Daniel Doty Photo


Welcome to the Journal for fine art family portrait and wedding photographer Daniel Doty Photography. Here you will find wedding photos, engagement photos, 1st birthday photos, family portrait photos, newborn photos, maternity photos, baby shower photos, bridal shower photos, birthday photos and other events we photograph.

Sadie's 4th Birthday - Play Hive, Hermosa Beach, CA

I consider myself very lucky to have been asked by Sadie's family to come and photograph her 4th birthday party at Play Hive in Hermosa Beach, after photographing her sister Stella's 1st birthday party in PV.

I had never been inside a Play Hive before but as I entered, it reminded me of the indoor children's play places with the ball pits, the giant plastic slides and the interconnected tubes in all different colors that were popular in the early 2000s.

Play Hive had done away with the giant slides of yesteryear and was an oasis for princes and princesses. Everyone at Sadie's party was able to pick their favorite princess dress off of the rack and explore Play Hive. They were able to go on adventures through the slide and ball pit, the bouncy house and the wooden climbable beehive next to the tables filled with princess place settings from Disney movies.

Sadie and all of her friends and family were enjoying running and playing until Sadie's fellow princess arrived. Sadie stopped what she was doing to run over and greet the princess. They said their hellos and exchanged curtseys. Sadie was so happy to see her and showed her around her wonderful party.

The princess then gathered everyone around and read them a story. After the story, the princess brought out her princess makeup and gave some finishing touches of glitter and makeup to anyone who wanted to take their look to the next level.

After story time the party resumed with vigor and it was soon time for cake and ice cream! Sadie had a spectacular pink princess castle cake and everyone was awed by it.

Dessert was served and all the princes and princess were happy.

The party continued on until it was time for me to leave. I said my goodbyes and thanked Sadie and her family again for having me at her fantastic party.

It was very special for me to be able to photograph Sadie's birthday party. Photographing birthdays, and especially birthdays of children, bring me back to my own memorable birthdays as a child.

It is refreshing to be able to capture and see through the eyes of a kid again. While I don't believe we ever lose our ability to dream and imagine, I do believe we all know how to put those thoughts on the back burner in favor of more "practical" thoughts and ideas. However, I urge you to suspend your "adult" brain whenever you can and just take in your life and surroundings and acknowledge how amazing everything around you is, and how amazing your life is. Even if it doesn't feel like it, everyone has something near and dear to them that they can think on to return them back to their childhood thoughts and feelings of wonder, awe, excitement, and anticipation of what magical kingdom they'll visit next. I hope these portraits have been able to remind you of what it was like to be a child again.