St Louis Photographer- Flags of Valor

During the Flags of Valor tribute on Art Hill earlier in the month many residents came to the park to view the beautiful scene of over 5 thousand American Flags blowing in the wind.  As a St Louis Photographer, I wanted to capture the beautiful and emotional scene.  Although I love beautiful landscapes, and there is nothing more stunning than our Flag, I needed to capture people in the images.  That is where my passion is – more specifically – little people.  I love children, I connect with them, and most of all, I have fun with them.

Planning the Photo Session

When I stopped to think about how to best incorporate children into these images, it became clear to me.  They are tomorrow’s heroes, lets dress them up as heroes.  I have to admit, I was concerned that my idea could be ill received by outsiders.  So I called one of my friends who is married to a police officer.  She assured me it was a great idea and that people would love it.

Then I contacted some Mom’s of children at my son’s school to see if they were available to participate in the photo shoot with us.  The response was overwhelming, we ended up with more children than we had costumes for.

Taking Photos at Forest Park

The weather was beautiful the day of the session.  All of the children and parents met at the bottom of Art Hill to prepare for our pictures.  Before we started taking any photos, I spoke with the children to explain to them what the flags represented on the hill, and how we were saying thank you to all those who serve by taking these photos.  We started with the superhero costumes first, and then changed the children into the first responder gear.  Once I started shooting, I became so focused on what we were doing that I didn’t notice what was happening behind me.  A friend stopped me to say hello, and when I turned around I was shocked.  There were groups of people gathering and watching us take these photos.  I braced myself for someone to complain or ask us to stop, but no one did.  In fact it was just the opposite.  A few people had tears in their eyes, another couple were taking photos with their cell phones, and several people asked where they could see the finished images.

It Mattered

My jaw flew open in that moment.  No one was angry.  What we were doing mattered.  Just as what everything those who fought for our country and gave their lives for mattered.  Each flag up there on that hill mattered.  The sound of the wind blowing the dog tags up against the flag poles mattered.  In that moment, I have never felt more proud to be an American, and proud to be a St Louis Photographer.

st louis photographer

st louis photographer

flags of valor

flags of valor

flags of valor

 

Here is a video that was put together from some of the images shot.  You can view it on Facebook here.