Fly

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I’m excited to share this special and personal shoot from our visit home to Minnesota in July. I grew up in a family of pilots. My grandpa, uncle, and my dad were all airline pilots, and they all started flying in their teen years. My dad was flying planes by the age of 15 which to this day totally blows my mind. He had a long career with North Central and then Northwest Airlines before retiring a few years ago. He’s always been so passionate about his work that as a kid I never saw his trips as “work”. It was his hobby too. On his days off, he would often head to the hanger to take a ride, care for his plane, and drink coffee with his pilot buddies. Growing up it was always clear to me that his passion and his job were one in the same. He’s the person who’s always told me that if I do what I love, I’ll never work a day in my life. It’s the best advice I’ve ever gotten and so much of why I abandoned my corporate career to start my styling business. Now that he’s retired, he still spends his days flying his plane which I have to admit is quite a beauty. We couldn’t help ourselves and just had to do a little photo shoot with it. I even got to play dress-up with Dad’s old Ray-Ban aviators (which lucky for me he’s now handed down to me) and pins. A little about the plane: It’s a Stearman biplane, built in 1941 to spend the years of World War 2 teaching Army Air Force cadets how to fly in the US before they moved on to fly fighters and bombers in Europe and the Pacific. Dad says, “Today, 72 years later, it’s still fun to fly, but I realize it’s also an honor to be the caretaker of an artifact from that era!” It makes me happy that my dad has gotten to do what he’s passionate about, and it was so fun to spend a day with him combining the things we both love so much.

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20130723-IMG_3485Maje jumpsuit, pins from the military surplus store + Dad’s Stearman pin, DVF wedges, Dad’s vintage Ray-Ban aviators (here’s the current version), Michael Kors watch, Bracelets: Asos, Luv AJ, Forever21
Photos by Ian Sheppard

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  1. That plane is a beaut! I love this post more than words can express.

  2. Christine Hanson 08/07/2013 Reply

    I love this so much! (And a fitting, well-deserved tribute to Dad as well.)
    Great job to Ian too, as usual! Stunning photos!

  3. This is AMAZING! Gorgeous girl, gorgeous plane, gorgeous photos! I love the Hansons!!

  4. i love this shoot! the pictures are amazing but more importantly it’s such a great tribute to your family!

  5. Beautiful! I miss my Hansons!

  6. This is beyond amazing. So cool and personal and you look gorgeous!!!

  7. gorg photos! I’d like to take a ride in that plane..

    The Casual Classic

  8. LOVE! Love the photos and especially love the story! What an awesome family story! xo

  9. This post was the first thing I read today – an inspiring way to start. Print it, put it in an album and look at it with your granddaughter someday.

  10. Well, you totally just convinced me to go Top Gun and grab a jumpsuit immediately. You look baller – and your hair is looking snappy.

  11. I love that last one with your dad! You look so great. =]

  12. You look stunning, Catherine! What a fabulous and personal post. Love all of you Hanson/Sheppard people!

  13. This is so cute, it makes me think of the relationship I have with my dad! He always told me to do what I love as well :) It’s inspiring to see someone post something with such personal aspects on their blog :)

  14. This is awesome!
    I can’t believe your Dad flies that actual plane; whoa! I love what you wrote, not working a day in your life if you’re donig your passion, and how your Dad found his passion AND work in being a pilot. Also, that you, too, followed your heart.

    I’m still working in the corporate world and scared to follow my heart but am trying to work my way out there and do so. My passion definitely lies in fashion and helping people get dressed, it’s just a matter of bridging the gap and making it happen.. it’s scary, I’m scared, and not sure where to start but people keep saying I should do it, so it must be true.

    Love your blog and have been a reader for over a year, keep up the great posts :) and good luck with the September busy-ness coming up :)