Documenting Real Stories: They Shoot Rockets, I Shoot the Camera | Fearless and Framed

Documenting Real Stories: They Shoot Rockets, I Shoot the Camera

My husband and son got into shooting model rockets last year, when my son was just 3. They’re totally into anything about space.

We live in Washington DC and my son, Del, thought the Washington Monument was a rocket ship for the longest time. That reminded my husband of shooting model rockets with his dad when he was a kid. So, he and Del went to a hobby shop one day and picked out a little rocket.

It just so happened that I’d stumbled onto a gorgeous photography spot not long before. So, when the Saturday came that the boys wanted to shoot the rocket, I knew just the place: a big field in a state park, with the bonus of being super photogenic. I grabbed my camera and navigated to the park.

That was a year and three rockets ago.

Two of our trusty rockets are lodged in the upper branches of trees in the park and our third awaits it’s first voyage.

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The session I’m sharing here was shot this summer, on my husband’s birthday weekend. His dad had come to celebrate with us, so we all went out to shoot rockets. I love photographing this, and it was even more special with the three generations of guys in the photos, and the sweet affection my son has for his GrandDude.

One of the things I really love about photographing our rocketing adventures is shooting in the full sun. It was hard at first, but once I found the settings I liked best (low ISO, wide-ish aperture – maybe 3.2 – and FAAAAAST shutter) and the editing style I liked, then I started really getting shots I love.
















Writing and photography contributed by Katie Jett Walls of Red Turtle Photography.


Katie Jett Walls is a family documentary photographer located in Washington DC. She first picked up her grandfather’s 25-year-old film camera in 2004 and has since been addicted to photography. She embraces life as it is and is amazed that this is her full time profession. In the last 10 years, she has gotten married, had a baby, purchased a home and built a business that unleashes her inner artist. On the cusp of turning 40 next year, she can’t wait to see where her life and art will take her in the decade to come.



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