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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

My Dream Shoot | Hot Air Balloon Photo Session

I never got around to blogging this last year even though it was such a big event for me last summer! In my defense, when it is busy, it is BUSY and I always feel like I'm in survival mode. Blogging seems like a luxury during those times.

So, this all started with a dream of mine. I am constantly thinking up "dream shoots" and challenging myself to think creatively. I became obsessed with the idea of shooting an engagement session during a hot air balloon launch. The more I thought about it, I loved the idea so much that I quickly turned the tables and realized I would want these hot air balloon photos for myself! I never looked into it until one day in July I had some free time and started Googling. I had to find a hot air balloon festival that had at least a dozen balloons ascending for the full impact of the concept. There were quite a few all over the country and then I ended up finding one in Indianola, IA during the week of my birthday! I remember that evening vividly... I ran downstairs to excitedly announce to my husband, "I know what I want to do for my birthday!" I told him about my concept and being the wonderful, supportive man that he is, replied, "Okay." I could NOT sleep that night. I knew I wanted to ask my friend Tasha to shoot it for me but I began to worry if I'd be able to pull it off.

The next morning, as soon as I knew I wouldn't wake her up, I called Tasha to pitch the idea. I was barely three sentences in when I asked her and her reply was, "I'm in." We began plotting and she happened to have a few days open that week in between shooting weddings. It all ended up coming together and I could not have been more excited!

This is not my first photo shoot so I completely understand what it's like to be in front of the camera. I think that as a photographer it's important to put yourself in your client's shoes from time to time. The stress of putting together coordinating outfits not confident what will photograph well, and to communicate with your photographer your vision and what you want to capture is a priceless experience! From my end as "the client," I was stressed about looking my best and hoping for the best captures knowing this is a one time shot!

August 3rd, 2010

The balloon ascension was at 6 pm and we could not get any closer to the balloons than being behind this fence. If this launch didn't work, there was another ascension at 6 am the following morning. This was our only opportunity!
I did not expect, however, for my children 10 minutes into the session to start complaining that they were hungry and that their new shoes hurt their feet. Thankfully some after session rewards did the trick!

Let your one-year-old have a sip of pop to keep him happy? Sure! Why not?! There was far too much on the line for this not to work out!

There was a night glow after sunset so we stuck around for that. This photo looks so peaceful but little do you know that Oliver was crying and we were all getting eaten by mosquitos!

With our family session wrapped, I couldn't help but feel jealous for Tasha being able to shoot those amazing balloons... I pitched the idea to her about me shooting her and her husband Tony the following morning at the 6 am ascension. They were up for it so it was my dream come true x2! I got my family photos and I got to shoot as well!

The lighting that morning was not what I envisioned. It was my first sunrise shoot but there was no sun! It was cloudy and gloomy. When we got to the launch field the following morning, there were no balloons! We asked the officials what was up and they said that the morning ascensions were competition driven and since they have to follow the wind pattern, they launched from a field far away and would float over the launch site vs. starting there.

Here we are waiting for the balloons to come...
Here they come!

Is Tasha not the cutest?!

It was such an amazing trip and my kids still talk about it to this day. I encourage all of my future clients to search your soul for your next photo shoot. What do you want to capture? There is no dream too big and I would be so excited to make your dream come true!

I once heard a great quote from Jennifer Hudson who was giving a future young singer some advice:

"If someone tries to discourage you, it's because they just don't dream as big as you."

Words to live by!

1 comment:

Little For A Little While said...

I love this! The photos are amazing and SO colorful!