Over the weekend, my friend Alia and I got together for some photos, kitten snuggle time, and dinner. The weather was shaping up to be perfect – mild and still with almost no humidity – and I’d found a beautiful spot for evening photos at a nearby park. Plus, I wanted to try out one of my new colored smoke sticks without the trial going to waste (not just going to light it in my yard to see how they worked!). Alia and I took a blanket and a smoke stick out to this park and walked over to the area where there was open field, flowers, and a pond reflecting the sunset light.
I’m really glad I decided to try out the smoke stick during a practice session, because it did not go according to expectation at all. Perhaps the stick I grabbed was a dud, because it only burned for a few seconds and left a bunch powder behind, or maybe it performed exactly as intended. Either way, I was expecting a cloud of smoke, and ended up with a small stream. Most of the few photos I got during that short period has the stick canister positioned behind Alia, making it look like she has a random stream of blue smoke coming up behind her. (Aka, the photos look ridiculous.) I did keep one reference photo with the canister in view, which is the one I’ve added here.
Here’s where the story gets fun. As the smoke went up, we began to hear cheers. There were a group of skaters at the other end of the park practicing in a concrete culvert. We’d passed them on the way in and paid them no mind. (Actually, I paid them some mind, because I marveled at how similar they looked to 90s skaters, same hair cuts and baggy clothes – one kid looked like an 18-year-old version of Kurt Cobain!) These guys were the ones cheering, though we didn’t know what they were cheering at, because they were entirely out of sight from our location. I admit, I’d been extremely nervous about using the smoke stick in the park, in case someone called the police, thinking we were setting fires. The police make me very nervous!! And when I heard cheers, I thought perhaps the boys had seen the smoke and were cheering because someone was doing something tentatively (or potentially?) illegal. But I didn’t think more of it than that. For all I knew, one of them had perfected some trick and they were all cheering for him, and the timing was coincidental.
Alia and I finished our photos, which turned out beautifully as expected. I’ve included a few of the non-smoke ones here. Then we headed back to the parking lot, to go back to my house for dinner. As we passed the skaters, the Kurt Cobain kid yelled out, “Gender reveal?”
It took me a moment to register the question. Alia didn’t even realize that they were talking to us. I then had to explain that no, there was no gender reveal, despite the blue smoke, and we were just taking photos. They all seemed pretty disappointed and said that was too bad and they guessed they’d cheered for no reason. So they were cheering for us – they just thought that we were having a baby!
The whole interaction made my night, made both of our nights. One of my favorite photography-tangential moments so far!
Blue smoke. Of course it’s a gender reveal. That’s kind of adorable. Excellent photos, too.
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Thank you! It was definitely a fun story, we both were very amused and regaling our friends with it!