Ever since 2004, I’ve had a passionate love affair with photography. And come to discover that I have a fondness with photos that comes with a story. Over the years, I have shot a few of them. Here’s the next story behind one of my images.
Part 7: The image that makes me smile
Any aviation enthusiast and or photographer who has ever been to a NAS Oceana airshow knows in the morning you do two things, shoot statics and shop for swag. During the airshow weekend, most of the squadrons based at Oceana sets up rows of tents and offers tons of squadron merch. From T-shirts, Cruise DVDs, challenge coins, coffee mugs to photos and illustrations. In 2008, I attended the show with two fellow photographers, Shawn Yost and Craig Scaling. All weekend long we were cracking jokes, quoting “Top Gun” and all around enjoying each other’s company.
Saturday morning, Shawn and I made our way through security, and met up with Craig. We made our way over to the “Squadron Mall” to buy all the swag we could not live without. Shawn and Craig both fancy squadron cruise DVDs and challenge coins. Zaps (squadron stickers) are my jam. After spending an untold amount of money, it was time to figure out where in the hell we were going to put it all. Remember, its morning. We still have a whole day of shooting ahead. You can’t hold on to all that swag and shoot jets?! You got to pack that shit up! After packing our swag into every nook and cranny of our cameras bags, we headed toward to show line to figure out where we want to shoot from. If I remember correctly, Craig wanted to head over to the static to reshoot something. Craig took off his backpack to put his DVDs away. With his hands full, he asks me to hold his camera. He then processes to stuff his DVDs into his overpacked backpack. With a devilish grin on my face, I nodded to Shawn. He instantly stuck the pose and I quickly framed them both and press the shutter. Craig had his camera set to continuous shooting and it shocked the hell out of me when I heard his shutter blasting away. And as quickly as it happened, I lowered Craig’s camera and Shawn recomposed himself. Craig asks for his camera back. ”You’re shitting me, Right?!” I said to myself. He didn’t realize what just happened?! So, I handed him his camera as if nothing even happened. Trying not to laugh, Shawn and I were both amazing he didn’t hear the shutter snapping away or pick up on what we just did. Looking back now, it was beautiful! Craig went off to shoot statics, Shawn and I in disbelief found a shooting location. We enjoyed the show, packed up our gear, and headed to the hotel. While there, dump cards, charge batteries, shower, dinner and get ready to do it all over again the next day.
Sunday morning, we woke up, got some breakfast, and head to the base. Again, parked the car, geared up, made our way through security, shot the show, and met up with Craig afterward. I do remember, we headed over to my parent’s house that night for a home-cooked meal. On the way over, We figure Craig would have said something about Saturday’s little photo shoot, but nothing. At my parent place, we eat, and we laughed. Heck, my dad even broke out his old cruise books when he served on the Ticonderoga (CV-14) and Saratoga (CV-60). Back in the hotel, we chilled, and eventually off to bed. Come Monday morning, we all headed our separate ways back home.
According to the EXIF data from the image, it was 10 days from the time I shot it to when Craig found it and email it to Shawn and I. He named the image “ShawnandStevearedead”. Key takeaways are. First, regardless of what’s you are shooting, Have fun! And second… Never let me hold your camera when Shawn is around!
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