Monday, September 25, 2006


Our second annual mocktail party was a hit. We had about forty people over, which is more than last year. Perhaps we weren’t so picky about our guests and we relaxed the dress code, although most everyone dressed up. Every time someone came in dressed to the nines it brought a smile to my face.

My favorite part about the party this year was the photography contest. My friend Jon and I came up with the idea a few weeks ago to invite people to bring their photos and then we would award the winner by purchasing his/her photograph. I was the one purchasing the winner, so I chose the winner. But I wanted everyone else to judge the photos too, so we had a “viewer’s choice” in addition to the purchase award.

Coincidentally, Jon won both awards. We really only had two people with submissions, but they each entered several photographs. So the real contest was between Sean and Jon. Sean’s pieces were very picturesque. I think he took them in the Mediterranean somewhere. Nice photographs. Jon’s had a little more drama – which is what I was ultimately looking for.

Here is the winning photograph:

Jon kindly gave me my second choice as well so I could have a pair of playground pieces.

So I bought the see saw and the slide. I will now attempt to explain my reasoning. I was an art history major and had to write about artwork all the time, but I know very little about photography. So keep in mind, I only kind of know what I’m talking about. I’ll try and stick to visual and conceptual aspects rather than technique:

I like the playful shapes and energetic lines in these pictures. The aggressive perspective creates a sense of drama as it juxtaposes the innocence of the subject matter: the playground. It makes for a dynamic reflection, reminding me of what it felt like to approach a see saw or a slide when I was younger. But now, as an adult, the playground appears to be abandoned, rather than bustling with children. The emptiness of the black and white scene lends to a dream-like environment, allowing the viewer to return to his/her childhood in a quiet, and undisturbed moment of reminiscence.

Pictured below is the viewer’s choice award.

It has a bit of the “how’d he do that?” or “unexpected” factor with the vibrant color of the dandelion placed amidst a black and white background…very Pleasantville. This is a neat shot. Jon actually took this photograph at our house. It’s the southwest corner of our lawn. The part of the lawn that Kaila says is impossible to mow. So that’s kind of funny.

Thanks everyone for coming to our party! And a special thanks to those who participated in the contest and voted for your favorites. We’ll definitely do it again.


Maria said...

Our Mocktail parties are always a good time! I can't wait for next year. We will definitely need to utilize the porch next time. I'll work on the details of the pajama party. That's going to be a good one.

kaila said...

Pajama party? Maria, you're right, our Mocktail parties are always great. I think next time we do one maybe it can be warm outside?

Abel said...

Great photos. Next time I won't use low res images. :-)

joN. said...

Much thanks and appreciation for feeling wicked high class! Thanks for being so encouraging. I've always wanted to be an artist, you know. With enough of your influence maybe I can actually call myself one one of these days.