Portraits: Flight Crew


I blame the boy. It all started with him. Long before we met I swore I’d never live in tornado alley or marry a person crazy enough to fly airplanes. I had absolutely no tie to aviation. None. In fact, I hated flying. Loathed. Required a Xanax to fly type hatred. Then I met Stephen. He’s loved aviation his whole life (I have drawings from his third grade art class to prove it). To him, hopping in a jet and taking off into the blue is as normal as jumping in a car to go to the store. I fell hard for him. And he for me. He spent our early years trying to gracefully (and patiently) get the two loves of his life to coincide. We jokingly named the jet “Sydney” and treated her like a weird part of our family. She was after all, the one who spent the other half of Stephen’s weeks with him. We took many adventures with Sydney in those early years. Times I’ll treasure forever. Times that helped me overcome some of my fear (although let’s be real….I still don’t like to fly).

Now, here I am in 2019 getting sentimental over an airplane. When we first heard that the airplanes were selling the first thought that I had was “We have to take pictures!”. What can I say, I process life photographically? However, it’s not the easiest to get a “nice” day in the Winter to photograph head shots. Not to mention, the bane of the last seven years, trying to get everyone’s schedules to cooperate. But we managed. It was a cold couple of days, wet, muddy. The roads to the private airport strip were riddled with deep ruts and we nearly ended up stranded. But we managed. And I am in love with these portraits. For me, they will hold the memories of my husband getting to work with his dad and brother, hanging out at the airport for no reason, watching our dog run along the edges of the runway when we’d check the lights, and getting to experience our kids growing up thinking that it was normal to be able to just run around an empty hanger. There is so much that aviation has brought to my life, despite when I’m tempted to look at all that we’ve had to do without. It was just for a season. All of it, the good and bad. It was just for a season. And what a season it was.

I am beyond thankful that these three men allowed me to take these. I am honored that these three men are in my family. I know these last few years will go down in our familial history as “The Good Ole Days”. Change is always hard. But I am thankful, when we need to look back, that we have these photos.