when a girl turns eleven (and the worst place to get hit with a water balloon)

Hot bright sun, cold water spray, and happy girls, on the thin edge of adolescence.

Blue sky, green grass, no sign of rain today.

Bright pink and purple and yellow bathing suits and laughter, an inflatable flamingo, quickly melting/quickly-devoured ice-cream cake.

Best friends and hammocks, hurt feelings and bumped bodies, while playing musical beach towels.

Running, grinning, posing without prompt, a golden fidget spinner in the hand and plastic leis as vibrant crowns.

You’ll find all that and more, perhaps, should you be invited to photograph an 11th birthday party in the middle of July in Ontario.

And a photographer sitting in the grass, as a giant water balloon falls right on her crotch: risks of the trade.

Thank you Maya, for letting me photograph your big day.