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Families on the Flightline

Hello Friends!

No surprise here but this blog post is particularly late. Hahaha! LAST YEAR I was asked to photograph some families on the flightline here at Edwards AFB. They were holiday photos for a good handful of active duty military and their families. I was stoked!

I was also nervous though.

Why nervous? I’ll tell you. The idea for this photoshoot was to take holiday card photos in front of some jets on the fligthline, starting at 10 am. The number of families on the list for photos ran us to about 2-3 pm. *bam!* First hurdle: midday lighting on the flightline.

Have you ever noticed that flightlines are generally lacking in shade? *bam!* Second hurdle: no covering from the midday sun! Having spent a little time on a flightline myself and knowing how hard the lighting is out there, I was seriously wondering how I was going to make these photos work with no covering.

Leading up to the photoshoot, I was constantly planning in my head and thinking up ways to work around the harsh lighting that was bound to occur… On a flightline… In the middle of a desert… In Southern California. I was thinking, well, maybe I could bring a hand held diffuser. I knew that wouldn’t work though, especially for a whole family. Also, who was gonna hold it for 4-5 hours for me? lol Then I thought, “Well, maybe I could build a giant diffuser out of PVC pipe and some outdoor overhang covering or something?” Nope. Can’t do that. That thing would definitely catch flight in the wind, which is eminent and persistent out here. Plus, how would I anchor it, or who would hold it, or what about FOD? (FOD is anything on a flightline that’s not supposed to be there that could cause damage to an aircraft. Foreign Object Damage.)

Also, what if I pointed my camera the wrong way and security forces didn’t like it rolled up and ended the shoot? FYI, that didn’t happen. Although it would have made for a much more interesting story than this one. Maybe next time, yeah?

I don’t think I can explain the extent of my relief that morning when we walked out on to the flightline that morning and saw that there was an OVERHANG over the jets that we would be shooting in front of!!! I couldn’t believe how I lucked out with that one! To make things better, the overhang wasn’t a solid material that created a solid shadow, it was more like a tan mesh material that created this beautiful diffused lighting! Good thing I didn’t bother trying to make my own giant light diffuser! Hahaha

To make my day better, my wonderful, loving, and supportive husband had offered offered to by my help during the photoshoot. It was good to have him there to help me change out lenses, remind me of time, carry my ladder around for me, hold the leashes of some doggies, and be there for moral support. I always feel so, so, so loved when he’s there to help me on my photoshoots. Whether he ends up just standing there the whole time or whether he’s physically helping me with something, it means so much to me. 🙂

Anyway, the photoshoot ended up going great. I balanced out the lighting, which is always the most important thing. I absolutely loved meeting 12 or 13 (I can’t remember at this point) new families and their children, whether their kids had two legs or four legs and fur. Hehehe I’m looking forward to this year’s holiday season so much! I think it would be awesome to do another flightline family photo session!

Capture Memories and Climb On!



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