it started as a far-off dream. i saw a photo of the balloon fiesta in a magazine back in college and thought, "someday." and it's the whole idea of hot air balloons that has me swept up. whimsical, free with the wind, nothing to tie you down, you literally land wherever the wind takes you. just the art of flying with no plan. and in albuquerque, it's the dreamiest setting for something like this every year. bright colors floating against orange mountains and blue skies. magical, for sure. my flight to head out there was at 4am. if you know me, you know i don't do mornings. and definitely not still-dark-when-i-get-up mornings. i slept most of my flight. the flight was less than awesome and i was all sorts of antsy to get off that plane as soon as i heard we had started our initial descent. the thing about early flights though, is the chance to see sunrises from the air. and as i was landing in albuquerque, the sun had just woken up and hot air balloons were already in flight as we flew over them. hello, new mexico.
my parents were there when i was, and we all stayed with my great uncle harold and aunt janice- two people that i haven't spent nearly enough time with in my 26 years. they're the kind of folks you want to be near, just so you can soak up their simplicity, humor, & joy. they have so many stories, lessons, and wisdoms to impart on you and you learn from them without even asking or expecting it. two of the coolest people i know and i can't believe they're family.
shooting my scheduled sessions i had out there in the desert light was entirely different than here in the midwest. it's forever golden, forever orange, and oh so crisp. and sunsets- oh the sunsets.
but for now- here's some images of life there- my day trip to santa fe, around my uncle & aunt's house at the foot of the mountains, and the balloon "glow" at night. if you ever the chance to go out there, do it. it'll change a few perspectives on things, as you walk around looking up at the colorful magnificence. thousands of people from all over the world and little old you, lost in a maze of towering balloons. i couldn't help but take deep breaths, wear a giddy smile, and shoot like crazy so i could take it home with me. but the photos barely do it justice.
i want to go back. i will next year for a wedding. this year, i was lucky to bring some beautiful images of balloons and lifestyles back with me. that and my very own longhorn skull, some new jewelry, a mug, magnets, and a pair of moccasins. when in rome.
my awesome uncle harold. robert redford, anyone?