Photography: Army-themed Birthday Party

Owen turned 7 two weeks ago, and his Dad decided to throw him an Army-themed Party.

All the children were asked to wear the appropriate clothing (camouflage prints). a 12-meter long army-style jumping castle was hired for the occasion, and a “challenging” obstacle course was laid out. The idea was to have the Drill Seargents (the Dads) drill the kids, get them to march up and down, and then let them do the obstacle course. The “reward” was to have army stripes painted on their cheeks afterwards, and receive a pair of toy binoculars and a badge.

The party was such a success, the Birthday Boy forgot to open his gifts! He was having way too much fun!

Canon EOS 60D – f/9 – 1/200 second

It was a very hot and bright, sunny day with not a cloud in the sky (we’re lucky like that here in South Africa!), and I was struggling to get the exposure correct. Many of my shots were over-exposed, but a few minutes work in Lightroom 4 sorted them out nicely.

Here is Owen, demonstrating the correct technique for the tyre obstacle course:

Canon EOS 60D – f/11 – 1/640 second

The children, saluting the Drill Sargents at the start of their drill….

Canon EOS 60D – f/7.1 – 1/640 second

….and marching up and down the driveway. (I think someone needs a lesson in gun-safety!)

Canon EOS 60D – f/7.1 – 1/640 second

After completing the course, they received their stripes. (Aren’t these two just so STUNNINGLY beautiful?)

Canon EOS 60D – f/5.6 – 1/640 second

Canon EOS 60D – f/7.1 – 1/640 second

And then it was time to play….

Canon EOS 60D – f/4.5 – 1/500 second

Canon EOS 60D – f/7.1 – 1/400 sec

So, if you’re looking for a fun theme for your child’s birthday party, I can recommend this one. We also had:

  • Black, grey and green balloons (army camouflage colours)
  • An army cake ( camouflage coloured and patterned icing, with toy soldiers, tanks, helicopters and crashed jets for decoration!)
  • The obstacle course consisted of the 12-meter long jumping castle with climbing rope (picture 1), and other “difficulties” for the kids to jump from or climb through, the tyre obstacles, and a belly crawl under ropes tied between poles. They ended the course with climbing a rope swing to touch a balloon tied just out of reach.
  • The “training” consisted of being (gently) yelled at by the Drill Seargents (” get back in line, Soldier!!), saluting, jumping jacks, and marching in “formation” up and down the driveway.

The children ranged in ages from 3 to 7. Some of the littlest ones needed a bit of help sometimes,so it’s handy to have some teenagers around as well.

I really don’t know how we’re going to top this party next year!!!