The Air Force Ball

Back in September I was asked by my good friend and killer portrait photographer Steve Morrow to help him with a project. He’d been contract to photograph the Air Force Ball. The plan was to make portraits of the airmen and women in front of their choice of a C-130 or a B1 Bomber. Since Steve couldn’t be in two places at once, he asked me if I’d help. I jumped at the chance.

Once on the base, we basically flipped a coin for who would photograph which plane. I got the C-130. During the night, he had more people than I did (the B-1 is a magnificent, testosterone-fueled beast), but the people I had were seriously passionate about the C-130. Most were the mechanics who serviced the planes, but there were some pilots as well. Here are a few of my favorites:

The above was one of the images from earlier in the evening. As it got darker (I almost wrote, “As the sun went down,” but we had no sun), the clouds got moodier and photographically magical. The image at the top, which I like better, was made after the sun went down.

Once it was totally dark, Steve set up a studio inside one of the hangars and continued to shoot portraits while I became documentarian. The first photo at top is the base colonel and his wife during the traditional dance. In the image below, two of our nation’s finest cut the cake . . . WITH A SWORD!! That’s the way to cut a cake in my judgment.

There are few things more striking than a soldier in uniform. These courageous men and women serve a vital role in keeping our nation free and helping promote freedom abroad. It was an honor to be among them for just a night.

More to come . . .

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