When I first launched my business, I saw myself doing mostly family sessions. I didn’t really have an interest in weddings. Couples would be fun, but not many couples seek out professional photography outside of their engagement and wedding. Plus, as a mama to two littles, I am super passionate about documenting fleeting moments with young children. Call me crazy, but I absolutely love chasing wild toddlers and capturing their little personalities. All that to say, I didn’t see myself pivoting to Air Force promotion photography, but what a missed opportunity that would have been! Living now in DC, I’ve connected with many more military families and it’s an honor to be able to document such exciting milestones for them.
Most recently, I had the privilege of photographing Col Erin Lai Wheeler’s Air Force promotion ceremony. When she shared that it would be a rooftop ceremony at the Army Navy Country Club overlooking the Air Force Memorial and Washington Monument, I was so incredibly excited. (Seriously, shooting in this town will never get old!) Unfortunately, it rained on Col Lai Wheeler’s big day, so we had to move the events inside. Despite the rain, it was a beautiful ceremony attended by her family, friends, and colleagues from all over the country.
The promotion ceremony was a celebration of Erin’s career thus far, and it was clear that she is highly regarded in her community. It was also a testament to the strong bonds that are formed among military families. I know this from personal experience too, but there’s nothing like these friendships. Erin was fortunate enough to have people from each of her different assignments in attendance. What a cool way to celebrate!
The ceremony was followed by a delicious brunch where I had the pleasure of interacting with some of Erin’s guests. Having never gone to law school, I won’t pretend I understood all the stories being shared! However, what I did understand was the outpouring of congratulatory remarks and heartfelt support for Erin. It was a wonderful group of people gathered to celebrate her and I was honored to be just a small part of it.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t wrap up with a huge congratulations to the Air Force’s newest colonel. Thank you, Col Lai Wheeler, for your service and best wishes to you and your family on the next chapter of your career!
If you have a military event coming up and are looking for a photographer to capture the celebration, please reach out! Whether it’s a fini flight, promotion, retirement, or something else entirely, I’d love to document this special time for you.
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