(954) 610-7672 nick@donnerphotos.com

For a couple who has traveled to more than 30 countries and 40 states, it was obvious that having an actual plane in their maternity session would be the coolest, most amazing photo prop EVER. I would have expected nothing less of Josh and Alanna, who have continuously chosen to get creative and incorporate their favorite things and places into their shoots (see their baseball engagement and epic library wedding photos!). We love it when clients think outside the box and come to us with fun challenges like this. Josh and Alanna were able to find an awesome vintage biplane plane at Key West Biplanes, so I jetted down on Silver Airlines for the day and met them to crush some maternity photos and key lime pie.

We travel by plane a lot for work now so we have a pretty good system in place that only requires a few bags to hold all of our important gear and backup equipment (think cameras, lenses, flashes, strobes, etc). With travel and photography, things don’t always go according to plan, so we ensure to the best of our ability that we’ll be able to deliver in time-sensitive and high pressure situations. Such was this day when I underestimated the strong winds being generated by the other planes on the tarmac. I turned around to see my strobe come crashing down to the ground despite being held in place by several cement blocks and weights! I might have yelped and swallowed my stomach in my throat a little. Josh was kind enough to hold my camera and take a few photos of me checking on the gear (internally: freaking out a little).

In one way or another, people often ask us what the difference is between a professional photographer and an amateur? Certainly an eye for photos and quality gear is some of it. But that day I learned more about my value as a professional photographer. I shook it off, smiled at my lovely clients like nothing bad happened and we kept going with my backup light because we only had an hour with the plane and I was determined to make the most of it. Thankfully, after the shoot we discovered that my gear was all OK and in tact! But it was a good reminder why we always bring backups (and an assistant!) on gear-heavy shoots.

I’m so grateful that we have such awesome clients who want the best photos as much as we do. This was a fun and memorable day for the books!