“Happy Birthday! Congratulations! Happy Anniversary!” are sayings that we as Southern Belles use throughout the year. With celebrations ranging from birthdays to anniversaries, we can expect an event or trip to help us celebrate these special parts of our lives. However, with COVID in full effect and seeming as a never ending phase of life, the way in which we are celebrating has continued to alter as well. Round flight trips for birthday celebrations have shifted and even anniversary parties for those Southern Belles and Southern Beaus who have been together forever are also taking a shift. Since the pandemic is causing many flight cancellations and party date changes, we are still anxious to celebrate and what better way to do so then a photo shoot that captures your most stylish fashion, historic scenery, and love for yourself or one another.
Ms. Kim Long, who understands what it’s like to ponder and regroup on previous plans, celebrated her 60th birthday in a way that we recommend many Southern Belles and their family to consider going forward. Originally Ms. Long planned to celebrate her December 60th birthday with a cruise around the coast of Africa, however, COVID-19 changed that entire plan. As a resident of Charleston, South Carolina, she didn’t get upset, however she looked around and visualized what could be done in the historic Lowcountry city of Charleston.
With various historic sites such as the McLeod Plantation Historic Site, the Aiken-Rhett House, and MT. Zion AME Church, and Ms. Long’s passion to celebrate and honor her heritage and culture she knew that her birthday celebration could be completed in visual representation of black heritage.
The visual journey of her 60 birthday celebration took place at the 20 South Battery. This location is a historic mansion owned by one of her friends, Dr. Jack Schaeffer. Built in 1843, the mansion now served as a bed and breakfast but originally was constructed by our enslaved ancestors. With history that lies within our roots were discovered, Ms. Long knew this location for her 60th birthday celebration would be perfect.
Prepared with a wardrobe that reflected some of the heritage, countries, cultures and travels that she incorporated into her 60 years of life, Ms. Long created a 60th Birthday Celebration that she will have memories of for years to come and below are a few tips in which you can also celebrate your birthday in a COVID free way.
Tip 1: Historic Site
Finding a historic site to take your celebratory pictures is perfect to capture the moment.
Using a historic site will give your pictures a perfect backdrop that matches the theme for your occasion. Look into outdoor historic sites as well. Check out well-known parks, trails, or tribute walls.
Tip 2: Themed Attire
Of course as Southern Belles, we have stylish attire in our wardrobe, but for our celebration pictures, let’s ensure our attire is themed worthy. Want to convey a Gullah/Geechee or African American historic theme, then shop black-owned and find products to make your attire truly perfect.
Tip 3: Capture the Moment
Find the perfect camera man or woman and let them capture your moment. Plan ahead and set specific details of the idea you want to convey. Explain your vision, include your closest family and friends, and let the photographer capture it.
Just like Ms. Long, many of us, can alter the way in which we celebrate and make the best of our birthday celebrations. Remember these celebrations are about ourselves. Before we have an event that could possibly get everyone sick, we should focus on a personal memory we can add to our celebrations. Take into consideration the 3 tips to help enhance your celebration and follow Ms. Long’s way of creating a historic photo story.
Photos by Sean Money & Elizabeth Fay Photography