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Joe & Tom’s Shared Birthday Party

on June 10, 2023


In this blog post, I take you behind the lens to share my experience capturing Joe and Tom’s joint milestone birthday celebration at Hummingbird Bar & Kitchen in Downtown Alexandria. The venue, with its clean coastal ambiance and panoramic river views, served as the perfect backdrop for an afternoon filled with mingling, dining, and entertainment. Carefully curated details like photo albums and charcuterie tables to the full-scale magic show that left guests both laughing and perplexed, this was a well thought out birthday celebration. The post delves into the various aspects of the event, including the contributions of vendors like the caterers, the bakery, and even a magician who owns his own magic bar in Baltimore. We’ll finish with an extensive photo gallery featuring a selection of more than 70 images, capturing the the flow and nuances of the day.

Want to skip the story and jump straight into the photos? Go for it.

When I walked into Hummingbird Bar & Kitchen with the task of some good old fashioned event photography, I was immediately struck by the venue’s clean coastal ambiance. This was my first time at the venue. The navy blue and white color palette, accentuated with ash wood, gave off a seaside retreat vibe. Large glass doors and panoramic windows flooded the space with natural light. It was a great setting for Joe and Tom’s to share a birthday party together.

I spent some time exploring the details that were set up. A table backed up to a big glass window featured photo albums capturing different parts of Joe & Tom’s relationship. Another table displayed charcuterie finger-food, courtesy of the Hummingbird’s kitchen.

The cakes looked classic, in chocolate and vanilla, a creation of a Buzz Bakeshop. Venue staff wandered around with Hors d’oeuvres that both looked and tasted great. The modern coastal-themed decorations were everywhere, and they blended seamlessly with the venue’s own style.

Mingling with Friends

As I really got started, people were still arriving and mingling. The atmosphere was bright and relaxed. Lots of people were there from disparate parts of Joe & Tom’s lives, friends and family who don’t often get the chance to see each other. The venue’s large room-length bar was a focal point where guests seemed to naturally congregate.

Dinner was served buffet style. The caterers outdid themselves with a spread that included salad, open-faced chicken sandwich sliders, open-faced shredded beef sliders, lobster rolls, and classic rich mac and cheese. Guests moved freely, filling their plates and returning to conversations. The mood in the room was jovial and adult, but relaxed, not overwhelming or pretentiously ceremonial.

The Magic Show

As the afternoon progressed, Spencer Horsman, the enterprising magician who owns Illusions Magic Bar, began to wander through the crowd. He performed illusions for small groups, eliciting laughter and engagement. It was a big hit, and you could tell Spencer was a seasoned showman, and not at all what you’re probably expecting when someone tells you they hired a magician for their party.

In the latter half of the event, Spencer put on a full-scale magic show. The performance was engaging and incorporated the guests. He gently poked fun at himself and members of the audience in the best way, and the crowd was genuinely perplexed by his illusions. It was like the room had been transported to a different realm, one where the impossible seemed probable.

Impromptu Portraits

Before I left, we took the opportunity to capture a couple of group photos. People who are rarely in the same place together gathered on the patio, which offered some nice shade and a pretty view of the park across the street. The wedding planner and florist had done an excellent job setting the stage for these moments.

Joe and Tom’s joint birthday at Hummingbird Bar & Kitchen was a memorable afternoon, from the mingling to the magic show. If you’re planning a similar event, this venue should definitely be on your radar.

Please enjoy exploring the images!