to the shore for a short, impromptu photo session. I did have the off-camera flashes I use for portraits, but didn’t want to mess with umbrellas and stands. Fortunately, Doreen wore white pants, so I had her hold the flash pointed at her pants for a makeshift reflector. It worked quite nicely, I think.

However, this was a party, so I had to make time for some delicious food (I do like to eat) and dancing. Since Doreen and I take Lindy Hop lessons and also teach some ballroom dancing, we never miss the opportunity to dance. Actually, how I met the hosts of the party, Tony and Shelley Carita, was through dancing. Doreen and Shelley have known each other for years. Recently, Shelley’s son (also named Aaron) was getting married and she wanted us to teach her some rumba for the Mother-Son dance at his wedding. Marriage was the co-theme to this year’s party as Tony and Shelley also just got married.

Nothing ends a day of celebration and fun like fireworks. Tony and his brother put together a spectacular home-brewed show out over the lake. As it turned out, some neighbors a few houses over had the same idea, so we were treated to quite a show between the two. I’ve taken plenty of fireworks photos and thought I’d like to do something a little different this year. This show definitely met that desire.

Alas, the party is over and it’s back to work – until our vacation in the Seattle area in a few weeks. I’m sure I’ll be able to find something out there worth photographing and posting here.

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