Sondra & Scott's Baby Shower - Redondo Beach, CA
It was a beautiful Saturday when we pulled up to the house where Sondra and Scott were to have their baby shower, welcoming their first born child.
We stepped through a big red door to the house and were met with a gorgeous hand drawn chalkboard sign welcoming friends and family to the baby shower. Sondra owns and operates a wonderful boutique calligraphy sign business called The Lovely Line Shop. She caters to newlyweds, brides, grooms, new parents, expecting parents and people celebrating just about anything who want a custom, personalized, hand crafted calligraphy art, anywhere in the world! She will be crafting custom signs for my fiancée and my's wedding and we can’t wait to show them off! I’ll post a link to her shop at the end of the article if you’re interested, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Once past the sign, we walked into a huge kitchen and living room equipped with a bar serving drinks. To compliment the huge kitchen, was an equally gigantic island. Cheeses, fruits, multiple charcuterie plates and a vast assortment of gluten free sandwiches adorned the top of the island. Not many people ventured away from the food as they wanted first dibs when the dinner bell rang.
Rebecca and I arrived a little early to capture some portraits of Scott and Sondra before people arrived. They were rock stars, effortlessly switching from party planning mode to being ready for an intimate portrait shoot and they blew us away. It is always a humbling experience to be able to capture a life changing moment for our clients and encapsulate the emotions they're feeling into a photograph for them to look back on for the rest of their lives.
We also were able to bring in their parents for some portraits. One of my favorite images of the shoot was with everyone’s hands. While eyes are the windows to the soul, I feel that hands are just as versatile. Touch is one of the first ways and sometimes last way we connect with people from the moment we are born. We were so excited that everyone was willing to trust us for this shot. We had Sondra's mother and father's hands on the left and Scott's, his mother's, and his grandfather's hands on the right. The resulting image for us, was an amazing portrait containing three generations welcoming the newest generation into this world. It is one of our all time favorites.
After the portrait session, Scott and Sondra relaxed until people started to arrive for their spectacularly Nautical South Bay Baby Shower. Scott has been a member of the United States Coast Guard for years and as such, “A’hoy! It’s a Boy!” was the catch phrase of the day, and it was fantastic.
The decor was great with so many things to see, taste, do and talk about. It was wonderful to see everyone share in Scott and Sondra’s. Everyone was so excited. To kick the party off Scott and Sondra had each made signature drinks for their guests, one alcoholic and the other not, each with a calligraphy sign next to them.
There were also games a plenty. Naturally Sondra had hand crafted signs for everything. There was “Guess the belly size!”, “Guess how many items in the jar!”, and the one that got to me the most was a giant board with mounted diapers filled with different melted candy bars. Guests tried to identify what each candy bar was for prizes. The melted chocolate bars where so very well done that I found myself having to look away!
After the food was served everyone moved outside for the most competitive game of the day. They were all lined up in the yard and given baby bottles full of beer. Sondra sounded the starting whistle and they were off! The object of the game was to see who could suck the beer out of their bottles the fastest. The contest became a contentious one, as rumor had it, one of the competitors had thought outside of the box and enlarged the bottle by biting off a piece of it mid-competition. However, it was all in good fun and everyone had a blast trying to finish their bottles and heckling their friends who weren't finished yet.
After the competition, it was time for cake! The cake was amazing. It was gigantic with an ocean scene with Sondra, Scott and one of their dogs in a boat. Attached on a rope to Sondra's Boat, was another boat, with their other dog and their soon to be born son bringing up the rear. Did I mention the cake was gigantic?
Sondra and Scott then migrated over to the fireplace mantle to announce the winners of the Diaper game, the nursery rhyme game and guess the belly size. The estimates were wildly extreme and were quickly followed up by uproarous laughter.
After many guesses, the winners were crowned as someone guessed it spot on. Scott and Sondra then began opening their gifts. Probably one of the more emotional parts of the day was the gift Scott’s mother prepared for them.
Sondra opened a box filled to the brim with normal looking baby clothes and shoes. However, they were actually the exact same clothes, hats, sweaters, shoes and sandals that Scott had worn and grown in as a newborn. Everything had all been washed, dry cleaned and ready to be worn by Scott's son now. It was so special and touching to see all the history of this wonderfully preserved handed down gift.
The baby shower soon began to wind down and we began to pack up our gear. We said our goodbyes to the lucky couple. Driving away we left in awe. All of the small details, the hand drawn calligraphy signs, the games, the custom crafted drinks, all the family members and loving friends, made the baby shower so personal, special and full of joy and love. We were so lucky to have been invited to photograph their baby shower. We are also so excited to announce that we will be capturing Sondra and Scott again with their newborn son a few weeks after he’s born! So please stay tuned! Thank you so much again to Scott and Sondra, we’re so excited and happy for you!
You can find Sondra's gorgeous sign shop at thelovelylineshop.etsy.com
-Daniel and Rebecca of Daniel Doty Photography
P.S. Here's a sneak peak to her beautiful work for our upcoming wedding.