portland wish of a lifetime

Hot Air Balloon Portraits | Wish of a Lifetime

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to photograph a very special hot air balloon ride.

Last month I was contacted by the Wish of a Lifetime organization to photograph one of their wishes to a 90-year-young lady named Gerda who has always dreamed of riding in a hot air balloon. Her wish came true on Saturday at Vista Balloon Adventures when she and her companion Kathleen soared high up in the sky at sunrise.

Gerda grew up in Germany during WWII and endured several difficulties during this time. She often felt restrained by the circumstances surrounding the war. After immigrating to the United States, Gerda saw her first hot air balloon. To Gerda, riding in a hot air balloon represents the freedom she sought when immigrating to the US.

To say that Gerda was so happy to be flying in this balloon is an understatement. Her excitement beamed from every part of her being. She kept saying “we live in such a beautiful world” over and over throughout the flight and it just made me so happy. This experience was such a reminder that we do live in such a gorgeous place and that it is so important to enjoy every bit of it as much as we can.

I just feel so honored to have be there with her to capture this very special moment in her life. She has overcome so much and deserved every bit of her excitement on Saturday. Events like this are why our jobs as photographers are so important.

Thank you, Wish of a Lifetime for granting this wish to Gerda and to Vista Balloon Adventures for helping making it happen for her.


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  1. Kristen A. says:

    I just love this so much! You really captured what she was feeling in these moments, and the scenery is simply stunning! Thank you for helping fulfill Gerda’s wish. 

  2. Greg Deck says:

    So beautiful both the event and the photography!!